Your Essential Guide to Understanding Alimony in New Jersey


Whenever you get embroiled in a divorce, attorneys get involved in helping ensure you get fairly represented in the proceedings. One of the critical factors that get argued in court and can lead to the most emotionally charged exchanges is alimony. While popular culture has painted alimony as something that a man more often than not pays to his ex-wife, that’s not always the case. Alimony is a complex subject that does not see gender and requires delicate handling to ensure fairness for all involved. 

Most people learn about the concept of alimony from TV or the movies and don’t have the most accurate sense of what it is. Understanding who pays who, how much, and for how long are all critical factors determining the intricacies of alimony payments. The law firm of Keith Family Law, as experienced New Jersey divorce lawyers, can help you navigate and calculate the payments and ensure you come to appropriate marital settlement agreements for both parties. 

Is There a Set Amount You Can Receive?

Determining how much alimony is owed to a particular partner is a delicate calculation that does not apply to every couple. When you calculate alimony, you need to factor in things like the length of the marriage, the age of the spouses, the earning ability of each party, verified income history, child custody, and child support. These factors help determine which spouse pays who, how much is owed, and how long the payments will endure. 

The Different Types of Alimony

Given the wide range of factors that affect alimony, it stands to reason that couples and their attorneys in New Jersey have options at their disposal. There are five main types of alimony in the state that can come out of the divorce process. These include pendente lite, open durational, limited duration, rehabilitative, and reimbursement alimony. 

Pendente Lite Alimony

Otherwise known as temporary alimony, the goal of this version is to maintain the same financial comfort level that they had before the divorce. Pendente Lite eschews the factors that come into play later in the divorce process. This type of alimony terminates once your divorce becomes finalized. 

Limited Duration Alimony

Depending on the type of alimony, spousal support doesn’t have to last for the rest of your life. Limited duration alimony specifies how long the party in question will receive these payments, often ranging from a few months to even a few years with a predetermined end date. 

Rehabilitative Alimony

Not every spouse has the tools and skills necessary to be self-sufficient after losing half of their joint income. For cases like these, rehabilitative alimony paid to the dependent spouse can help get them back on their feet. For a specific period, this type of alimony helps give the lower-earning of the two spouses the chance to cover education, training, and living expenses. At the same time, they get reintegrated into the at-large workforce. 

Reimbursement Alimony

If, during the course of the marriage, one spouse helped pay for the education or career advancement of the other, they can seek reimbursement alimony. The spouse that received the help with their education has to pay back what was put into their studies. Tuition, cost of living expenses, or training can all affect how much reimbursement alimony gets charged. 

What Happens if My Ex Doesn’t Pay Alimony?

If your ex-spouse has stopped paying alimony and you don’t know what to do, Keith Family Law can help! Alimony falls under state law and constitutes a binding legal order. If your former spouse refuses to pay, we can help take the necessary legal steps to force them to pay you what you’re owed. Contact our team to schedule your first consultation and explore your divorce options with us today!

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