If you are considering a divorce, you may be wondering whether you would qualify for alimony (spousal support). In New Jersey, there are different types of alimony. Depending on the length of your marriage, the financial support may range from temporary to indefinite in length. In marriages of less than 20 years, the alimony can’t exceed the length of the marriage.
Types of Alimony in New Jersey
It’s possible to qualify for more than one type of alimony as your divorce progresses through the court system. Keep in mind that if you qualify for temporary support, it doesn’t necessarily mean that this situation will be permanent.
1. Temporary Support During the Divorce
If your ex left you without the ability to support yourself and your family, a judge may decide to award you temporary support while your divorce is pending. Any amount paid by your ex may be taken into account when a court decides on a final amount for alimony. Your ex may be given for the support he paid while the divorce was pending.
2. Rehabilitative Alimony
If you need time to upgrade your education or get skills training so that you can support yourself, a judge may order rehabilitative alimony. This type of support allows you to “rehabilitate” so that you can (re)enter the workforce. The financial support would be available for a limited time and would cover costs such as tuition, books and living expenses.
The judge may order this type of alimony to last until young children are old enough to go to school, saving you the cost of full-time childcare when you seek employment. Your ex may be ordered to pay rehabilitative alimony for a few months so that you can find a job and start earning a regular income.
3. Limited Duration Alimony
This type of spousal support is ordered for a set amount of time. The judge may decide that your ex should pay the alimony to you only for a certain number of months or years. The goal is to help you become self-supporting and get to the same standard of living you had during your marriage.
In many instances, this is the type of alimony the judge will decide to award in a divorce case. Several factors come into play when making the decision, including your ability to support yourself, the ability of your ex to pay alimony and the length of your marriage. In New Jersey, term alimony can’t exceed the length of your marriage.
4. Open Durational Alimony
This is the term used in place of permanent alimony. At one time, it was more common for judges to award spousal support on an ongoing basis. Now, it is only ordered for marriages that have lasted 20 years or more, unless extraordinary circumstances exist.
Some examples where you could potentially qualify for open durational alimony may include the following:
- You have never worked and have been a full-time homemaker and caregiver to children throughout your long-term marriage.
- You are disabled or live with a chronic illness that makes it challenging to find work where you can support yourself.
- You have a disabled child who relies on your personal care. It wouldn’t be reasonable for you to go to work and pay someone to take on these duties.
This type of alimony generally ends when your ex reaches retirement age.
5. Reimbursement Alimony
You may qualify to receive reimbursement alimony if you can show that contributed financially to your ex’s education or career. Here’s an example:
You were the main income earner while your ex went to college or pursued job training. At the time, you understood that both of you would benefit from the better job with increased earnings, better benefits, etc., your ex would have after completing school or the training. Your relationship with your ex ends. You can ask for reimbursement alimony as compensation for the amount you paid out for tuition, living expenses, and other costs.
Since alimony is decided on a case-by-case basis, you’ll want to have an experienced divorce attorney to advise you. Rodríguez Family Law is the right choice for people like you who are facing a challenging time in their lives. Let us help you today. Start by sending an email or calling us at 862-241-1228.