Many people in New Jersey and elsewhere sacrificed their careers or business plans to stay home full-time and raise a family. If their marriages end in divorce 10, 20 or even 30 years later, it can cause financial distress, especially for those who have been out of the workforce for a long time. Alimony, also known as spousal support, is often awarded when a judge overseeing a divorce determines that one spouse is at a financial disadvantage; therefore, the other is directed to provide a supplement for a stipulated period of time.
What do state guidelines say?
There are several things to keep in mind regarding alimony in a New Jersey divorce. In this state, if a couple was married 20 years or longer, alimony may not continue beyond the length of the marriage. There are several types of alimony, and the court may order one or a combination of more than one kind.
Rehabilitative alimony is intended for short term assistance. It helps a spouse get an education or acquire training in order to earn enough income to be self-supporting. If one spouse paid for the other’s education, business startup, etc., the court could order reimbursement alimony because the money spent on the education might have been used to provide for the household.
Additional factors of consideration regarding alimony
The length of a marriage is only one of many issues the court considers when determining whether alimony is appropriate in a divorce. The income level of both spouses, as well as daily living expenses are also relevant. Child custody issues may influence the court’s decision about alimony, as well. A concerned spouse who is unsure of state laws or is worried about getting a fair settlement can meet with an experienced family law attorney to discuss the topic before heading to court.