Am I Entitled To Alimony? A Guide To Spousal Support In New Jersey
What is Alimony?
Spousal support, more colloquially known as alimony, is defined as monetary payments from one spouse to another after a divorce is final. The idea is to give the less financially established spouse an opportunity to get back on their feet following the dissolution of the marriage. Every state has different rules regarding spousal support, with different ways to calculate who is entitled to it, how much they should receive, and how long it should last. Here is a short guide to spousal support in New Jersey.
Types Of Spousal Support In New Jersey
There are five different types of spousal support in New Jersey. The first is temporary support, also known as alimony pendente lite. This is when one party pays support to the other during the pendency of the divorce proceedings. As the name suggests, this type is not permanent and often short-term, although after the divorce the order can be turned into the second type. The second type is known as limited duration spousal support. The payments will be based on a certain schedule for a specified period of time. The length of the duration depends on the circumstances of each case, which will be discussed below.
The next type of support is known as permanent alimony. This type is only awarded in special cases, usually after a lengthy marriage (20+ years) where the other spouse can show that they gave up significant opportunities and resources for the benefit of their marriage. The last two types are rehabilitative and reimbursement alimony. The former allows payments while one spouse pursues the training and education needed to get back on their feet, while the latter reimburses one spouse for their financial support while the other pursued higher education, as an example.
Factors Considered For Spousal Support
There is no specific formula for calculating how much spousal support someone is entitled to, and in some cases, no support is awarded at all. A number of different factors are considered in each case. Factors considered include: marriage duration, the disparity in income between the parties, the requesting spouse’s ability to financially support themselves at the time of the divorce, future healthcare needs, parenting responsibilities, each spouse’s earning potential, spousal contributions to the marriage (both financially and non-financially), and more. The judge will then balance all these factors are considered when determining a spouse entitlement to alimony.
Modification And Termination
If there is a significant change in one spouse’s circumstances such as losing a job, illness, or remarriage, a person can then petition the court to increase, decrease, or even terminate spousal support based on those changes. The onus is on the spouse looking to change the amount of alimony to provide the necessary evidence to support his or her claim. Be sure to seek the help of an experienced family law attorney to guide you through the process and be your advocate, no matter what stage of the divorce process you are in.
Contact a Cherry Hill Family Law Attorney To Discuss Your Alimony Case Today
If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with another matter such as child custody, child support, or property division you need to speak with a qualified attorney. Family law attorney Lois Garber Schwartz, Esq. represents clients throughout South Jersey and is ready to provide her clients a tailored and compassionate approach. Call 856-482-8799 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. The firm is conveniently located at 1040 Kings Highway N., Suite 202, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.