What is Alimony?

In New Jersey divorce cases the award of alimony is often a very contentious issue. Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a monetary award that is given so that the divorcing spouse is not financially devastated once the divorce is finalized. However, the aware of alimony sometimes financially devastates the person paying the alimony. There are actually several different types of alimony awards that are available In New Jersey. Understanding what these are and when they may come into play, it important so that you can know what you are up against. Once you understand that, you can that work to fight against it to minimize your exposure. The two most common types of alimony are limited duration and permanent but I will first discuss two other types.

Rehabilitative Alimony in NJ

This type of alimony award permits a short-term award from one party in a divorce case to enable the former spouse to complete preparations for economic self-sufficiency. Once the spouse who is receiving the alimony award is in a position of self-support, the alimony award is ceased and no further payments are made. If the spouse gave up or postponed his or her own education to support the household, or is looking to pursue an education, he or she may be eligible for rehabilitative alimony. The focus of this type of alimony is upon the ability of a dependent spouse to engage in gainful employment, combined with the age of parties, length of the marriage and the spouse's ability to regain a place of employment. This alimony can be given as a lump sum or a short-term award through monthly payments.

Reimbursement Alimony in NJ

Reimbursement alimony is a very rare type of award in New Jersey. This type of alimony has previously been characterized as not true spousal support but as an equitable creation designed to eliminate injustice. An example of this is when a spouse has made financial sacrifices that have resulted in a reduced standard of living while enabling the other spouse to forgo gainful employment by securing an advanced degree or professional license. This is usually done initially to help raise the standard of living of the couple when they were still together. If the financial sacrifice can be proven in court, then he or she may be able to receive a reimbursement alimony award. This may be awarded separately or, in some cases, in combination with any other form of alimony.

Limited Duration Alimony in NJ

One of the most frequently awarded alimony obligations in New Jersey is limited duration alimony. This type of spousal support is awarded in recognition of a dependent spouse's contributions to a relatively short-term marriage. Unless the case involves a situation where reimbursement or rehabilitative alimony would be more appropriate, limited duration alimony is usually considered. The key point about limited duration alimony is that there is a definitive end date. While this type of alimony can be modified, there are sometimes provisions that make this impossible. You'll have to discuss this issue with your lawyer.

Permanent Alimony in NJ

The term of permanent alimony is actually a bit of a misnomer. This type of alimony should really be called long-term alimony, as almost no alimony obligation is really permanent. Permanent alimony is typically awarded after a lengthy marriage for an unlimited duration. This is done in recognition of prolonged economic dependence and sustained contribution to the marriage. If the duration of the marriage was short-term, then typically a limited duration alimony is used instead. Retirement is generally the end date for permanent alimony. However, there is no specific age at which one can retire. Instead, a motion must be filed. As a result, the motion can be denied which means that alimony can continue post-retirement.

Regardless of what type of alimony your case involves, our New Jersey divorce lawyers can help you reduce or eliminate your alimony obligation. There are a number of strategic moves that can be made throughout your divorce case to keep this obligation as low as possible. Call us at 732-773-2768 to discuss your case and how we can help you avoid all of these types of alimony.

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