In the state of New Jersey, an alimony award is not automatic. However, this does not mean that your spouse will get completely denied of it. Continue reading to learn whether a judge will make an alimony order and how an experienced Sparta NJ alimony attorney at Paris P. Eliades Esq. can help you navigate this situation.
What are the New Jersey laws surrounding alimony?
In 2014, the state of New Jersey amended its alimony law. Primarily, this reformed law eliminated “permanent” alimony and replaced it with “open durational” alimony. The New Jersey family courts will now award spouses with one, or a combination, of the following types of alimony:
- Limited-duration alimony: this is if you and your spouse were in a short-duration marriage, as the court will make a decision based on the duration of your marriage, your and your spouse’s age, and your and your spouse’s earning potential.
- Open-durational alimony: this is if you and your spouse have been married for over 20 years. This alimony does not have a set end date, but the amount can be modified if your spouse has a significant change in financial circumstances.
- Reimbursement alimony: this is if your spouse has foregone employment to pursue an advanced degree. This alimony is used to repay you if you were working while your spouse was in school.
- Rehabilitative alimony: this is if you paid for additional schooling or vocational training to help your financially dependent spouse become financially independent.
What is the possibility of my spouse getting denied alimony?
While the reformed alimony law has significantly changed the way in which New Jersey family courts and attorney approach alimony settlement agreements, it does not necessarily eliminate the possibility of a spouse being denied alimony entirely.
For example, even if your spouse is at fault for your divorce (i.e., they committed adultery), a judge will not take this into consideration when deciding whether to award alimony. Instead, they tend to look at the following factors:
- Your spouse’s necessity to receive alimony.
- Your spouse’s length of absence from the workforce, if applicable.
- Your spouse’s expenses for re-entering the workforce, if applicable.
- Your ability to pay alimony.
- Your and your spouse’s age and health.
- Your and your spouse’s earning capabilities.
- Your and your spouse’s financial and non-financial contributions during your marriage.
- The standard of living you and your spouse established during your marriage.
- The duration of your marriage.
- The child custody agreement in place.
- The child support agreement in place.
- The division of assets agreement in place.
So, if you are in any way concerned about your upcoming alimony negotiations, you must consult with a skilled Sussex County divorce attorney. We are well-versed in the laws applicable to your divorce proceedings, and we will do everything in our favor to produce a fair and reasonable outcome for you. Give us a call today.