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Is Alimony Permanent in New Jersey? | What You Should Know

If you are going through a divorce you will likely have many questions. One of the most common questions asked is whether or not alimony is permanent in New Jersey. Read on and reach out to our Morris County NJ alimony and spousal support lawyers today to discuss your options.

What are the different types of alimony in New Jersey?

In recent times, New Jersey has updated their alimony laws. In fact, the state has eliminated “permanent” alimony altogether because it was never intended to be permanent. Instead, this new rule now refers to alimony as “open-durational” to more adequately describe this type of alimony. New Jersey has four different types of alimony structures, including:

  • Limited durational alimony: To qualify for this type of alimony, you must be a dependent spouse in a short-term marriage. The award depends on the time of the marriage, the age of the parties involved, and the earning capacity of each spouse. The goal is to help one party become financially protected through a support system within a fixed period of time.
  • Open durational alimony: For dependent spouses in marriages lasting more than 20 years, this kind of alimony may be granted. Even though the structure has no end date, the quantity of alimony and the end of the alimony can always be changed by evolving circumstances to the economic need and the earning potential of each partner.
  • Rehabilitative alimony: This refers to a short-term support structure to help the dependent spouse to reach financial stability. This kind of alimony is commonly used to increase one’s education.
  • Reimbursement alimony: If a dependent party has set aside their interests for the other, this alimony structure is used to pay them back for the help they have offered. In the event that one spouse worked while the other was in school, this support structure will reimburse them for the cost of supporting the spouse seeking higher education.

How is alimony determined?

Many couples going through a divorce will ask whether alimony is even an option for them, particularly in the event that both spouses are financially independent of one another. However, the court will still consider several factors to define spousal support. Some of these factors include the following:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The need and ability of either party to pay
  • The age and health of either party
  • The standard of living that was established over the course of the marriage
  • The earning capacity of either party
  • The need for education to advance the earning capacity of either party
  • The history of financial contributions made by either party during the marriage
  • Tax considerations of an alimony award


At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, LLC, our seasoned divorce and family law attorneys ensure that through the process of resolving your family matter, you feel empowered, not overwhelmed. Providing unwavering support, undivided attention, and unflinching advocacy, our team invests in your cause, working tirelessly to pave your path toward a brighter tomorrow. If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.