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Alimony

Haddon Heights Divorce Lawyers Experienced in the Establishment, Modification and Enforcement of Alimony

New Jersey’s alimony law underwent substantial changes in 2014, and the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has significant implications for alimony agreements entered into after 2018. As a result, if you are preparing to go through a divorce in New Jersey in which alimony may be involved, it is critical to work with an experienced attorney who is up to speed on all of the recent changes impacting your divorce.

At Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A., our Haddon Heights divorce lawyers provide knowledgeable and strategic legal representation for divorcing spouses. We also routinely assist former spouses with matters involving alimony modification, enforcement and termination. Like all financial aspects of a divorce, an alimony award can have significant and long-term implications. As a result, alimony demands your attention, and you need to have a clear understanding of the legal rules and restrictions that apply.

Four Types of Alimony in New Jersey

New Jersey law recognizes four specific types of alimony, each of which is designed to serve a specific purpose. These are: (i) limited duration alimony, (ii) open duration alimony, (iii) rehabilitative alimony, and (iv) reimbursement alimony.

  • Limited Duration Alimony – Limited duration alimony is available to spouses terminating marriages that lasted 20 years or less. The duration of alimony cannot exceed the length of the marriage; and, while the amount of alimony may be subject to modification in the event of changed circumstances, the duration typically cannot be modified.
  • Open Duration Alimony – Open duration alimony used to be called “permanent alimony.” If a marriage lasts more than 20 years prior to divorce, a spouse who is disadvantaged due to limited earning capacity may be entitled to claim alimony for an open duration. Open duration alimony can be modified based upon changed circumstances, and may be subject to termination in the event of cohabitation, remarriage, disability or retirement.
  • Rehabilitative Alimony – Rehabilitative alimony awards are designed to provide financial support for a former spouse while he or she obtains the training or education necessary to become self-supporting. Rehabilitative alimony covers the cost of such training or education, and may be awarded in addition to other forms of maintenance or support.
  • Reimbursement Alimony – Reimbursement alimony may be awarded when one spouse paid the financial cost of the other spouse’s advanced degree during the marriage. Note, however, that to obtain an award of reimbursement alimony, there need not be an advanced degree or even a degree at all.  For example, one spouse may support the other while the 2nd spouse goes through and completes an internship and/or residency, but the couple then decides to divorce just as he/she will begin earning money. Such cases may also result in an award of reimbursement alimony. Since reimbursement alimony serves a very specific purpose, it generally is not subject to modification.

New Jersey’s Alimony Factors

When determining what alimony award (if any) is appropriate, the New Jersey courts consider a list of 14 statutory factors. Since divorce settlement agreements are subject to court approval, spouses in Haddon Heights and elsewhere in New Jersey who are negotiating alimony payments without court involvement should address these same factors as well. Unlike child support, there is no set formula for calculating alimony in New Jersey. Instead, the spouses must reach an agreement (or seek court intervention) based upon the unique financial circumstances involved in their divorce.

Speak With a Haddon Heights Divorce Lawyer in Confidence

If you have questions about the role alimony will play in your divorce, or if you are interested in seeking to modify, enforce or terminate an existing alimony award, we encourage you to contact us to learn more. To schedule a confidential consultation with an attorney at our offices in Haddon Heights, please call (877) 435-6371 or inquire online today.

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