When a couple goes through a divorce, there are many legal matters that must be addressed before the spouses may go their separate ways. One important aspect of going through a divorce is coming to the decision of spousal support, also known as alimony. Alimony is court-ordered financial support from one spouse to another for a period of time after they divorce. If one spouse is the caretaker of a child, they may not have a salary. Other times, one spouse may be the bread-winner who provides for the family. This can leave the other spouse in an unfair situation after a marriage ends. Spousal support payments allow the dependent spouse to continue their life without being in financial trouble.
Types of Alimony
In the state of New Jersey, there are four categories of alimony that may apply to a marriage. This includes:
- Open Durational Alimony: Once known as “permanent alimony,” this may be set for couples who were married or in a civil union for more than 20 years. It mandates spousal support with no end date until there is a reason to terminate it. Situations that call for termination may be cohabitation, remarriage, the payor become disabled or unemployed, or the dependent spouse becomes independent.
- Limited Duration Alimony: This may be imposed if a marriage or civil union lasted less then 20 years. This alimony should be set for no longer than the length of the marriage. It is also subject to termination depending on a change in circumstances.
- Rehabilitative Alimony: This support is for situations in which one the dependent spouse deferred their career to support the other spouse and help the family. This often requires funds to pay for schooling or training for the dependent spouse.
- Reimbursement Alimony: This support is designed to reimburse a spouse if they financially supported the other spouse’s education or training.
What Factors into Support?
In some cases, divorce can be a difficult situation and marriages do not end on good terms. This can cause the subject of alimony to become very intense, as one spouse may not want to pay money to support the other. It is because of this that the court makes any decisions regarding alimony. When the court makes their decision, they take several factors into consideration. This may include:
- The length of the marriage
- The age and health of each party
- The earning capacity of each party
- The needs of the spouse who is dependent
- The independent party’s ability to provide support for the dependent party
- Whether the dependent party has had a significant absence from the job market
- The equitable distribution of property
- Each spouse’s parental responsibility for any children they may have
- The standard of living that the couple established during the course of the marriage
- Whether there is any income available from investments
- Whether there are any tax implications from spousal support payments
When a court comes to a decision on alimony, they typically do not consider marital fault. This means they do not make decisions based on if a spouse was at fault for the end of the marriage.
Contact our Firm
If you are going through a divorce and wish to know your options regarding alimony, contact the Law Offices of Haber Silver & Simpson today.
If you require strong legal representation for matters related to divorce or family law, Haber Silver & Simpson is here to help. We proudly represent clients in Morris County and throughout the state of New Jersey. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.