For many divorcing New Jersey residents, alimony, or spousal support, can be a point of contention. After all, most people do not want to have to continue supporting an ex-spouse in a financial capacity. However, it is not uncommon for courts to award alimony to spouses who earned less during the course of the marriage, who stayed home to raise the kids or who have a lower earning potential than the other spouse.
You may have concerns about whether and how alimony will be awarded in your divorce. If you know you earned more than your spouse or that he or she will likely qualify for alimony for other reasons, you may fear that your future financial security is on the line.
Types of alimony
One of the biggest concerns that you and many other individuals have when it comes to spousal support is how much and how long you will be paying. The amount of alimony awarded by the court will differ on a case-by-case basis. Factors like your income level, the income level of your spouse, the length of your marriage, employability and various others will go into the court’s decision. When it comes to duration of payments, one of the following types of alimony may apply:
- Lump sum: When the court awards lump sum alimony, it means that the total amount owed will be paid in one payment. This typically occurs when a spouse is not technically eligible for alimony under state law but who the court believes deserves additional assets for fair or equal asset division.
- Permanent: As the name suggests, permanent alimony is paid for the duration of the receiving individual’s life or until he or she remarries.
- Rehabilitative: Rehabilitative alimony is paid to an ex-spouse on a temporary basis while he or she goes through training or educational courses in order to reenter the workforce and earn a living on his or her own.
- Temporary: Temporary alimony typically lasts five years or less, and the court generally awards this type of support to help the receiving individual get back on his or her feet after the divorce.
While none of these options may seem ideal to you, it is possible the court could order you to pay some type of alimony to your spouse. As a result, you may want to gain more information on spousal support and determine whether you have options for negotiating for a settlement that you find more favorable.