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What are the Different Types of Alimony in New Jersey?

Couples who go through a divorce face many legal matters. These must be resolved before their marriage can be officially over. A divorce separates two spouses’ lives from one another. However, it is very difficult to have a clean break during a divorce. Often times, this may not be possible for two spouses. It is because of this that one spouse may be required to pay court-ordered financial support to their former spouse after the divorce is final. This is known as alimony. 

Sometimes, when a couple builds their life together, a household may only have one income. This may be the case if one spouse works while the other is cares for their home and children. These situations can leave an individual in an unfair situation without an income of their own in the event of a divorce. When this happens, the court may require alimony payments to be supplied by the independent spouse to the dependent spouse. This provides the dependent spouse with support while they work to gain their own independence and support themselves.

Types of Alimony

In the state of New Jersey, there are four different types of alimony. The type of alimony that is required of a spouse can depend on the circumstances surrounding their marriage. The different types of alimony are:

  • Open Durational Alimony: Couples who were married or in a civil union for more than 20 years may be required to pay this alimony. Under this court-order, there is no end date to the payments until there is a reason to terminate. Termination may occur in the event of cohabitation, remarriage, if the spouse paying becomes disabled or unemployed, or if the dependent spouse becomes independent.
  • Limited Duration Alimony: Couples who were married or in a civil union for less than 20 years may be required to pay this alimony. These payments should be made no longer than the length of the marriage/union. Termination may also be allowed in the event of a change in either former spouse’s situations.
  • Rehabilitative Alimony: If the dependent spouse put off their career in order to support their partner and family, this type of alimony may be owed to them so that they can pursue schooling or training.
  • Reimbursement Alimony: This type of alimony exists to reimburse a former spouse if they financially supported their partner’s own education or training.

How is Alimony Determined?

While it is possible for two spouses to end their marriage amicably, it is not always the case. There are many cases in which marriages do not end on good terms. These situations can make the topic of alimony to become sensitive and difficult for spouses in the event that one does not want to support the other. It is because of this that spouses do not make their own decisions regarding alimony. These matters are left in the hands of the court.

When making a decision regarding the type and amount of alimony that is owed to a spouse, the court considers many different factors relating to the marriage. This can include the following:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The age and health of each spouse
  • The earning capacity of each spouse
  • The needs of the dependent spouse
  • The independent party’s ability to support the dependent party
  • Whether the dependent party had a significant absence from the job market
  • The equitable distribution of property
  • Each spouse’s responsibility for any children they have
  • The standard of living the couple established during their marriage
  • If there is any income available from investments
  • If there are any tax implications from spousal support payments

Contact our Firm

If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.