One of the most stressful and emotional components of a divorce is alimony, or spousal support. Besides alimony, the other 3 common components in a divorce are parenting plans, child support and equitable distribution of assets and liabilities.
Alimony is typically awarded when one spouse earns substantially more than the other, where the marriage has lasted for several years. If both spouses earn close to the same amount, or if the marriage has been short, spousal support may not be included in the divorce.
Alimony’s purpose is to help the spouse with the lower earnings to make the transition from married to single and become self-sufficient after the divorce. Awarding alimony is based on need and may be granted to either partner in the marriage.
4 Types of Alimony
A party in a divorce may be granted one of 4 types of alimony:
- Open durational. This type of alimony is awarded after a long-term marriage of 20 years or more. It is of open duration, meaning that it will continue until both parties agree to terminate it, or the court terminates it. The amount of alimony can be changed due to a substantial change of circumstances and generally will end when the payer spouse reaches full retirement age.
- Limited durational. Unlike open durational, this type of alimony is used where the marriage lasted less than 20 years. The alimony term is specified in years and generally doesn’t exceed the length of the marriage. Unless there are unusual circumstances, the court can modify the amount but not the term of this alimony.
- Rehabilitative. The court may award rehabilitative alimony to allow the receiving spouse complete necessary job training or education in order to gain employment and become more self-sufficient. This short-term alimony can be modified by the court if circumstances change.
- Reimbursement. If one party supported the other through an advanced education, this type of alimony can reimburse that party via an award for household expenses and educational costs. This order cannot be modified.
Factors that Influence the Amount and Terms of Alimony
The factors that will determine the amount and terms of any alimony award include the following, among others:
- Need and ability of the parties to pay
- Duration of the marriage
- Physical and emotional health of the parties
- Ages of the parties
- Standard of living established in the marriage
- Likelihood that each party can maintain a reasonable comparable standard of living
- Earning capacities, vocational skills, educational levels and employability of the partiesParental responsibilities for any children
- History of contributions, either financial or non-financial, to the marriage including those for the care and education of the children
- Equitable distribution ordered of property
- Any other factors which the court may deem relevant
Our firm has the right experience representing clients in alimony cases in New Jersey. We will work to get optimal results for the outcome you deserve.
Let Us Help If You Are Going Through a Divorce
If you or a family member has experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment of any kind or has been injured in an accident or by any other type of personal injury, or needs help with any employment discrimination or family law issue, contact the Law Offices of Paul S. Foreman, P.C. immediately. We have the right experience to get the optimal results for your case. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorney Paul S. Foreman, personal injury attorney in Essex, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at 973-315-3232 or contact us via the website.