New Jersey Alimony Lawyers
New Jersey Alimony Laws
New Jersey courts have held that the purpose of alimony is to provide the dependent spouse with a level of support and standard of living generally commensurate with the quality of economic life that existed during the marriage.
The New Jersey Alimony Act
N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(b) sets forth statutory factors to be considered when determining an alimony claim, as follows:
1.The actual need and ability of the parties to pay;
2.The duration of the marriage or civil union;
3.The age, physical and emotional health of the parties
4. The standard of living established in the marriage or civil union and the likelihood that each party can maintain a reasonably comparable standard of living, with neither party having a greater entitlement to that standard of living than the other;
5. The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties;
6. The length of absence from the job market of the party seeking maintenance;
7. The parental responsibilities for the children;
8. The time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment, the availability of the training and employment, and the opportunity for future acquisitions of capital assets and income;
9. The history of the financial or non-financial contributions to the marriage or civil union by each party including contributions to the care and education of the children and interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities;
10. The equitable distribution of property ordered and any payouts on equitable distribution, directly or indirectly, out of current income, to the extent this consideration is reasonable, just and fair;
11. The income available to either party through investment of any assets held by that party;
12. The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award, including the designation of all or a portion of the payment as a non-taxable payment;
13. The nature, amount, and length of pendente lite support paid, if any; and
14. Any other factors which the court may deem relevant.
No one factor is determinative and all factors should be given weight in the determination of an alimony award. In addition, there is no official alimony formula to be used to determine the alimony amount.
Types of Alimony in New Jersey
1. Open Durational Alimony
In September of 2014, the New Jersey legislature replaced “permanent alimony” with the term “open durational alimony.” Open duration alimony is awarded when the length of the marriage is twenty years or more and a dependent spouse has an unequal present or future earning capacity in comparison to the supporting spouse. There is a rebuttable presumption that open durational alimony ends when the supporting spouse reaches full retirement age).
2. Limited Duration Alimony
Limited duration alimony is alimony for a limited period of time that cannot exceed the length of the marriage. This type of alimony is used in marriages that last less than 20 years.
3. Rehabilitative Alimony
Rehabilitative alimony may be awarded for a short, but specific and terminable period of time until the recipient is in a position of self-support. Rehabilitative alimony is appropriate in situations where, for example, a dependent spouse has sacrificed by postponing his/her education or training to support the household and will need to develop skills that will allow him/her to obtain suitable employment.
4. Reimbursement Alimony
Reimbursement alimony is awarded when one spouse has provided financial support to the other spouse while the latter obtained a higher level of education. In these situations, the dependent spouse anticipated that future benefits derived from the higher level of education would be enjoyed by both parties. Reimbursement alimony can include tuition and expenses, as well as any other costs related to obtaining a degree or training.
In addition to the four types of alimony noted above, a court may award pendente lite (temporary) alimony as well. An application for pendente lite alimony is based on necessity. Its purpose is to provide a dependent spouse with a means of support while the parties are living separately and before the divorce is finalized. In determining the amount of temporary support, the court will consider the financial circumstances of the parties, the dependent spouse’s needs, the supporting spouse’s means, and the standard of living to which the parties had become accustomed. The decision to award pendente lite support is within the sole discretion of the court and there is no fixed formula or amount that is likely to be ordered.
Contact Our Experienced New Jersey Alimony Attorneys
If you have questions about New Jersey alimony support, you may need the guidance of an experienced family law attorney.
At Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, Trigg, O’Cathain & O’Cathain, LLC, our team of New Jersey alimony lawyers are experienced, dedicated, and committed to help those going through very difficult times. Contact us today at 201-488-1161 for a legal consultation with our New Jersey Alimony Attorneys.