The Different Types of Alimony in New Jersey

During many Union County divorces, one of the key issues that will need to be decided is that of alimony and spousal support. Alimony is awarded in a wide variety of scenarios to spouses who traditionall have relied on the other spouse for financial support.

Different from child support, there are no strict guidelines for calculating alimony, so this area of your divorce in particular often depends a great deal upon your attorney, and how much you are willing to compromise versus how much you wish to pursue litigation.

That being said, there are several different types of alimony which can be awarded depending on the duration of the marriage, the needs of the dependent party, and their specific contributions to the marriage’s finances and lifestyle during the course of the marriage. Additionally, these types of alimony are not mutually exclusive, meaning one or more types of alimony may be awarded depending on the circumstances and the alimony agreement you finalize. Let’s take a look.

Temporary Alimony During Divorce in Union County, NJ

The first type of alimony that we will discuss is that of temporary alimony, legally referred to as “pendente lite support”. As its name suggests, temporary alimony can be sought temporarily during the divorce itself, before any final alimony agreements have been reached. This can be particularly important for parties who are financially dependent on their spouse, as many times that financial support can be cut off once the divorce process has begun by angry or contentious spouses. If you are concerned about receiving financial support during your Union County divorce process, speak with your attorney about securing a temporary alimony settlement.

Limited Duration Alimony Attorney Summit, NJ

Limited duration alimony is typically awarded for marriages of a shorter duration. Of course, there is no set definition of a “short duration marriage”, but if the dependent spouse is of an age where they can easily seek job training and re-enter the workforce, and they didn’t sacrifice their own career or educational opportunities for too long a time during the marriage, than a limited duration alimony settlement may be in order.

Limited duration alimony can last until a specific date, or until such time that the dependent party receives training, finishes an education, or secures an employment, is is completely up to the parties and their alimony attorneys to decide exactly when limited duration alimony will end.

If you have reason to believe that your former spouse is not taking the steps required of them in order to secure employment, and terminate your alimony obligations to them, speak with your Summit alimony attorney about potentially petitioning for a termination of your limited duration alimony obligations.

Permanent Alimony Lawyer Elizabeth, NJ

Permanent alimony can be ordered in cases of longer-lasting marriages, wherein the dependent spouse sacrificed career and educational opportunities to be caretakers of the family home or children. Furthermore, this dependent party is of such an age that receiving job-training and re-entering the work place may not be a realistic option. Again, there is not set marital duration for when temporary or permanent alimony is awarded, each divorce is evaluated and decided on a case-by-case basis.

Rehabilitative Alimony Attorney Scotch Plains, NJ

Rehabilitative alimony is considered financial support beyond just maintaining a standard of lifestyle and meeting certain necessary financial obligations, rehabilitative alimony is intended to help pay for a dependent spouse’s education or job-training necessary for them to secure financial independence. Many times, rehabilitative alimony can be awarded in addition to temporary alimony to help the dependent party through the transitional period.

If a dependent spouse requests rehabilitative alimony, they must submit a time-frame and a plan to the courts for how long they expect to need the rehabilitative alimony.

Reimbursement Alimony Lawyer Linden, NJ

Reimbursement alimony is generally less common than the other types of alimony, but is awarded when one spouse contributed financial resources, time, or made certain sacrifices to help the other spouse seek higher education, and as such a greater salary. If the marriage ends before the spouse who made these contributions could enjoy these greater financial rewards, they may be eligible to seek repayment of their expenses and sacrifices through reimbursement alimony.

Reimbursement alimony can include repayment for expenses such as household expenses, educational expenses, travel costs associated with receiving the education, and any other contributions made towards the other spouse obtaining their higher degree or professional license.

Modifying and Terminating Alimony Obligations in Union County NJ

Limited duration alimony and permanent alimony agreements can both be modified after the divorce settlement is reached, but requires that the petitioning party demonstrate that there are substantial and permanent changed circumstances which warrant a modification (this can be an increase in alimony or decrease in alimony, depending who is seeking the modification).

Additionally, rehabilitative alimony can be modified, or terminated, after divorce if certain events or agreements are not met. For example, the supporting party can request a termination of their rehabilitative alimony if the dependent party is not actually seeking the agreed-upon education or job training, or the dependent party can request an extension of their rehabilitative alimony should they not be able to find employment within the agreed-upon time frame. For more information regarding modifying and terminating alimony obligations, call our law office today to discuss your situation, and your options.

Finally, if the dependent spouse remarries, enters into a civil union, or cohabitates with another adult then limited duration and permanent alimony can be terminated. In the case of a remarriage, this process can be fairly straightforward, but if your former spouse is living with another adult but has no legal relationship with them, than you probably want to speak with your Union County alimony attorney regarding filing a petition to terminate alimony. Of course, before temporary or permanent alimony can be terminated, any late payments or “arrearages” must be paid.

While marriage, civil unions, or cohabitation can for warrant a termination of limited duration and permanent alimony, rehabilitative and reimbursement alimony will continue unless a judge specifically orders otherwise.

Contact a Union County Alimony and Spousal Support Attorney Today

At The Law Office of Edward S. Cooper, we have extensive experience helping clients across Summit, Scotch Plains, Elizabeth, Linden, and the greater Union County to successfully resolve their divorce and alimony agreement, and modify and terminate alimony agreements when circumstances call for such a change.

Attorney Edward Cooper believes that by listening closely to the unique concerns of each of his clients, and keeping them highly informed and involved throughout the legal process, he can better work to achieve the results that best meets their specific needs and concerns in any family law matter, including alimony agreements and alimony modifications.

To speak with our firm and Edward Cooper today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your divorce, securing temporary alimony, finalizing an alimony agreement, or modifying or terminating an existing alimony agreement, please contact us online, or through our Linden, NJ office at (908) 481-4625.