Understanding Alimony

Understanding Alimony

As a New Jersey Alimony Lawyer, I am often asked what people should know about alimony and spousal support. Here is a rundown about understanding alimony

In cases where a large disparity exists between the incomes of divorcing parties, courts may order one spouse to pay alimony to the other.

Aside for the income disparity, several other factors affect the calculation of alimony – including the couple’s lifestyle during the marriage, the dependent spouse’s needs, and the paying spouse’s ability to pay.

The length and amount of alimony are based on many statutory factors, and an attorney can guide you in understanding the process.

When determining whether or not a court should grant alimony, how much should be awarded, and for how long it should continue, New Jersey courts evaluate several statutory factors, including a couple’s length of marriage, their standard of living during the marriage, the relative income of each individual, and the needs of each spouse.

Alimony is a frequently litigated issue in divorce, and while courts and lawyers strive to split marital assets equitably, equitable does not necessarily mean equal, and a share of your marital property might not, on its own, guarantee your financial security. In many cases, alimony may be part of that equation. Our team will always work to reach a fair agreement between our client and the opposing party.

There are five types of alimony in New Jersey:

If you’re requesting alimony, the judge may award you one (or any combination) of five types of support: temporary (pendente lite), limited duration, rehabilitative, reimbursement, or permanent alimony.

  1. pendent lite- this alimony is granted only while the divorce is pending. It is meant to be given to the spouse who was dependent on their partner financially and need help to put a roof over their head.
  2. limited duration – this alimony is given to the party who needs financial support in order to become self sufficient. This can be for them to get a degree and find a career path or likewise so that eventually they do not need the alimony anymore.
  3. rehabilitative- this alimony is given to the financially dependent spouse when they need help financially affording specialized training and education in order for them to achieve being financially independent. The court won’t give this out until the receive spouse is able to show their plan to accomplish financial independence.
  4. reimbursement – this type of alimony is meant to reimburse one spouse for something that they financially supported the other spouse through. An example of this is if the one spouse financially backed their partner’s efforts to get a nursing degree and now they will be receiving reimbursement for that financial support.
  5. permanent – this type of alimony is not as common as the other four. It is meant only for marriages that are long term and where one partner was financially dependent. It doesn’t necessarily last forever, but it lasts for as long as the financially dependent spouse needs it if they can prove that they cannot survive without it.

Do you have questions about understanding alimony and spousal support process?  Contact New Jersey Alimony Lawyer Tanya L. Freeman.

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