How Do Courts Calculate Alimony in New Jersey?

Alimony is a form of financial support that an individual must legally provide to their spouse, usually after they have successfully filed for divorce or marital separation. These court-ordered payments will only be rewarded to the party that either makes no income or makes a lower income than the other spouse.

The court determines who the payor is and how long they will pay for. This allowance varies and typically occurs from the date the court order awarding alimony is issued. Retroactive alimony from the date the petition was filed is also a possibility.  Many spouses need alimony to financially support themselves during and after a separation. If you have questions about court-ordered alimony, reach out to an attorney right away.

What are the Types of Alimony?

There are 5 different types of alimony in New Jersey, including pendente lite alimony, open durational alimony, limited duration alimony, rehabilitative alimony, and reimbursement alimony.

  • Alimony pendente lite is temporary monetary support towards a spouse during a divorce. Pendente lite is Latin for “pending the litigation,” and this form of support is a provisional short-term solution that is discontinued automatically once a divorce is final, though it may be replaced by the other types of alimony.
  • Open durational alimony is typically only reserved for couples who were married for at least 20 years. A payor would likely only pay open durational alimony until they retire. There are other factors that may end or decrease the amount of alimony paid.
  • Limited duration alimony is alimony that must be paid only for a limited length of time. This type of alimony is typically for couples Married less than twenty years.
  • Rehabilitative alimony is a short-term award to financially support a spouse so they can adjust to their new financial situation after a divorce. The purpose of rehabilitative alimony is so the dependent spouse can get back on their feet and become self-supportive. The judge can order rehabilitative alimony for up to 5 years.
  • Reimbursement alimony occurs when a spouse gets reimbursed for the expenses they spent during their marriage. An example of reimbursement alimony would be if a husband was in law school and the wife paid most of his school fees. The wife may then qualify for reimbursement alimony.

How is Alimony Calculated?

The court does not explicitly state what is considered to be a long-term marriage or a short term marriage, as it all depends on the statutory factors. In determining if alimony should be awarded, courts consider, but are not limited to, the following factors:

  • The standard of living and economic circumstances during the marriage;
  • The parental responsibilities of each spouse;
  • The needs of the child;
  • The paying spouse’s ability to pay;
  • All sources of income and assets of each parent;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • Educational background;
  • Employment skills;
  • Work experience;
  • The cost of providing childcare;
  • The length of time and cost of each parent to obtain training or experience for appropriate employment;
  • The need and capacity of the child for education, including higher education;
  • The age and health of the child and each parent;
  • The reasonable debts and liabilities of each child and parent

It can be difficult for a person to evaluate all of these factors without the assistance of dedicated legal counsel. If you want to learn more about how the courts order alimony in New Jersey, call a member of our team today.

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