Types of Alimony in New Jersey

In New Jersey alimony is governed by N.J.S.A. 2A: 34-23 and permits a Court to award the following four types of alimony: 

  • Limited Duration Alimony; 
  • Open Durational Alimony;
  • Reimbursement Alimony; and 
  • Rehabilitative Alimony.

Limited Duration Alimony obligates one spouse to provide support for a temporary, fixed period. Limited Duration Alimony is generally awarded for marriages that were less than 20 years in duration. Moreover, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A: 34-23,  “for any marriage or civil union less than 20 years in duration, the total duration of alimony shall not, except in exceptional circumstances, exceed the length of the marriage or civil union.” 

Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A: 34-23 exceptional circumstances that may require an adjustment to the duration of the alimony award include: 

(1)The ages of the parties at the time of the marriage or civil union and at the time of the alimony award;

(2)The degree and duration of the dependency of one party on the other party during the marriage or civil union;

(3)Whether a spouse or partner has a chronic illness or unusual health circumstance;

(4)Whether a spouse or partner has given up a career or a career opportunity or otherwise supported the career of the other spouse or partner;

(5)Whether a spouse or partner has received a disproportionate share of equitable distribution;

(6)The impact of the marriage or civil union on either party’s ability to become self-supporting, including but not limited to either party’s responsibility as primary caretaker of a child;

(7)Tax considerations of either party; and

(8)Any other factors or circumstances that the court deems equitable, relevant and material.

Open Durational Alimony obligates one spouse to provide support for an open period of time until a court terminates the obligation or the parties agree to terminate the obligation. Open durational alimony is typically award for marriages that were more than 20 years in duration. 

Normally, the length of the marriage is calculated from the date of the marriage to the date of the filing of the Complaint for Divorce. However, there may be circumstances where an alternate end date is utilized to calculate the length of the marriage. These circumstances include but are not limited to long-term separations prior to the filing of the Complaint for Divorce. 

Rehabilitative alimony is a short-term alimony award that allows one spouse to obtain the training he or she needs for economic self-sufficiency. Rehabilitative alimony is awarded based upon a plan in which the payee shows the scope of rehabilitation, the steps to be taken, and the time frame, including a period of employment during which rehabilitation will occur. 

Reimbursement alimony compensates a spouse who has paid for the other spouse to secure a degree or training, but will not benefit from the income generated by the degree due to the divorce. 

For questions regarding alimony or any other family law related issue, please contact the attorneys of Ulrichsen Rosen & Freed LLC. Our firm is focused exclusively on the practice of family law and serves clients throughout New Jersey including clients residing in Mercer County, Somerset County, Hunterdon County, Burlington County and Middlesex County.