Learn More About Alimony in New Jersey
In recent years, the alimony statutes in New Jersey have finally gotten a few updates. And if you’re getting a divorce and you’re expecting to be getting or paying for alimony, you need to know the basics of how it is determined in the state.
First is the question everyone asks: Am I entitled to receive alimony? And for such a simple question, it’s impossible to give an answer. That’s because the final decision will rest with the judge. There are 14 – that’s right, 14 – statutory factors the court must consider when determining spousal support. These factors are:
- The need and ability of the parties to pay
- The duration of the union
- The age, physical, and emotional health of the parties
- The standard of living that was established during the union and the likelihood that each party can maintain that standard or comparable standard of living with neither party have a greater entitlement (i.e. your ex’s standard of living can drastically increase because he/she makes more than you).
- The earning capacity, educational level, vocational skills, and employability of the parties
- Length of absence from the job market if one party needs employment
- The parental responsibilities for the children
- The time and expense necessary to acquire training or education to find appropriate employment
- The history of the financial or non-financial contributions to the union by each party
- The equitable distribution of property
- The income available to either party through investment of any assets
- The tax treatment and consequences on both parties of any alimony award
- The nature, amount, and length of pendente lite support paid, if any
- Any other factors the court may deem relevant
Once these factors are taken into account, the court has a choice of four different types of alimony it could award you or your ex.
- Open Duration Alimony – This new statute will only be awarded following a long-term marriage (more than 20 years) and when the parties have an unequal present and/or future earning capacity. This award can be changed in if there was a significant change in circumstances, such as one party gets remarried.
- Limited Duration Alimony – This is awarded when the marriage lasted less than 20 years. It means you will receive alimony for the length of the marriage. So if you were married only 10 years, that’s how long you will receive alimony payments.
- Rehabilitative Alimony – This is designed to support a financially dependent former spouse who has decided to enroll in a training or education program to become more employable.
- Reimbursement Alimony – This is ordered when one former spouse was the sole breadwinner while the other was pursuing an advanced degree. This allows that former spouse to get any extra income for helping the other party increase his/her income.