Alimony in New Jersey Divorces – Make Sure You Know the Different Types
As a result of the New Jersey Alimony Reform Act of 2014, if one spouse is found to be entitled to alimony in a New Jersey divorce, there are now four (4) types:
- Open durational alimony.
- Limited duration alimony.
- Rehabilitative alimony.
- Reimbursement alimony.
Deciding which type of alimony is appropriate in each case is challenging because there are no hard and fast rules.
Open Durational Alimony
The biggest change made by the New Jersey Alimony Reform Act of 2014 was to replace “permanent alimony” with “open durational alimony” in “long-term” marriages where one spouse is unable to maintain the marital lifestyle after the divorce without financial support from the other spouse.
There is no defined amount of time which constitutes a “long-term marriage” and, as the designation “open durational” indicates, there is no fixed termination date for this type of alimony.
If your marriage lasted less than 20 years, the term of the alimony cannot be longer than the length of the marriage—but even that can be changed if there are “exceptional circumstances.”
Limited Duration Alimony
Limited duration alimony is generally given where alimony is appropriate in a relatively “short-term” marriage. However, there is no definition of a “short-term marriage” in New Jersey Family Law, so that is an issue which must be decided on a case-by-case basis.
Rehabilitative alimony is appropriate when the spouse who is receiving alimony will be able to be self-supporting by the end of the alimony period because, for example, he/she is pursuing an education that will ultimately allow him/her to procure employment.
Reimbursement alimony is probably the easiest to define, because it is designed to “reimburse” a spouse who helped pay for his/her spouse’s education or professional license.
Of course, the appropriate type of alimony is only part of the issue. The parties must also decide on the amount of the alimony, which is challenging in and of itself because there are no hard and fast rules in New Jersey regarding that issue.
It therefore is not surprising that alimony is one of the most difficult issues to resolve in a New Jersey divorce case—not to mention one of the most important.
You really need experienced legal assistance to help resolve that issue.
Salvaggio Law Group devotes its entire practice to New Jersey Divorce and Family Law matters, including those related to alimony. If you want to talk, please call us at 973-447-4981 or fill out the Contact Form on our firm’s website.