Tanya L. Freeman

Spousal Support

By Tanya L. Freeman, Attorney at Law

Tanya L. Freeman and her team of skilled legal professionals take great care to ensure that alimony agreements are both fair and personalized. To achieve this, we meticulously assess each spouse’s unique contributions, with the goal of avoiding any undue advantage being taken of one spouse’s circumstances. By taking this approach, we are able to provide our clients with alimony agreements that accurately reflect their individual situations and are equitable for all parties involved.


Spouses, domestic partners, and same-sex spouses may be eligible for spousal support, also known as alimony. The reasons for spousal support may include:

  • One spouse dedicating their time and energy to parenting instead of pursuing a paying profession
  • One spouse requiring education and training to become financially independent after a divorce
  • One spouse is not able to maintain the marital standard of living without financial assistance from the other spouse

When determining alimony claims, the New Jersey court system considers various factors, including the financial and non-financial contributions made by each party during the marriage. This takes into account things like how much time one spouse spends on household or childcare duties, how much money one spouse sacrificed to advance in their career while the other pursued their education, and other pertinent factors. Even after a divorce has been finalized, the court may consider allowing modifications to an alimony agreement if significant changes in circumstances warrant such changes. Such changes may include job loss by the paying spouse, remarriage or cohabitation by the receiving spouse, or disability, among others.

Should you require assistance submitting an initial alimony or spousal support claim, or if you wish to modify an existing one to ensure that your agreement is fair and reasonable, Tanya L. Freeman and her experienced team are available to help. We understand the intricacies of the legal system and can provide the guidance and support you need to achieve your desired outcome.

Need Legal Advice About Spousal Support?

Call Tanya L. Freeman, Attorney at Law, at (973) 939-0100!

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What You Need to Learn About Spousal Support

What is Spousal Support?

In family law, spousal support, or alimony, is an important concept to understand. This refers to the financial assistance provided by one spouse to the other during and after a separation or divorce. In the state of New Jersey, the goal is to divide assets in an equitable manner, taking into account the financial impact of the divorce on the spouse with fewer assets. It’s worth noting that alimony payments are limited to the duration of the marriage, rather than being granted permanently. This ensures that the financial burden of the separation is shared fairly between both parties.

What are the Types of Spousal Support in New Jersey?

Temporary (Pendente Lite) Alimony

In the state of New Jersey, pendente lite alimony serves as a temporary form of financial support that is granted to a spouse during divorce proceedings. Both parties can agree on this type of support, or one spouse can ask the court for help. In determining whether to grant pendente lite alimony, the court will take into account a variety of factors, including the financial status of both spouses, their income, expenses, and any other relevant financial information. Additionally, the court may order one spouse to provide a retainer for the other’s legal representation, further ensuring that both parties are able to adequately navigate the divorce process.

Open-Duration Alimony

Open-duration alimony is also commonly referred to as everlasting alimony. One of the key features of open-duration alimony is that it does not come with a specific expiration date, meaning that it can potentially continue indefinitely. This can be a source of significant financial support for the recipient, but it can also be a point of contention between former spouses, particularly if the payer feels that the alimony is no longer necessary or appropriate.

Rehabilitative Alimony

In cases where one partner requires financial assistance to pursue education or training for the purpose of gaining employment and achieving financial independence, judges may grant rehabilitative alimony. In the state of New Jersey, the spouse seeking support must provide evidence of their training needs, as well as their plans and timeline for rehabilitation, which should include a period of employment after recovery. This is an important step towards ensuring a stable and secure future for both parties involved.

Limited-Duration Alimony

When a short-term marriage ends, it is not uncommon for courts to award limited-duration alimony to accommodate the financial necessities of one spouse. This approach is deemed more appropriate than awarding permanent or rehabilitative alimony, as it takes into account the notion that marriage constitutes a financial partnership. It is understandable that one spouse may require financial support to achieve independence after the dissolution of the marriage, and this is an essential consideration in such cases.

Reimbursement Alimony

Reimbursement alimony is a form of financial support awarded by the court to a spouse who has provided monetary assistance towards their partner’s higher education. This type of alimony is granted with the agreement that the spouse who provides support will benefit from the increased earning potential their partner will gain from their education. It is important to note that once a court awards reimbursement alimony, it cannot be modified in the future, making it a significant and binding decision.

Depending on the couple’s circumstances and the nature of the case, judges may deviate from the recommendations, even while New Jersey law provides fundamental guidelines as to which of these types of alimony a court should award.

How is Alimony Determined in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the calculation of alimony payments involves a thorough analysis of various statutory factors. It is essential to carefully consider these factors to ensure a fair and just outcome for both parties involved. Consulting with a knowledgeable lawyer can help you understand how these factors apply to your specific case as well as how you can navigate the complexities of alimony calculations and secure a favorable outcome.

The factors that have the most significant impact on alimony determinations include:

The Tax Implications Of Alimony Payments

When it comes to alimony payments, it’s important to consider the tax implications. In the past, recipients of alimony were required to report it as taxable income, while payers were able to deduct the payments from their taxes. However, as of 2019, this has changed. It’s crucial to stay up-to-date on the current tax laws regarding alimony payments to ensure compliance and avoid any potential complications.

Length of Marriage

Under New Jersey law, an alimony obligation is not automatically established based on a specific length of marriage. If the marriage lasted less than 20 years, alimony will generally not be paid for more than the length of the marriage, unless there are exceptional circumstances such as chronic illness of the dependent spouse or whether or not the spouse in need is the primary caregiver of the children.

The Standard of Living

The court determines if one spouse needs financial assistance to maintain a lifestyle similar to their marital standard. They also evaluate if the other spouse can afford to provide the assistance while maintaining a corresponding standard of living.

The Age and Health of Each Spouse

When going through a divorce, it’s crucial to take into account the age and health of each spouse. These are significant factors that can directly impact their ability to financially support themselves or re-enter the workforce. In situations where one spouse is considerably older or has health issues that restrict their ability to work, they may encounter difficulties generating enough funds to sustain themselves post-divorce.

Each Spouse’s Income

Alimony aims to address income inequality resulting from divorce or separation. The court examines each spouse’s income to determine their financial needs and ability to maintain their different standards of living post-marriage, including income from marital property distribution.

History of Each Spouse’s Financial or Non-Financial Contributions to the Marriage

In the context of divorce, the state of New Jersey places great emphasis on recognizing the various contributions made by both spouses throughout the course of their marriage. This recognition extends to the financial aspect of the relationship, as the court aims to ensure that an equitable distribution of assets and income is achieved. 

Alimony orders are an important tool for addressing any economic discrepancies that may arise as a result of the dissolution of the marriage, regardless of whether one spouse was the primary earner or both individuals contributed equally to the household. By taking a fair and balanced approach to alimony orders, the court helps to ensure that the financial stability of both spouses is maintained post-divorce.

Each Spouse’s Earning Capacity

This depends on factors like education, work history, parental responsibilities, and the potential need for additional training or education to be eligible for relevant employment.

Helping You Through the Nuances of Spousal Support

If you need assistance understanding spousal support or require alimony payments, please get in touch with us immediately so we can discuss your circumstances. We recognize that partners rarely have the same financial responsibilities in a marriage. Tanya L. Freeman, Attorney at Law, our adept family law attorney specializes in providing tailored strategies for fair and favorable spousal support transitions. With a compassionate approach, we offer personalized attention to your unique circumstances, ensuring comprehensive legal support as you work towards a more secure future.

Looking for a Reputable Divorce Lawyer?

Call Tanya L. Freeman, Attorney at Law, at (973) 939-0100!

Tanya L. Freeman, Attorney At Law
100 Eagle Rock Avenue, Suite 105
East Hanover, New Jersey 07936
(973) 939-0100