Fort Lee Spousal Support Lawyer
Under state law, judges are not required to award alimony, also known as spousal support, in every divorce. This can be problematic for a spouse in need of ongoing financial support, as courts must determine spousal support on a case-by-case basis.
If you question your eligibility for support post-divorce, or your spouse is seeking financial assistance from you, reach out to a skilled Fort Lee spousal support lawyer. The dedicated legal team at Moskowitz Law Group has years of experience handling alimony and related family law issues and can strongly advocate for a fair spousal support award in your case.
What is Spousal Support?
The support one spouse pays to the other after a separation or divorce is known as alimony or spousal support. The purpose is to ensure the dependent spouse can meet their needs, either indefinitely or until they become self-supporting, and maintain a lifestyle reasonably comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage.
A judge can grant spousal support to either party in a divorce. When determining if maintenance is appropriate, a court considers specific factors under New Jersey Revised Statutes §2A:34-23, including but not limited to:
- The duration of the marriage
- Each spouse’s age and health
- The requesting spouse’s financial needs
- The paying spouse’s ability to support the other spouse and still meet their own needs
- Each spouse’s education and earning capacity
- The couple’s standard of living in their marriage
- How long the requesting spouse has been out of the workforce
- Each parent’s responsibilities to the couple’s children
A judge can order spousal support for a certain amount of time or indefinitely. For example, if a spouse needs time to acquire the necessary skills and training to obtain a job, a court may grant alimony for a time sufficient to finish their degree. A knowledgeable attorney in Fort Lee can help determine whether a party may qualify for spousal support based on the unique facts of their case.
Different Types of Spousal Support
State law permits courts to award four types of alimony. It is essential for a party pursuing or defending against a spousal support request to understand each form and when it applies.
Open Durational Alimony
Previously referred to as “permanent alimony,” open duration alimony is awarded when a spouse in a long-term marriage is unlikely ever to be able to support themselves without financial assistance from the other party. While this spousal support does not have a fixed termination date, it can end when the paying spouse reaches full and good faith retirement age. Additionally, a judge can only award open durational alimony after a marriage of at least 20 years.
Limited Duration Alimony
For limited duration alimony, the payor provides support to the payee spouse for a specified number of months or years. Unlike open durational alimony, this support has a set ending date. Unless exceptional circumstances exist, limited durational alimony cannot be granted for a period exceeding the length of the couple’s marriage.
When a spouse has the capacity to support themselves but needs time to develop or enhance their skills and obtain employment, a court may award rehabilitative alimony. This support is also granted for a predetermined length of time and can cover the payee spouse’s living expenses while they go to school or receive job training.
A court might grant reimbursement alimony if one spouse contributed financially to the other spouse’s education or career advancement. Its purpose is to compensate one spouse for the benefits they would have received from the other spouse’s career had the couple remained married.
In some situations, more than one form of spousal support may be appropriate. An experienced Fort Lee spousal support attorney can further explain the different types of maintenance and how a judge determines a spousal support award.
Learn More from a Capable Fort Lee Spousal Support Attorney
If you are facing a divorce, the contributions you made during your marriage should be considered regardless of your current income. If you are concerned about your economic situation post-separation, contact a seasoned Fort Lee spousal support attorney today. Our skilled legal team can work diligently to ensure you do not face unnecessary financial hardship after your marriage is dissolved. Schedule a consultation today to get started.