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Changes to New Jersey’s Alimony Laws | What to Know

When going through a divorce, it is important to find an attorney that can understand your situation and help you receive appropriate alimony. Contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C. today to speak with our experienced and dedicated New Jersey Divorce attorneys.

What changes have been made to New Jersey’s alimony laws?

In 2014,  New Jersey eliminated permanent alimony and replaced it with 4 new alimony structures. While some may argue that these changes place limits on judicial discretion, judges are still able to exercise discretion in extraordinary or specific circumstances. Here are some of the biggest changes:

  • Open durational alimony: If you were married to your spouse for over 20 years and are financially dependent, you will likely be awarded this type of alimony. This structure is the most similar to permanent alimony because it does not have an end date. This type of alimony can only be terminated if the dependent because financially independent, or no longer requires payments according to New Jersey laws.
  • Limited durational alimony: Dependent spouses in short-term marriages may be entitled to this type of alimony. Here, the court will determine the amount and duration.
  • Rehabilitative alimony: This short-term support structure was created to help the dependent spouse further their education.
  • Reimbursement alimony: This structure is used when one spouse decided to go back to school or receive additional training for a new job and the other spouse paid for it. After the divorce, the spouse that paid for it may be entitled to receive this type of alimony.

What factors does a New Jersey court consider when making alimony determinations?

New Jersey courts consider countless amounts of factors when determining alimony. Here are some of the most common:

  • The need and ability of the parties to pay
  • Duration of the marriage
  • Age and health of both parties
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • Earning capacities and employability of the parties
  • Length of absence from the job market for the supported spouse
  • Parental responsibility of the children
  • Time and expenses necessary to re-enter the workforce
  • History of financial and non-financial contributions to the marriage
  • Equitable distribution of property
  • Income available

The abolition of permanent alimony has provided divorce attorneys with much clearer parameters when counseling clients through this process. If you have questions about your alimony options, it is recommended that you contact an experienced divorce attorney. At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C., we are here to help you.


If you have any questions regarding your family law matter, you can depend on our legal team to fight for your best interests, every step of the way. Contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C. today to learn more about how our legal team can assist you.