Spousal Support

New Jersey Alimony Attorneys

Alimony Attorneys Located in Morris County

In New Jersey, spousal support is the obligation of the higher earning party to support the dependent party after a divorce or dissolution of civil union. Regularly referred to as alimony, spousal support is intended to help a dependent spouse maintain the marital standard of living and become financially independent, if possible. Couples often find themselves litigating this matter because of disagreement as to what the other spouse deserves, or resentment at the idea of paying a spouse who might be viewed as having caused or contributed to the demise of the marriage. Whether one spouse was the breadwinner or both spouses worked outside the home for the family, if one spouse is considered dependent on the other, he or she may be entitled to some form of support. If divorce is in your future and you need effective and experienced legal services, contact Haber Silver & Simpson.

Types of Alimony in New Jersey:

It is important to note that the laws regarding alimony have changed somewhat in the past few years.  Alimony laws no longer allow for a support obligation to be designated as “permanent.” Below are the 4 categories of alimony that may apply to your situation.

  • Open durational alimony: Open durational alimony is a shift from what was once known as “permanent” alimony. It can be imposed for couples who have been married or in a civil union for over 20 years, and it provides support with no set end date. Open durational alimony continues until there is a basis for it to terminate, such as remarriage of the supported spouse, or until the Court determines that there has been a change in circumstances that justifies a termination or modification of the obligation. Many factors are taken into consideration when a litigant asks the Court to terminate, suspend or modify alimony. Examples of changes that might give rise to termination, suspension, or modification of alimony include cohabitation, remarriage, the payor spouse becoming disabled or unemployed, or the dependent spouse becoming financially independent.
  • Limited duration alimony: When a marriage or civil union has lasted for fewer than twenty years, New Jersey law provides that, absent extraordinary circumstances, alimony should be imposed for a set period of time that is not longer than the length of the marriage.  The Court determines the amount and length of the alimony obligation, with the intention of helping the dependent spouse become financially stable and independent. As with open durational alimony, there are certain statutory grounds that exist for termination of this type of support before the end of the designated time period, and it is also subject to termination or modification based on changed circumstances.
  • Rehabilitative alimony: This support structure is specifically designed for situations in which the dependent spouse is found to have deferred his or her own career goals in support of the other party’s success and for the benefit of the family. Rehabilitative alimony often includes a provision requiring funds to pay for schooling or vocational training for the dependent spouse to increase his or her earning capacity.
  • Reimbursement alimony: This support structure includes funds designed to reimburse one spouse for having financially supported the other spouse’s pursuit of an education or vocational training during the marriage or civil union.

Factors that impact spousal support in New Jersey

There are numerous factors the court will consider when making a decision that is fair and just to both parties, including the following:

  • The actual needs of the dependent party;
  • The ability of the independent party to pay;
  • The duration of the marriage or civil union;
  • The age, physical and emotional health of the parties;
  • The standard of living established during the marriage or civil union;
  • The earning capacity of each party;
  • The length of absence from the job market;
  • Parental responsibility for the children;
  • The time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training;
  • The history of the financial or non-financial contributions;
  • The equitable distribution of property;
  • The income available from investments;
  • The tax treatment and consequences of any alimony award; and
  • The nature, amount and length of pendente lite support, if any.

Do fault grounds impact alimony in New Jersey?

Marital fault normally has little to no impact on divorce. Since the introduction of no-fault divorces, the court has generally avoided taking marital fault into consideration when hearing cases. In certain limited circumstances, however, extreme marital fault, such as one party’s substantial dissipation of assets or one party infecting the other with a sexually transmitted illness, might impact a Court’s determination of spousal support.

Contact our support attorneys located in Morris County

When facing a contested divorce or dissolution of civil union where alimony is an issue, it is important to discuss your legal situation with a knowledgeable legal team. Whether you are the party needing support or the one obligated to support, it is important that you retain quality legal services to protect your interests. For decades, Haber Silver & Simpson has represented clients across New Jersey. We recognize the impact a divorce has on the individual and the family and we are ready to guide you through these tough times. For a consultation, contact Haber Silver & Simpson.