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What Replaced Permanent Alimony in New Jersey?

When a divorce occurs where one spouse is financially dependent on the other, alimony may be ordered by the court. These are payments given to the dependent spouse to allow them stability until they are able to provide for themselves. If you are going through a divorce and seeking alimony, contact an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney for assistance.

What Replaced Permanent Alimony?

In 2014, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie amended a statute regarding alimony in order to make changes to how alimony may be received. Previously, the state awarded permanent alimony. This was financial support to one spouse, as suggested, for a lifetime. However, the former Governor’s new law replaced this with open duration alimony. This is awarded to couples who were married or in a civil union for more than 20 years. Under this order, there is no end-date to the payments until there is a reason to terminate them. This may occur in the event of cohabitation, remarriage, if the paying spouse becomes disabled or unemployed, or if the dependent spouse becomes independent.

Other Types of Alimony

As not all marriages are the same, there are different types of alimony that may be awarded depending on the divorcing couple’s situation. In addition to open duration alimony, the following are other types of alimony available in New Jersey:

  • Limited Duration Alimony: For couples that were married or in a civil union for less than 20 years. These payments should be made no longer than the length of the marriage/union. Termination may also be necessary if there is a change in either spouse’s financial situation.
  • Rehabilitative alimony: When one spouse puts their career on hold in order to support their partner and family, this type of alimony may be awarded to the dependent spouse in order to receive the education or training they need to get back in their field. 
  • Reimbursement alimony: When one spouse financially supports their partner’s education or training, this alimony exists to reimburse them.

How is Alimony Determined?

As there are many cases in which marriages do not end amicably, the decision to pay alimony is left up to the court. In order to make these decisions, the court considers the following factors regarding the marriage:

  • 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 spouse’s ability to support the dependent spouse
  • If the dependent party had a significant absence from the job market
  • 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.