Alimony Attorney in Somerset County, New Jersey
Financial considerations and worries during divorce often add stress to a process that can already be grueling and complicated. If you are going through a divorce, have been served with papers, or are even just contemplating divorce, you may have questions about spousal support.
From the start of your case, it is important to have an expert divorce attorney on your side—especially if you need spousal support. If you require a divorce attorney in New Jersey, call me at Gary Blaustein, Esq., in Somerset County. I will review your options, help you gather evidence, and fight for your rights in court with the goal of securing you the best possible settlement.
Overview of Alimony in New Jersey
Alimony (sometimes called “spousal support”) is a payment that the court orders one spouse to make to another spouse either during or after a divorce in order to make up for loss of income and/or potential earning power. If the two spouses cannot come to an alimony agreement themselves, the court will decide for them. The court can order one spouse to pay alimony to the other regardless of gender.
In New Jersey, the court can award five types of alimony:
Temporary: This type of alimony is only awarded during the divorce. Temporary alimony can help the receiving spouse pay their expenses during the divorce process. In addition, the court can order one spouse to pay a retainer for the other spouse’s legal fees.
Rehabilitative: This type of alimony is awarded when one spouse requires support to undergo job training or gain education that will secure them future employment.
Open duration: Open duration or “permanent” alimony is usually awarded when a marriage has lasted 20 years or more. There is no specified end date to this type of alimony.
Limited Duration: Limited duration alimony is often awarded after shorter marriages and where rehabilitative alimony and open duration alimony are not seen as viable options.
Reimbursement: Reimbursement alimony benefits a spouse who has sacrificed their own resources to support another spouse through an advanced education. The alimony is a “reimbursement” for the income that the other spouse’s higher earning power would then have contributed to the household as a result of that education.
Factors in Deciding Who Is Entitled To Alimony
When determining alimony in New Jersey, the courts will consider several factors. Aside from the need of the spouse petitioning for the support and the ability of the other spouse to pay, these factors can include:
the length of the marriage,
each spouse’s mental and physical health,
each spouse’s earning power;
each spouse’s assets,
each spouse’s parenting responsibilities,
each spouse’s contributions to the marriage;
the time it would take for one spouse to acquire education, training, and employment to become financially independent; and,
whether one spouse is receiving temporary alimony.
A trusted divorce attorney can analyze your case and determine what you are eligible for.
When Alimony Ends
Alimony in New Jersey automatically ends when the paying spouse dies or—except in cases of rehabilitative or reimbursement alimony— when the receiving spouse remarries.
As outlined above, open-duration alimony in New Jersey is usually awarded when a marriage has lasted 20 years or longer. If the marriage has lasted less than 20 years, the court will generally not allow alimony payments to continue for longer than the length of the marriage. If there is an “exceptional circumstance,” the court may award a longer duration of payment. These circumstances can include a spouse’s chronic health condition or disability, a spouse being unable to reach full earning potential due to parenting responsibilities or another reason relating to the marriage, and one spouse having received a much larger share of the couple’s marital property during the divorce.
Making Changes to a Current Alimony Agreement
If the spouses do not have a written agreement that prohibits the spousal support order being changed, either ex-spouse can petition the court to modify an existing alimony agreement. However, that party would have to provide evidence to the court proving that there has been a significant change of circumstances in one or both of the ex-spouse’s lives that impacts either spouse’s ability to comply with the existing order, or that the recipient spouse no longer meets New Jersey’s requirements for receiving alimony. A significant change of circumstance could include the paying spouse’s loss of income or retirement or the receiving spouse moving into a home with someone else.
Alimony Attorney Serving Somerset County, New Jersey
If you are worried about receiving the spousal support that you deserve, call me, Gary Blaustein, at Gary Blaustein, Esq., for reliable legal assistance. I proudly serve Somerset County, New Jersey, including Basking Ridge, Warren, Somerville, and Bedminster. I pride myself not only on my four decades of legal excellence but on my compassion and support for my clients throughout the divorce process. Call today for a consultation on your case.