Some New Jersey divorces find one party entitled to spousal support, more commonly referred to as alimony. For many, alimony is one of the most contested matters of a divorce. Numerous couples have agreed to other issues and found themselves in front of a judge over this matter. Often, the issue comes down to a difference of opinion. The dependent spouse may believe that they are entitled to a certain amount the other is not willing to provide. The earning spouse may believe that the other does not deserve alimony for a number of reasons or dispute the duration requested. Both parties can also disagree on the standard of living, leading to a dispute. If alimony is an issue in your divorce, it is important to discuss your situation with an experienced attorney. The Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC provides effective legal services for clients across New Jersey. If you need our help, contact our firm for a consultation to discuss your legal matter and the options ahead of you.
Alimony options for New Jersey divorces
In 2014, New Jersey modified its alimony laws to reflect a change in the alimony options, taking away the possibility of permanent alimony, an obligation that was never supposed to be permanent. That being said, one of the most important factors when determining alimony agreements is still the duration of your marriage. Currently, New Jersey courts recognize four types of alimony that may be awarded under certain circumstances. They are as follows:
- Open durational alimony: This type of alimony is usually granted to marriages lasting over 20 years. This option replaced permanent alimony when the laws changed allowing for support without setting a specific end date. Therefore, though open durational alimony is not permanent, there is no predetermined end date. If circumstances change, open durational alimony may be terminated. Some cases in which open durational alimony may be terminated include if the spouse receiving support remarries, obtains a significant job promotion, or comes into a large sum of money, such as by receiving an inheritance. All of these situations may serve as a valid reason why the financially dependent spouse no longer requires alimony payments.
- Limited duration alimony: In cases where alimony is appropriate and the marriage lasted for less than 20 years, limited duration alimony may be ordered by the court. The judge will determine how long alimony will be paid at the time the award is ordered, and after that predetermined date comes to pass, the alimony will most likely be terminated, unless the dependent spouse and his/her attorney can make a case for an extended term of spousal support.
- Rehabilitative alimony: This alimony is designed to support spouses while they are pursuing the necessary education or retraining to advance their earning potential. This alimony structure is usually saved for when a party deferred goals or left the workforce in favor of supporting the other’s success.
- Reimbursement alimony: This form of alimony is usually ordered by the courts to pay back a spouse who financially supported the other during school or other training.
Factors that matter in an alimony case
The court will consider many factors that could sway a decision on alimony. Some of these factors include:
- Earning capacity of the parties involved
- Age and health of the parties
- Marriage duration
- The needs of the dependent spouse
- The ability of the independent spouse to pay
- The standard of living established over the marriage
- Parental responsibility
- Tax consequences of alimony
- The circumstances surrounding temporary support already paid
Though these are all aspects that a court will consider when deciding on alimony payments, the truth is, they will analyze each situation and marriage on an individual basis, which is why you must retain the services of an experienced Ocean County spousal maintenance attorney who can advocate for your right to the financial support you need to uphold your standard of life. Fortunately, you have just found that attorney at the Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC.
Fault grounds and alimony
Some people wonder if citing fault grounds impact a divorce. For the most part, fault grounds have no impact on alimony. Economic fault, on the other hand, can have a mark on a case, including when a spouse wastes marital funds or becomes willfully unemployed to benefit them in a divorce. The court may take action in response.
Contact our firm
If you are facing a divorce and alimony is a contested issue, it is important to discuss your situation with an experienced law firm. The Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC recognizes the significance of this legal matter. We are ready to assess your situation, guide you through your options, and zealously represent you in and out of court, always working to protect your rights and interests. Contact the Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC for a consultation to discuss your legal matter.