Like most other states, New Jersey allows one divorced spouse to seek alimony from the other spouse. Alimony may also be called spousal support.
Alimony is a regular or even one-time payment that is designed to make sure that both spouses can come out of a divorce with the most financial stability possible.
Otherwise, after a long-term marriage, for example, a spouse with more resources or income-earning potential might come out of a divorce alright while the other person struggles.
In this respect, it is important for people to remember that alimony is not just an issue for high-earners or wealthy couples. People with a variety of circumstances may be entitled to alimony.
Alimony in New Jersey may be complicated and can depend a lot on the circumstances. If a person has specific questions about alimony in this state, they should speak to an experienced family law attorney.
Alimony may be available under many circumstances
A resident of New Jersey may be able to ask for alimony for a number of reasons. For example, if one spouse worked while another continued their studies in the hope of a higher income for the family, the working spouse may ask for what is called reimbursement alimony.
Likewise, spouses who have been out of the workforce for a time because they were home raising the family may be entitled to what is called rehabilitative alimony.
Alimony depends on the length of a person’s marriage and other factors
As a review, alimony in New Jersey depends a lot on the length of a person’s marriage. In most cases, if a marriage has lasted less than 20 years, alimony payments cannot last longer than the length of the marriage.
Within this limit though, judges can award alimony at their discretion. The law includes a long list of factors that a judge should consider when awarding alimony. Judges will also use these factors to decide how long to award alimony and with what terms and conditions.
If either spouse wishes to change an alimony order at a later time, the law also sets out a number of factors and reasons under which a judge may grant that request.
In all cases, the basic idea is that when awarding alimony, the court should determine how much a person needs and whether the spouse can afford to make payments.