Alimony, sometimes also called spousal support, can be a contentious issue during divorce so it is useful for divorcing couples to understand. Alimony refers to payments made by one spouse to the other spouse after dissolution. Because alimony is a significant concern, divorcing couples should be familiar with how the family law process handles alimony requests.
Either spouse can request alimony and either spouse can receive alimony. If alimony is granted during divorce, it may be granted in different ways so it is also helpful to be familiar with how alimony is determined and what it will look like for the divorcing spouses. Alimony may be awarded for a period of time or in a lump sum, for example. Also, for marriages and civil unions that have lasted longer than 20 years, alimony will not be granted for longer than the length of the marriage except in exceptional circumstances.
The four types of alimony that may be awarded in New Jersey include open durational alimony, rehabilitative alimony, limited duration alimony and reimbursement alimony. When determining and awarding alimony, the family law court considers a variety of factors including the need and ability of the spouses to pay, the duration of the marriage or civil union, the earning capacities of each of the spouses, responsibilities for children, the tax implications for each of the spouses and each spouse contributions to the marriage or civil union.
When divorcing spouses understand how alimony is determined, they can better advocate for their interests. Understanding alimony basics in New Jersey can help them do that and better prepare themselves for their alimony concerns during divorce.