Monmouth County Divorce Lawyers

Alimony and Spousal Support

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is awarded in a divorce case when one spouse depends on the other for financial support. Alimony is not granted in all divorce cases, but when it becomes part of the settlement, there are a number of important factors that must be considered. An experienced Monmouth County divorce lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of this process.

Types of Alimony in New Jersey

New Jersey recognizes five types of alimony, and the court can award any combination of the following, based on the financial status of each spouse.

  • Temporary Alimony or Pendente Lite: This type of alimony is awarded to an unemployed, or underemployed, spouse to help them cover their living expenses, and maintain the family’s current lifestyle during the divorce process. This type of support is not taxable.
  • Permanent Alimony: A spouse may qualify for permanent alimony if he or she sacrificed a career in order to care for the family or support a spouse’s career and/or education goals. This usually happens in cases of long-term marriages, wherein one spouse has a much higher earning capacity. Unless both parties agree to a permanent alimony agreement that is non-negotiable, this can be altered if a spouse can prove that their circumstances have changed.
  • Limited Duration Alimony: A judge may award this type of alimony to a spouse who is working to improve his or her financial circumstances. Based on financial need, this type of alimony continues until the spouse is able to support him or herself.
  • Rehabilitative Alimony: This type of alimony is awarded to a spouse who is working towards financial independence through education and/or training that will help them become gainfully employed. The spouse requesting this type of alimony must provide the court with specific steps that will be taken to become financially secure. The goal of rehabilitative alimony is to help the spouse become fully self-supporting.
  • Reimbursement Alimony: This type of spousal support provides compensation to a spouse who made economic sacrifices during the marriage, which helped the other spouse increase their earning power. If the couple divorces before the financial advantages become available, the spouse may be granted reimbursement alimony.

A judge will give careful consideration to a number of factors before making decisions about alimony awards; including length of the marriage, the spouses’ age and overall health, the financial needs of the spouse requiring support and the ability of the other spouse to meet that need, education level of each spouse, income, parental responsibilities, and lifestyle of the couple during the marriage. Each alimony case is unique and the court will make a decision based on these factors.

Changes to Alimony Agreements

If a there is a change in a spouse’s circumstances, a judge may modify the alimony orders. For example, if one spouse remarries or enters into a civil union, the arrangement may be amended to reflect the changed circumstances. For example, if the supported spouse requires more time to become self-supporting, the court may change the initial alimony orders. Limited duration and permanent alimony can be terminated when one spouse remarries, but a spouse must continue to pay rehabilitative and reimbursement alimony – even if the dependent spouse remarries – unless the judge approves the new arrangement.

Monmouth County Divorce Lawyers at Fox & Melofchik Handle Alimony Settlements for Divorcing Clients

Alimony settlements can be complicated and confusing, especially when emotions are running high in the midst of a divorce. It is crucial to contact an experienced, knowledgeable Monmouth County divorce lawyer who can help you reach a fair settlement.  At Fox & Melofchik, our dedicated divorce lawyers in Eatontown are committed to helping our clients reach the best possible outcome and a fair financial settlement. We represent clients in Monmouth County, Middlesex County, and Ocean County, as well as Colts Neck, Marlboro, Rumson, Little Silver, Monmouth Beach, Manalapan, Deal, Holmdel, Spring Lake and Ocean Grove. Call us at 732-493-9400 to schedule a free consultation or contact us online.

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