What I Need to Know About Alimony in NJ
Alimony is paid by one spouse to the other for their support, which can be in addition to child support.
Alimony reform that was signed into law on September 14, 2014 eliminated permanent alimony and replaced it with what is now called open durational alimony. Open durational alimony is awarded when the parties have been married for a significant period of time – at least 20 years.Rehabilitative Alimony
Rehabilitative Alimony in NJ is given to a spouse on a short-term basis. This sort of alimony is designed to enable the lesser-earning spouse to obtain economic self-sufficiency through training and education. The goal of rehabilitative alimony is economic rehabilitation of the dependant’s spouse. The dependant’s spouse must submit a plan in which they must show the scope of rehabilitation, the steps to be taken, and the time frame when rehabilitation will occur. A spouse may be awarded Rehabilitative Alimony in addition to Permanent Alimony.Limited Duration Alimony
Limited Duration Alimony in New Jersey is given to a spouse for a specific period of time. The length of the time is determinate on how long it will reasonably take them to improve their earning capacity to a level where Limited Duration Alimony is no longer suitable or required. If a marriage or civil union is less than 20 years, the duration of alimony cannot exceed the length of the marriage, excluding exceptional circumstances. Once the amount of Limited Duration Alimony is set a Court may modify the amount of said alimony, but generally will not modify the length of the term.Reimbursement Alimony
Reimbursement is given to one party who supported the other (usually financially) to advance the other’s education and they anticipated participating in the fruits of the earning capacity produced by that education at some point during the marriage. This type of alimony is given when one spouse supported the other spouse during college or grad school.Pendente Lite Alimony
Pendente Lite Alimony in New Jersey is support paid during the of the divorce litigation. This type of alimony is temporary and a party needs to file a Motion to receive the same unless the parties have an agreement. Even though this type of alimony is temporary and Courts grant Pendente Lite Alimony without prejudice, the amount of temporary support could impact the final support award.Alimony Factors
The New Jersey Alimony statue contains thirteen factors that Courts use in determining the amount and duration of alimony. Said factors are as follows:
1) the demonstrated actual needs of one party to maintain their basic standards living, and the demonstrated ability of the other party to pay, including their income and liabilities; 2) the length duration of the marriage or civil partnership; 3) how old each party is, as well as their health, both emotionally, mentally and physically; 4) The standard of living that was established during the relationship, including whether the couple can maintain this standard even after separation; 5) the ‘marketability’ of each party, such as their earning capacity, their education levels, additional training they’ve received, and ultimately how employable each party is; 6)If a party has been absent from the job market, and they are seeking maintenance, the court looks at how big of a time gap on their resume they have; 7) which parent has the primary custodial responsibilities for any children; 8) If one party wants to get back to work, the court will consider the time and cost that it will take for that party to get trained or educated to a level that will ensure appropriate employment, as well as the prospect of any future capital assets and income; 9) Contributions to the marriage – both financial and non-financial, including homemaking, raising children, and any disruption to careers or the education of the party; 10) property that is distributed upon dissolution of the marriage, including any payouts from current income, as long as the consideration is just and reasonable; 11) if there are investments and income derived from that available to parties stemming from assets they hold, the court will consider this; 12) tax consequences of any alimony award, including describing the alimony (or parts of it) as a non-taxable payment; 13) any amounts of temporary support paid, including the length paid and the amount; 14) and finally the catchall provision - any other factor the Court finds relevant.
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