Who Is Entitled To Alimony?

Many individuals need financial support during and after their divorce to maintain the lifestyle they lived during marriage, or to get back on their feet after divorce. This financial support in New Jersey is called alimony and is paid by the individual's former spouse based on financial need. There are several forms of alimony in New Jersey, and multiple forms may be active simultaneously. Reach out to our attorneys if you need assistance or an education on whether you may be obligated to pay alimony or potentially entitled to receive alimony in a divorce

The different forms of alimony recognized in New Jersey include: Open Durational Alimony (formerly known as "permanent alimony"); Limited Duration Alimony; Rehabilitative Alimony; and Reimbursement Alimony. Depending on the facts of the particular case, the court may award one or more forms of alimony."

Open Durational Alimony

This is a permanent form of alimony that is generally available only for those marriages lasting more than 20 years. In such settings, the court may award open durational alimony, which presumably will remain in effect until the paying spouse retires (although this alimony can be modified or terminated under certain circumstances prior to the date of retirement or can extend past the date of retirement).

Limited Duration Alimony

This is a limited form of alimony that is available for those marriages lasting less than 20 years and where the party seeking the alimony award is not seeking to return to school to improve his / her work skills to earn a higher income setting. When appropriate, a judge may grant limited duration alimony based on an individual's financial needs, allowing the individual to receive funds for a specific period of time - limited duration. However, except under extremely limited settings, limited duration alimony cannot exceed the length of the marriage.

Rehabilitative Alimony

Rehabilitative alimony provides support to individuals who are economically dependent but who seek to improve their financial setting after their divorce with a specific educational plan / employment plan. Choosing to go to graduate school, for example can be a basis for a court to award a party rehabilitative alimony with the support to remain in place for a specific duration while the dependent spouse is pursuing his / her educational requirements.

Reimbursement Alimony

Reimbursement alimony is designed to reimburse one spouse for the financial contributions they made to the other spouse's education or career (during the marriage). Reimbursement alimony is a unique creation since the person seeking an award may not be an economically dependent spouse but the claim is that it is not fair that he / she assisted in payment of the other spouse's education ( i.e. helping to pay for the other spouse to go to medical school and payment of their expenses while in their residency program) and then when they are finished with their education and ready to make significantly more money in a new career, they dump the former spouse. In that limited setting, the court system has acknowledged that the setting is not "fair" and therefore the other spouse has the right to seek reimbursement of the monies expended on that pursuit.

Who Can Receive Alimony?

Alimony is available to the economically dependent spouse regardless of whether that spouse is a male or a female. To determine whether a spouse is entitled to alimony, the court must consider all of the statutory factors in deciding if an award of alimony is appropriate. Those factors include parental responsibilities for children, employability and the person's history of employment, financial needs and standard of living during their marriage. Conversely, an award of Alimony cannot be based on allegations of fault in New Jersey.

Advocating For The People Of New Jersey

If you are concerned about how your finances will be impacted by your divorce, or if you are unsure as to whether you will be entitled to alimony in your divorce, call the attorneys at Diamond & Diamond, P.A., right away to schedule a consultation to review your current marital setting. Our alimony attorneys can be reached at (973) 379-9292 or via email. Initial divorce consultations are free.


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