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Will I Have to Pay Alimony After My Divorce?


Paying alimonyDivorce is expensive, and for many people, the expenses do not end after the judge hands down a final order. People forced to make support payments for years after parting ways with their spouses, some in the form of child support, others in the form of alimony. Though child support is a give-in in any situation in which children are involved, alimony is not always guaranteed.

When determining whether or not a person has to pay alimony, the judge considers many factors, such as the length of the marriage, the ability of the other spouse to support him or herself, and the actual need of the potential recipient. That said, alimony laws in New Jersey are extremely vague, and as it becomes more common for both men and women to work, judges are becoming less strict in enforcing them. If you want to know whether or not you will have pay alimony post-divorce, consult with a skilled New Jersey divorce lawyer.

New Jersey’s Stance on Alimony

Though most judges use their discretion when deciding whether or not alimony is necessary, the state provides a list for judges to consider. The list N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(b), and includes some of the following factors:

  • The actual need of the potential recipient and the other spouse’s ability to pay;
  • The length of the marriage;
  • The age, physical health, and emotional well-being of both parties;
  • The standard of living established in the marriage and the likelihood of either party to uphold that standard on his or her own;
  • Each party’s earning capacities, educational levels, skillsets, and overall employability;
  • The length of absence from the workforce of the potential recipient;
  • Each party’s contribution to the marriage, both financially and non-financially;
  • How the property becomes distributed during divorce;
  • The time and expense necessary for the lesser earning party to acquire sufficient education and training to become employable;
  • Additional income and assets each party has access to; and
  • Any other factors the court may deem relevant.

Depending on which of the above factors apply to your case, you may be ordered to pay open duration alimony, limited duration alimony, rehabilitative alimony, or reimbursement alimony. Open duration alimony awarded in cases in which the marriage lasted for 20 years or more. If ordered to pay open duration alimony, you become required to pay your former spouse for the foreseeable future and until he or she experiences a significant change in circumstances. Remarriage is such a significant change.

Awarding Limited Duration Alimony

Limited duration alimony awarded in cases in which the marriage lasted for less than 20 years. This type of alimony becomes awarded for a specified number of years. Which cannot exceed the duration of the marriage.

Rehabilitative alimony awarded allows the lesser earning spouse enough time to obtain the training and education he or she needs to become employable. Reimbursement alimony is awarded either when one spouse set aside his or her career in order to allow the other to pursue his or hers. Also, when one spouse contributed to the other’s education for an advanced degree.

Let a New Jersey Divorce Lawyer Take Away the Confusion

Unlike child support determinations in New Jersey, no set guidelines for determining alimony in The Garden State. State laws concerning child support determinations are fairly vague. If you want to plan for your future post-divorce, consult with a New Jersey divorce attorney. Call The Law Office of Jordan B. Rickards, Esq., to schedule a private consultation today.

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