Serving Divorce, Child Custody and Family Law Clients in Freehold and Metuchin New Jersey
When going through a divorce, understanding the financial implications can be one of the most stressful parts of the process. For most people, the future seems uncertain, and whether you will need to rely on alimony or expect to have to support your ex-spouse, figuring who will owe what for how long is often at the top of the list of priorities. If you are preparing to file for divorce and have questions about alimony, the attorneys at Romanowski Law Offices can help you understand your options and use alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods or litigation to enforce your legal rights.
Determining the Type of Alimony
In New Jersey, there are five different types of alimony, each awarded under different circumstances. The first step toward determining your right to receive (or obligation to pay) spousal support is determining which type(s) of alimony apply. The different types are:
- Open Durational Alimony – Open durational alimony replaced the concept of “permanent alimony” with the enactment of the New Jersey Alimony Reform Act of 2014. While the New Jersey courts would previously award lifetime alimony to ex-spouses who needed financial support after ending a long-term marriage, now, open durational alimony generally caps the length of time that an ex-spouse can receive alimony at the length of the marriage. However, note that there are still caveats for “exceptional circumstances.”
- Limited-Duration Alimony – With limited-duration alimony, one ex-spouse is required to financially support the other until the supported spouse finds a job or has another relevant change of circumstances.
- Rehabilitative Alimony – Rehabilitative alimony provides financial support for an ex-spouse who requires training or education in order to re-enter the workforce following the dissolution of the marriage. This form of alimony is most common when one spouse stopped working in order to provide household support for the couple’s family. In order to receive rehabilitative alimony, the dependent spouse will be required to show that he or she has a plan for completing a course of study and finding gainful employment within a specified period of time.
- Reimbursement Alimony – If one spouse paid for the other’s advanced education during the marriage with the expectation that they would benefit from higher income as a result, the paying spouse can seek compensation in the form of reimbursement alimony.
- Pendente Lite Alimony – Pendente lite is Latin for “pending the litigation.” If you and your spouse choose not to live together while you work through your divorce and you are reliant on your spouse’s income for your everyday expenses, you can petition the court for pendente lite alimony in order to prevent your spouse from cutting you off. Depending on your personal circumstances, pendente lite alimony may or may not be necessary. If it is, we can act quickly to help ensure that you have financial stability while your divorce is pending.
It is important to note that the different types of alimony are not mutually exclusive. In other words, it is quite possible that a spouse could receive pendente lite alimony for support during the divorce, reimbursement alimony for money spent to allow his or her spouse to find a higher-paying job, rehabilitative alimony if he or she then took a career hiatus to raise the family’s children, and open durational or limited-duration alimony to provide financial stability for a period of time after the divorce is final.
Determining the Amount and Duration of Alimony
In determining the amount and duration of alimony, the New Jersey courts focus on a list of factors relating to the parties’ contributions to the marriage, incomes, standard of living, and anticipated financial needs following their divorce. Except in unusual circumstances, marital “fault” generally does not come into play. When you work with a divorce attorney at Romanowski Law Offices, we will go through the same analysis that the courts use to determine what makes sense for your personal circumstances. We then use this information to pursue a fair result through alternative dispute resolution (ADR) or at trial.
Read more in our Alimony and Child Support FAQs.
Speak with a Divorce Attorney at Romanowski Law Offices Today
The attorneys at Romanowski Law Offices have decades of experience helping clients protect their interests and prepare for their futures through the divorce process. To discuss your questions about alimony and other divorce-related issues such as child support and equitable division of property, call us at (732) 603-8585 or request an expert consultation online today. We have offices conveniently located in Freehold and Central Jersey and represent clients statewide.