What You Need to Know About Alimony in NJ
The divorce process is often long, complicated, and, at times, messy. When spouses share finances, or one is dependent on the other, it is up to a judge to split the wealth post-divorce. That’s where alimony comes in, or spousal-support. It is a court-ordered financial payment during the divorce process (sometimes for a period after, too) from one spouse to the other.
Here’s what you need to know to understand alimony in NJ.
There Are Different Types of Alimony
A judge may award one or more types of support:
- Pendente lite (temporary): Awarded when one spouse needs financial support while the divorce is pending for cost of living and other needs.
- Limited-duration: Awarded when a financially-supported spouse needs time to become self-supporting after the divorce.
- Rehabilitative: Awarded when a dependent spouse needs financial assistance for education or training to become self-supporting.
- Reimbursement: Awarded to the financially-supportive spouse if they paid for their spouse’s advanced education and expected to benefit from it.
- Permanent: Awarded when a dependent spouse is unable to become self-supporting.
Several Factors Are Considered
Unlike child support, there is no formula a judge uses to calculate alimony. Instead, several factors are considered.
- The spouse’s need and ability to pay
- The length of the marriage
- Age, physical health, and mental health
- Standard of living
- Education level, career, and skills
- Parental responsibilities and involvement
- History of financial responsibility
- The equitable distribution of marital property
- Investment assets
- Any other factor(s) the court deems relevant
Alimony Duration Can Differ
While your divorce case may fall into one type of alimony, the judge will determine the duration of payments. It can depend on the spouse’s need for financial support or the length of the divorce process. In New Jersey, permanent and limited-duration alimony will terminate if the supported spouse remarries or enters a civil union. However, rehabilitative and reimbursement alimony may remain unless both couples agree to end it or the court orders termination.
How to Avoid Paying Alimony in NJ
While alimony payments cannot be avoided because they are court ordered, it is possible to end or reduce them. The easiest way to end alimony payments is to request a change when you reach the federal retirement age (67 years old). However, if you do not want to wait that long, work with a private investigator to keep tabs on your former spouse.
Don’t go broke making alimony payments when your ex is living with their new partner at your expense. Presenting cohabitation proof to a court through a private investigation can result in a significant payment reduction or sometimes termination. Cohabitation proof is basically anything that shows the commitment of the couple such as grocery shopping, attending family events, yard work, vehicles being present where they reside, vacations, dinners out, affection in public, recognition from society that they are a couple, etc.
Arkeo Investigations offers surveillance services to help with alimony relief. Our team can also help you understand your alimony and assist in dealing with courts. Contact us today to learn more.