Alimony in NJ: What You Need to Know
Alimony in NJ is a complicated topic. Whether or not you’ll receive support, how much, and for how long, depends on many factors.
If you’re getting divorced, and during your marriage, you didn’t work outside the home or substantially supported your spouse’s education, consult with a family lawyer with experience in alimony cases.
How Alimony in NJ Is Calculated
Alimony, or spousal support, is monetary support for an ex-spouse after a divorce. Multiple factors influence the type and amount of maintenance ordered, including the length of the marriage, age and health of the spouses, ability to pay, parental responsibilities, past support, and time out of the workforce.
The New Jersey alimony statute includes five types of alimony: pendente lite, open durational, rehabilitative, limited duration, and reimbursement alimony. It is possible to receive multiple types of support, depending on circumstances.
- Pendente Lite
Pendente Lite, or temporary alimony, is only active before the divorce is finalized. If one spouse is financially dependent on the other, pendente lite supports assists the spouse financially until there is a settlement agreement or an order of the court.
- Open Durational
Open durational alimony is rarely ordered, and usually only when the couple has been married for more than 20 years. Many times, despite the name, open durational alimony ends when the supported spouse remarries or depending upon the circumstances, the paying spouse retires.
- Rehabilitative Alimony
Rehabilitative alimony supports the education or job-training of the dependent spouse, to allow him or her to enter the workforce and be self-sufficient. Rehabilitative alimony can be modified if the supported spouse fails to meet the conditions and is limited to a specific time frame.
- Limited Duration Alimony
Like rehabilitative alimony, limited duration alimony is ordered for a specific amount of time to help the dependent spouse reenter the workforce and become financially independent.
- Reimbursement Alimony
Unlike the other types, reimbursement alimony cannot be later modified. If the dependent spouse financially supported the other through advanced education, under the expectation that he or she would benefit in the future then reimbursement alimony may be appropriate.
For example, if you financially supported your spouse through medical school and you divorce you may be entitled to reimbursement alimony.
Should I Go Through The Courts?
NJ alimony laws, unlike child support laws, are not calculated based on income. There are two ways to determine alimony. You can go to the court, where a judge will determine the type, length, and amount of alimony. To make his or her decision a judge will consider the factors enumerated under N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23. Or you can sit down with your spouse and your lawyers and create an agreement together.
Both options are valid, and which route you take depends on your position. Work with your lawyer to determine which course will benefit you the most or request a modification to your alimony order if there is a change in your circumstances.
Alimony payments by the paying spouse are not tax-deductible if your divorce was finalized after January 2019.
Ensure You Get The Alimony You Deserve
The alimony laws in NJ are complicated. If you believe you are entitled to alimony, contact Lyons & Associates, P.C. online or call us at (908) 575-9777 for a confidential free consultation.
Our lawyers are fully knowledgeable and experienced in all aspects of family law, including in the intricacies of alimony. We will work diligently to get you the best financial outcome possible in your divorce.