Alimony is support paid to a spouse under certain circumstances.
In New Jersey there are 4 types of alimony:
Open durational alimony is available to parties where the marriage has endured 20 years or longer. As the name suggests, open durational alimony is paid for an open time period without a specific end date terminating the obligation.
Limited duration alimony is, essentially, alimony paid for a specified time period not to exceed the actual length of the marriage itself unless warranted by exceptional circumstances.
Rehabilitative alimony is appropriate where the recipient advances a plan for reentering the workforce and/or earning a higher income. The award of alimony correlates to the plan.
Reimbursement alimony may be awarded where one party supported the other through an advanced education.
If you are a member of a civil union (i.e., generally a type of precursor to same sex marriage) New Jersey’s alimony law, inclusive of the factors below, applies to your relationship as well.
Alimony can be awarded after the Complaint is filed but before the Judgment of divorce is granted. Such an award is made on an interim basis and is referred to as pendente lite alimony.
A court can order the above types of alimony singularly or in combination with one another. However, open durational and limited duration alimony awards are the most common of the 4 available types.
Except for reimbursement alimony, alimony can be modified based on a material change in circumstances.
Alimony ends upon the death of a party, which is why the obligation is usually secured by life insurance.
Except for reimbursement alimony, the alimony recipient’s cohabitation with a non-family member can result in the termination or suspension of alimony.
The good faith retirement of the party paying alimony, under certain circumstances, may result in the reduction or termination of alimony.
The remarriage of the party receiving alimony generally terminates the alimony obligation.
There is no formula for alimony in New Jersey. Instead judges must determine an equitable alimony award based on a weighing of the following factors (NJSA 2A:34-23):
The actual need and ability of the parties to pay;
The duration of the marriage;
The age, physical and emotional health of the parties;
The standard of living established in the marriage and the likelihood that each party can maintain a reasonably comparable standard of living, with neither party having a greater entitlement to that standard of living than the other;
The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties;
The length of absence from the job market of the party seeking maintenance;
The parental responsibilities for the children;
The time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment, the availability of the training and employment, and the opportunity for future acquisitions of capital assets and income;
The history of the financial or non-financial contributions to the marriage by each party including contributions to the care and education of the children and interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities;
The equitable distribution of property ordered and any payouts on equitable distribution, directly or indirectly, out of current income, to the extent this consideration is reasonable, just and fair;
The income available to either party through investment of any assets held by that party;
The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award, including the designation of all or a portion of the payment as a non-taxable payment;
The nature, amount, and length of pendente lite support paid, if any; and
Any other factors which the court may deem relevant.
Jennifer and Erin have extensive experience with alimony issues including those involving executive and deferred compensation, and where retirement, cohabitation, changes in income, and other circumstances have inspired applications to modify existing awards.
Lazor Rantas, PC exclusively handles family matters including those involving:
Agreements including premarital, cohabitation, post-marital, separation, marital, and custody and parenting time agreements.