What are the different types of alimony in NJ?
There is Open Durational Alimony (replaced permanent alimony in the amended statute and applies to marriages twenty years or more), Rehabilitative Alimony (granted to a litigant for a short term to assist them to become financially self-sufficient through education and training), Limited Duration Alimony (granted to a litigant for a period of time in which it would practically take them to improve their earning ability to a point where Limited Duration Alimony is no longer appropriate), Reimbursement Alimony (granted to a litigant who supported the other litigant achieve his or her education and they expected to benefit from the earning ability produced by that education) and Pendente Lite Alimony (temporary support paid during the of the divorce litigation).
How is the amount and duration of alimony in NJ decided?
According to the alimony statute which was amended on September 10, 2014 a court in figuring the duration and amount of alimony shall consider the following factors:
- The litigants need and capability to pay;
- The duration of the marriage;
- The age, emotional and physical well-being of the litigants;
- The litigants’ standard of living enjoyed throughout the civil union or marriage and capability of each litigant to continue the same with neither litigant having a superior right to that standard of living over the other;
- The litigants ability to earn, education background, vocation skills and capacity to find and maintain employment;
- The duration of time that the litigant requesting alimony was absent from the job market;
- The litigants ‘parental responsibilities;
- The cost and time required to obtain adequate training or education to allow the litigant requesting alimony to find a suitable employment, the accessibility of the training and employment, and the outlook for future procurement of assets and earnings;
- Each litigant’s monetary and non-monetary contribution to the union including contributions to the maintenance and education of the children and the disruption of a litigant’s own education and employment prospects;
- The ordered equitable distribution of the litigant’s assets;
- The availability of investment income from a litigant’s assets;
- The tax treatment of an alimony award and its effect on both litigants;
- The amount, period time and nature of temporary support paid;
- Any other factor that a court may determine to be relevant.
Is there a formula to determine the amount or term of alimony in New Jersey?
In New Jersey there is no official formula to calculate the amount or duration of alimony. The Amended Alimony Statute states that with any marriage or civil union less than twenty years the term of alimony cannot exceed the length of the marriage. However, this cannot be considered a complete formula. Some lawyers and Judges unofficially calculate the amount of alimony by subtracting the gross income of both litigants and awarding the lesser income litigant one third of the difference of said incomes. Also, I have seen some attorneys calculated the term of alimony by stating that for every two years of marriage there should be one year of alimony. The problem with both of these methods is that they do not consider the facts of the case beside the length of the marriage and the difference of incomes of the litigants.
If you have any questions concerning alimony in NJ, call Peter Van Aulen today at (201) 845-7400 for a free initial consultation.