How Alimony Payments Work in New Jersey
Seasoned Attorneys Discuss the Issues Between Divorce and Alimony in Brick and Sea Girt NJ
Serving families in Brick, Sea Girt, Toms River, Wall, Point Pleasant, and across Ocean and Monmouth Counties.
Alimony payments are determined by a New Jersey Superior Court: Family Part judge based on several factors. When a couple is settling on a divorce agreement, these factors determine whether one spouse will receive alimony payments and for how long. There are multiple types of alimony that a spouse could receive, and their circumstances determine which route of alimony the judge will grant.
What are the factors determining whether alimony is awarded?
The court considers multiple factors determining whether alimony will be paid, what type, how much, and for how long. The first consideration is, of course, a spouse’s need for alimony, as well as their ex’s ability to pay alimony. The length of the marriage is also considered when determining whether alimony will be granted, though reaching a certain length of marriage does not guarantee that alimony will or will not be granted. Additional factors taken into consideration are the age and health of each spouse, their standard of living before the split and what types of financial support would be required for both to maintain their standard of living after the divorce, and each spouse’s professional prospects. A spouse who foresought a professional career for the marriage, stunting their earning capacities, educational development, and skillset, will likely be awarded some form of alimony to have the opportunity to “catch up” and enter the workforce in a competitive role. As such, the amount of time a spouse was absent from the job market is also considered.
Parenting responsibilities impact alimony awards, with parents who are granted a larger custodial role often being granted some alimony in addition to child support payments.
A spouse’s financial contributions to the marriage and marital assets are also taken into consideration. Judges will revise any other details of the marriage or the couple and their circumstances that they deem appropriate for determining the alimony arrangement in alignment with the separation.
What are the types of alimony that can be awarded?
There are five types of alimony that a Superior Court judge may award a spouse in a divorce:
Temporary (pendente lite) alimony
It is most often awarded to a spouse during the divorce process to cover legal fees and living expenses and maintain the lifestyle they had before the divorce. This type of temporary alimony usually goes to a spouse who was not working full-time in the marriage and whose partner was maintaining the marital lifestyle before separation. This type of alimony can be modified as situations and capacities change.
Limited durational alimony
It is a payment made to a spouse for a short-term, set amount of time, which is often in alignment with the number of years the couple was married (if fewer than 20 years). While there is a common misconception that alimony is guaranteed to be awarded and granted for the number of years one was married, there is no legal certainty of this. Limited durational alimony is only generally granted in alignment with years of marriage.
Open durational alimony
It is payment to a spouse for an open period of time without a fixed end date. Open durational alimony is often called permanent alimony, though it is important to note that there is no such thing as permanent alimony, and all alimony arrangements can be modified.
It is a payment to a spouse for a specific reason, such as financial support for their re-entry into the job market. Often when a spouse has not been working in a marriage, rehabilitative alimony is paid by the bread-winning spouse to support that spouse in acquiring the education and training necessary to find a job in alignment with their skills.
It is a payment made to a spouse as reimbursement for an investment they made in their partner. An example of reimbursement alimony would be a spouse paying the other back for covering the costs of their medical school tuition and bills. This is the only type of alimony that cannot be modified because the amount already invested does not change.
To ensure that you receive your fair share in a divorce and have your rights fully represented, you must seek the support of a qualified family law attorney.
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If you are navigating a divorce, let us represent you while focusing on aligning with your future.
At Peter Bronzino, we successfully represent in clients Brick, Sea Girt, Toms River, Wall, Point Pleasant, and across Ocean and Monmouth Counties. Whether you have children or not, we can support you in this important time of transition.