Types of Alimony in New Jersey

The establishment of a spousal support order or agreement is often one of the most contentious parts of the divorce process. Alimony is not awarded in every situation, nor is there a standard formula for deciding the amount of these payments.

Understanding the types of alimony allowed under New Jersey law can be essential in protecting your rights during divorce proceedings. A qualified spousal support attorney can explain these options in specific detail and advocate on your behalf for a favorable outcome from the court.

Rehabilitative and Reimbursement Alimony

The two most straightforward forms of alimony that can come from a New Jersey divorce are rehabilitative and reimbursement spousal support.

Rehabilitative alimony is meant to “rehabilitate” one spouse who, because of their obligations to the marital household, does not have the skills or experience to enter the workforce and support themselves financially following a divorce. Courts generally order this type of spousal support for a prescribed period and specify that it should go toward the costs of training and education necessary to get the recipient back into the workforce. Rehabilitative spousal support may also go toward basic living expenses during this period after divorce.

In a similar vein, reimbursement alimony is intended to reimburse one spouse for contributions or sacrifices they made for the sake of their partner’s career. For example, if one spouse helped pay for the other’s college tuition, or if they gave up their own career to support the marital household, a judge might order the spouse who benefitted from these sacrifices to pay the other in the form of spousal support. A well-practiced New Jersey attorney can further explain the differences between these types of alimony during a consultation.

Limited vs Open Durational Spousal Support

Up until September 2014, state law allowed for courts to order limited duration alimony for a specific amount of time or number of payments, as well as permanent alimony which would continue for the rest of the receiving and/or paying party’s life.

Due to the change in the law in September 2014, a court may now instead order either limited duration or open durational alimony. Open durational alimony allows for indefinite payments but is only available if the spouses involved were married for over 20 years. Additionally, courts work under the presumption that open durational alimony should end when the paying party reaches retirement age.

Pendente Lite Alimony

If a court believes that one party to a divorce will struggle to maintain the financial position they had while married over the course of divorce proceedings, that court may order pendente lite alimony. This financial aid will only last until the court approves a final divorce decree. Pendente lite alimony only accounts for short-term needs without considering either party’s long-term financial situation.

In New Jersey, this type of alimony may be replaced by a longer-term arrangement at the court’s discretion. A pendente lite spousal support order does not always mean the court will order additional support after the divorce process ends. An experienced attorney can determine whether or not the pendente lite option may be applicable in a particular case.

Learn More About Types of Alimony in New Jersey Today

Each variety of alimony established under state law is intended for a different type of divorce situation. Accordingly, there are many factors that courts may incorporate into decisions regarding short-term or long-term spousal support obligations. An attorney can help you determine which the types of alimony in New Jersey that may be applicable to your divorce case. Call today to learn more.

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