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

New Jersey Alimony Duration

Spousal support is often a contentious issue in divorces. Determining who will be paying alimony, how much they will be paying, and for how long, can be a complicated process. However, there are certain considerations that can simplify the process.

New Jersey alimony duration depends on what type of alimony it is designated as, but the general rule is if the marriage or civil union lasted less than 20 years in duration, the term of the alimony shall not exceed the length of the marriage, except in exceptional circumstances. If you want to know more about spousal support duration, consult a qualified alimony attorney that can advocate for you.

Determining Alimony Duration

The court, the divorcing parties, and the attorneys must consider certain spousal support factors when determining New Jersey alimony duration. They need to consider the impact of the need for separate residence for each party, the increase in living expenses of both parties, and its effect on their attaining the reasonably comparable standard of living each enjoyed during the marriage. Each party has an equal right to the same standard of living.

Those are additional factors to be considered in terms of the length of the marriage. In exceptional circumstances, for different types of spousal support, the award length will vary. Under open durational, that typically will last until the paying spouse retires (and there are rules about retirement). For limited duration alimony, it will last the length of the term that is designated in the divorce decree. If the parties agree that the paying spouse will pay the receiving spouse $1,000 a month for 10 years, the length is 10 years.

Rehabilitative alimony is a plan to get the other party back on their feet, so to speak, and would have a term included in the agreement. Reimbursement alimony is paid until the reimbursement is paid in full.

Factors That Play a Role in Spousal Support Duration Adjustment

There are some factors that may affect the duration of spousal support in New Jersey after it has been awarded:

  • The ages of the parties at the time of the marriage and then at the time of the award
  • The degree and duration of the dependency on one party on the other during the marriage
  • Whether a spouse or partner has a chronic illness or unusual health condition
  • Whether the spouse or partner has given up a career opportunity or supported the career of the other
  • Whether the spouse or partner received a disproportionate share of equitable distribution
  • The impact of the marriage or civil union on either party's ability to become self-supporting, including the party's responsibility to primarily care for the child
  • Tax considerations of either party
  • Any other factor that the court deems equitable, relevant, and material
Behaviors to Avoid While Going Through Legal Proceedings for Alimony Payments

People should never try to hide money or be sneaky with the court. The Case Information Statement needs to be exchanged during a divorce proceeding by court rule. Not only will the court have a copy, but their future ex-spouse will have it.

If they claim that they do not have money and are hiding it, and the court finds out, it is not going to bode well with the court. The court’s impression of the person can be a factor that the court deems relevant. The parties should not try to under-employ themselves voluntarily, because if they decide to do that, they can simply be imputed at a higher income level and they will not have the money and will be held to a higher standard for their income potential, finding themselves in a difficult financial situation. 

If an individual wants to know more about New Jersey alimony duration, they should consult a skilled alimony lawyer that can answer their questions, and fight for a positive outcome for them.