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Alimony/Spousal Maintenance

The Four types of alimony

The award of alimony, now commonly referred to as "spousal maintenance," can be provided to a divorcing spouse in New Jersey by statute.  The statute was most recently amended in 2014 and includes four types of alimony: open durational, limited duration, rehabilitative, and reimbursement alimony.  Open durational alimony is the current terminology for what was previously termed "permanent alimony," and not surprisingly, limited durational alimony is the new term for what was historically coined  "temporary alimony."  Rehabilitative alimony is a short-term alimony award intended to provide financial assistance to a dependent spouse during a period of occupational retraining or education.  This form of alimony can be awarded by itself or in conjunction with another form of alimony award.  Reimbursement alimony is typically awarded when one spouse has sacrificed an education, career development or potential earnings, which enabled the other spouse to pursue and achieve the same.  

No Black and white answer as to alimony duration

The New Jersey alimony statute provides that dissolved marriages which lasted less than 20 years shall result in limited duration alimony.  However, the statute carves out an exception for "exceptional circumstances" wherein a dependent spouse of a shorter term marriage may be entitled to open durational alimony, or at the very least, a term of alimony that exceeds the length of the marriage.  The courts will look at a variety of enumerated factors, as well as the circumstances of the parties.  In such instances, it is beneficial for a spouse to have representation from an attorney that understands both the applicable statute and the case law, and is committed to serve as a vigorous advocate on your behalf.

temporary spousal maintenance

Dependent spouses need not wait for the divorce litigation to conclude in order to obtain financial support and other relief from their spouse.  For instances where a dependent spouse requires financial support to properly care for the children and maintain the marital home during the divorce proceedings, the spouse can seek pendente lite relief, which means temporary relief until the divorce is settled or fully adjudicated. The court has authority to enter an order of temporary child support and maintenance. The advancement of counsel fees is often another prayer for relief included in a pendente lite application.  Such temporary relief is sought by applying to the court.  The court will consider several factors, including the need of the requesting party and the intended payor's ability to pay. 

Skilled family law litigators

Sometimes litigation is necessary to reach a just and equitable resolution to your divorce. Through tactical trial strategies and professional courtroom presence, our skilled litigators successfully represent clients throughout the adversarial litigation process. We are prepared to handle the complex aspects of your divorce methodically to obtain the most favorable trial outcome.

Contact a family law attorney today

Call Jeffrey Thomas Massaro, Counsellor-at-Law at (201) 880-8989 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a family law attorney.