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New Jersey Alimony Law - a Primer

                               New Jersey Alimony Law - a Primer
                                                                                                   by:
                                                                                 Donald S. Waskover, Esq.

                                                     Alimony

In deciding alimony claims the statute states that the court consider, but not be limited by, the following factors:

(1)The actual need and ability of the parties to pay;

(2)The duration of the marriage or civil union;

(3)The age, physical and emotional health of the parties;

(4)The standard of living established in the marriage or civil union and the likelihood that each party can maintain a reasonably comparable standard of living, with neither party having a greater entitlement to that standard of living than the other;

(5)The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties;

(6)The length of absence from the job market of the party seeking maintenance;

(7)The parental responsibilities for the children;

(8)The time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment, the availability of the training and employment, and the opportunity for future acquisitions of capital assets and income;

(9)The history of the financial or non-financial contributions to the marriage or civil union by each party including
contributions to the care and education of the children and interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities;

(10) The equitable distribution of property ordered and any payouts on equitable distribution, directly or indirectly, out of current income, to the extent this consideration is reasonable, just and fair;

(11) The income available to either party through investment of any assets held by that party;

(12) The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award, including the designation of all or a portion of the payment as a non-taxable payment;

(13) The nature, amount, and length of pendent lite support paid, if any, and

(14) Any other factors which the court may deem relevant.

The determination of whether alimony must be paid in any particular case depends upon an analysis of these factors. New Jersey law provides that a spouse or civil union partner is entitled to be supported in the style they became accustomed to during the course of the marriage or civil union providing that there is sufficient income to allow for the maintenance of such lifestyle by both parties and the award is fair. The length of the marrage or civil union is also a very important consideration in deceiding alimony claims. Judges are given discretion in determining what an appropriate type and level of alimony should be based upon their analysis of all of the above factors. Additionally, for marriages or civil unions of less than 20 years duration, the duration of an alimony award can not exceed the length of the marriage or civil union unless there are exceptional circumstances. Four different types of alimony can be awarded:

(1) open durational alimony,

(2) limited duration alimony (alimony for a set period of time),

(3) reimbursement alimony (alimony to pay back a spouse for support and the expenditure of funds for education and training), and

(4) rehabilitative alimony (alimony paid for a set period of time to enable a spouse to reenter the job market and achieve anticipated earnings).

A court can award one or a combination of open durational, limited duration, reimbursement and rehabilitative alimony.

                                    Donald S. Waskover, Esq.
                                                                        Fort Lee, New Jersey 07024
                                                            Phone: 201-262-8888
                                                                Fax: 201-266-0503
                                        Email: waskover@newjerseydivorcelawyer.net 
                                                website: newjerseydivorcelawyer.net