Types of Alimony in New Jersey
In New Jersey, there are five different types of alimony, each may be awarded under different circumstances. The first step is determining whether you have the right to receive alimony/spousal support or whether you have obligation to pay alimony. The second step is determining which type(s) of alimony apply to your life’s circumstances. The different types of alimony in New Jersey are:
Open Durational Alimony – Open durational alimony took place of “permanent alimony” with the enactment of the New Jersey Alimony Reform Act of 2014. While the New Jersey courts would previously award lifetime alimony to ex-spouses who needed financial support after ending a long-term marriage, currently open durational alimony generally limits for a number of years appropriate for a particular family, the length of time that an ex-spouse can receive alimony. In most cases if a marriage is less than 20 years in length the Court will not award alimony for longer than the length of the marriage. However, the current alimony law still provides lawyers with an ability to argue for longer alimony awards based on “exceptional circumstances.”
Limited-Duration Alimony – With limited-duration alimony, one ex-spouse is required to financially support the other until the supported spouse finds a job or has another specified/negotiated change of circumstances.
Rehabilitative Alimony – Rehabilitative alimony provides financial support for an ex-spouse who requires training or education in order to re-enter the workforce following the dissolution of the marriage. This form of alimony is most common when one spouse stopped working in order to ne a primary child care taker and a homemaker. In order to receive rehabilitative alimony, the dependent spouse will be required to show that he or she has a plan for completing a course of study and finding gainful employment within a specified period of time. It is possible however to combine this type of alimony with other existing types based on specific circumstances that may exist in your case.
Reimbursement Alimony – If one spouse paid for the other’s advanced education during the marriage with the expectation that they would benefit from higher income as a result, the paying spouse can seek compensation in the form of reimbursement alimony.
Pendente Lite Alimony – Pendente lite is Latin for “pending the litigation.” If you and your spouse choose not to live together while you work through your divorce and you need part of your spouse’s income for your everyday expenses, you can petition the court for pendente lite alimony in order to prevent your spouse from cutting you off and so that you can pay your bills during the pendency of your divorce which may take some time. Depending on your personal circumstances, pendente lite alimony may or may not be necessary. We can help you assess this based on the circumstances of your case.
It is important to note that the different types of alimony are not mutually exclusive. In other words, it is quite possible that a spouse could receive pendente lite alimony for support during the divorce, reimbursement alimony for money spent to allow his or her spouse to find a higher-paying job, rehabilitative alimony if he or she then took a career hiatus to raise the family’s children, and open durational or limited-duration alimony to provide financial stability for a period of time after the divorce is final. In other words, alimony types can be combines and expanded over the years that you may be receiving or paying alimony.
How will a New Jersey Court determine the length of time that you may be paying or receiving alimony?
In determining the amount and duration of alimony, the New Jersey courts focus on a list of factors relating to the parties’ contributions to the marriage, incomes, standard of living, and anticipated financial needs following their divorce. Contact The Elfant Rickett Law Firm at our office in Hackensack at 201.968.5700 to schedule a consultation about your specific alimony situation.