Moorestown Divorce Lawyers
Our Experienced Attorneys Will Handle All of Your Alimony Issues
In a New Jersey divorce matter, often one spouse is entitled to alimony from the other spouse. Alimony payments, unlike equitable distribution, are meant to provide for balanced economic circumstances between the couple going forward. When awarded properly, alimony reduces the financial discrepancies between divorcing couples after their divorce is final. Divorcing spouses in New Jersey are not automatically entitled to alimony.
Types of alimony
There are several types of alimony available in New Jersey. Courts will look at the individual circumstances of each divorce matter to determine which type of alimony is most appropriate for that divorcing couple. Alimony can be awarded for varying lengths of time. The types of alimony include:
Alimony awarded on a temporary basis, also called pendente lite support, may be provided to help a spouse maintain the status quo of their family’s lifestyle during divorce proceedings. Pendente lite support is not taxable and is awarded before the final divorce judgment.
Alimony awarded for a specific period of time
The most common of type of alimony award is limited duration alimony which provides alimony payments to a spouse for a set period of time. Limited duration alimony may be modified if there is a justifiable change of circumstances (such as remarriage or change in employment status).
Another type of alimony awarded for a specific period of time is rehabilitative alimony. Rehabilitative alimony is mean to provide financial support to a spouse who is in the process of acquiring education or training to allow them to seek gainful employment. This type of alimony many continue even if the receiving spouse gets remarried.
Alimony awarded for an unspecified period of time
In contrast, open duration alimony allows a spouse to continue to receive alimony payments on a permanent basis. Courts will order open duration alimony in cases where there has been a long-term marriage and there is a vast difference in the earning capacity of the spouses. Like limited duration alimony, open durational alimony usually can be modified if there has been a change in circumstances.
New Jersey courts may also award reimbursement alimony in cases where a spouse has made economic sacrifices during the marriage which allowed the paying spouse to increase their earning capacity. Assisting a spouse while they attend college or medical school is an example of an economic sacrifice. Similar to rehabilitative alimony, this type of alimony does not end if a spouse gets remarried.
Calculation of alimony
New Jersey courts consider many factors during the calculation of an alimony award, including the length of the marriage. Courts must consider how long alimony will continued to be paid in many divorce matters. As a general rule, if a marriage lasted less than 10 years, the duration of alimony cannot exceed the length of the marriage. In determining the amount of alimony owed to a receiving spouse, courts will look at a variety of other factors pursuant to New Jersey’s alimony law codified at N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(B) including:
- the financial needs of each spouse
- the age and health of each spouse
- the spouses’ standard of living during the length of the marriage and the ability of each spouse to maintain that standard of living
- the earning capacity of each spouse (with considerations to the education, vocational training and general employability of each spouse)
- each spouse’s parental responsibilities
- the need for vocational training or education of a spouse seeking to reenter the job market
- a spouse’s economic sacrifices made throughout the marriage to assist another spouse in increasing their earning capacity
- each spouse’s financial and non-financial contributions to the marriage (including contributions related to the care of children and the home)
- the equitable distribution payouts (to avoid “double dipping”)
- potential tax consequences
- any other relevant factors such as whether the Court had previously awarded pendent lite support
Moorestown Family Lawyers at the Hartman Group Compassionately Handle Divorce and Alimony Matters throughout Southern New Jersey
If you are in the process of divorce or separation in New Jersey and believe that you or your spouse may be entitled to alimony, an experienced family law attorney can guide you through the process. Frances A. Hartman, Esq. works with sensitivity, professionalism and compassion to ensure that all of your rights are protected during this difficult time.
With law offices conveniently located in Moorestown, New Jersey, The Hartman Group serves individuals and their families throughout New Jersey including those in Cherry Hill, Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Cumberland County, Cape May County, Salem County and Atlantic County. To discuss your New Jersey family law matter, including those relating to alimony issues, call us today to set up your free confidential consultation at 856-235-4511 or contact her online.