Edward R. Weinstein, Esq.Edward R. Weinstein, Esq.

New Jersey Alimony and Spousal Support

If you live in New Jersey and are getting a divorce, alimony is probably on your mind.  Whether you think you are going to receive it, or have to pay it, more than likely, alimony will be a hotly debated issue in your divorce negotiation.  Alimony, also called spousal support, is simply a financial paid from one ex-spouse to another one the divorce is final.  

The purpose is so spouses, regardless of income levels, can enjoy  a post-divorce lifestyle similar to the one enjoyed during the life of the marriage.  Additionally, it is available so one spouse is not left financially destitute after staying home to care for the house and children while the other built a substantial career during the marriage.  

One of the first steps in determining alimony is to understand the different types allowable in New Jersey and then determine which one(s) applies to your particular set of circumstances.   

Alimony can actually be required before you are officially divorced.  If you are going through the New Jersey divorce process, you may either receive, or be required to pay Pendente lite alimony.  Pendente lite is Latin and stands for "pending the litigation."   Please click here for more information on these arrangements.  

During that divorce process, you and your attorney will discuss the types of alimony that may be applicable to your particular circumstances.  There are four types of Alimony currently recognized in New Jersey in applications for divorce:  

Limited Duration Alimony – this type of support is granted until the dependent spouse has a change of circumstances, for instance, when the dependent spouse obtains a job.  The amount given and length of time is specified and is usually short-lived; 

Rehabilitative Alimony is awarded when it is believed that with training and/or education a spouse will be able to enter the workforce and find employment.  When this is awarded, there is a plan in which the dependent spouse shows the steps to be taken, time frame, and period in which the dependent spouse expects to become employed; 

Reimbursement alimony is given when one spouse supports the other through training and/or school – is appropriate when one party supported the other through an advanced education, anticipating that the dependent spouse would have enjoyed the earning spouse’s higher income;

Permanent Alimony is granted when it is believed that the dependent spouse will not be able to support himself/herself.  It continues for life or until remarriage.  generally awarded when a spouse is unable to become self-

supporting.  This type of alimony is often awarded for long-term marriages where one spouse exited the workforce to be home taking care of children and/or the home.  

Final divorce arrangements can include a combination of these types of alimony depending on the particular financial situations and employment opportunities of the divorcing spouses.  There are many factors and circumstances to be considered.  A skilled divorce attorney will be able to look at your situation and develop the best plan for your financial future.  This may include using different types of alimony  so you can receive training and then launch you into a very successful career.  

When going through a New Jersey divorce it is critical to fully understand each type of alimony and how each can apply to you.  The amounts and types of alimony you are awarded or that you have to pay, will have consequences on your child support payments and how other assets are divided.  One important note, alimony is tax deductible for the payor and taxable income for the receiver and those rules alone can have a significant impact on your financial picture.

If you believe you are going to have to pay alimony or if you think you deserve to receive it, it is critical to discuss your situation with an attorney experienced in handling New Jersey Alimony negotiation.  Not only are there legal options but also creative solutions to work out the best possible New Jersey alimony plan for your future.