During and after divorce, one spouse may need financial support from the other—this type of financial support is known as alimony. This support allows for the supported spouse to maintain a lifestyle as close as possible to what the couple had during their marriage, at least until that spouse is able to become self-supporting.
New Jersey recognizes five types of alimony: temporary alimony, limited duration alimony, permanent alimony, rehabilitative alimony, and reimbursement alimony.
The court may award any combination of these orders. This means that if the court makes an order for rehabilitative spousal support, it can also order reimbursement alimony, as well as limited duration alimony.
When determining the amount and duration of an award for alimony, the judge will look at several different factors, including:
There are no specific alimony calculators or guidelines for support in New Jersey; the court will make a decision based on the factors listed above.
A judge may modify limited duration alimony and rehabilitative alimony orders if there is a change in circumstances. If the court made an order based on an event that it assumed would occur, but the event did not occur, then it may modify the order—for example, if the supported spouse was not able to be rehabilitated within the expected time, or was not able to find a job to become self-supporting, the court can change the initial order.
If the recipient spouse remarries or enters into a New Jersey civil union, the other spouse must be informed and alimony payments can be stopped. (However, the supporting spouse must pay any arrearages (late payments) that have accumulated.) Remarriage only terminates limited duration and permanent alimony. Rehabilitative and reimbursement alimony will continue even if the dependent spouse remarries or enters into a civil union, unless the judge orders otherwise. The death of either spouse will terminate all forms of alimony.
Any payments of alimony are tax deductible to the paying spouse and reportable as income by the receiving spouse.
If a spouse can show financial need, the court may order the other spouse to pay for attorneys' fees.
2A:34-25: Termination of Alimony
2A:34-23: Alimony, maintenance