When a married couple goes through divorce, and in the period following legal separation, one spouse may require monetary support from the other. In New Jersey, the law allows the court to make an order that either grants or denies the other spouse monetary support, called alimony. Also known as spousal support or maintenance, this financial payment from one spouse to the other allows for the spouse being supported to keep the lifestyle that they were accustomed to during the marriage. If you are getting a divorce in NJ, alimony is determined as a part of your negotiations in hopefully settling your matter; whether you’re going to receive it or pay it, it is important to work with a Villani & DeLuca P.C. NJ Divorce Lawyer to guide you through the process.
Different Types of Alimony
One of the first things to consider when thinking about alimony is to understand the different types allowable in New Jersey. Then you can determine which one(s) applies to your individual circumstance.
1. Limited Duration Alimony– awarded by the judge based on financial needs, for however long it takes for one of the spouses to render themselves self-sufficient.
2. Open Duration Alimony (formerly: Permanent alimony) – if the marriage was long-lived, and one of the spouses gave up education or career opportunities to look after the family, or allow the spouse to further their career or education, you may be entitled to permanent alimony. If this is the type of alimony being sought, the court will examine various factors to determine if a spouse qualifies.
3. Rehabilitative Alimony – for this type of alimony, the spouse seeking finance needs to submit the rehabilitative steps to the court, along with details of the time frame as well as period of employment. This alimony is intended to help get a spouse back on their feet and provide education and training so that they can become self-sufficient.
4. Reimbursement Alimony – this is where a spouse is compensated when they supported their spouse through advancing their education, and had planned on sharing in the fruits of that labor but couldn’t due to separation or divorce.
The court can award a combination of these types of alimony.
How Is Alimony in NJ Determined?
When it comes to determining how much alimony and for how long it will be paid, the judge considers the following factors:
– Parental responsibilities
– One spouse’s ability to pay and the other’s actual needs
– Each spouse’s emotional and physical health and age
– Duration of marriage
– Each person’s financial contributions to the marriage
– Each person’s income, education level, employability and earning capacity
– Time and expense involved in one spouse’s efforts to obtain education and become independent
– Standard of living during the marriage
Modifications and Terminations
• If there is a change in circumstances, a judge can modify rehabilitative alimony and limited duration.
• If the court based an order on something it assumed would happen, but the event never occurred, they can modify the order.
• If the spouse receiving alimony enters into a NJ civil union or remarries, they must inform the other spouse so alimony payments can be stopped.
• A remarriage can only terminate permanent and limited duration alimony. Reimbursement and rehabilitative alimony continues even in the event of a remarriage or civil union, unless otherwise ruled by a judge.
Experienced NJ Divorce Lawyer Working Hard for You
Partner Vincent DeLuca is a dedicated New Jersey family law attorney who is experienced with divorce, alimony, child custody and support, collaborative divorce and mediation cases. He is also a Superior Court-certified NJ Matrimony Attorney, one of less than .002% (as of last count). This designation is awarded to NJ attorneys that have established their extensive experience, education, knowledge and skill in matrimonial practice. Schedule your free consultation to discuss your case, possible spousal support or alimony concerns, custody issues and division of assets. The Villani & DeLuca Divorce Lawyers in NJ are available night and day, call [dyna_phone phone=’1′ format=’dashed’] today.