There are many life circumstances that can occur throughout a marriage that may leave former spouses in different financial standings after a divorce. It is because of this that alimony may be ordered by the court. These are payments that are given from an independent spouse to a dependent spouse in order to provide them with financial stability. In New Jersey, there are different types of alimony that can be ordered by the court depending on the circumstances of the marriage. If you are going through a divorce and seeking alimony, contact an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney for assistance.

What Replaced Permanent Alimony?

In the past, permanent alimony was available to divorcing spouses in New Jersey. This was financial support from one spouse to another for a lifetime. However, the state’s former Governor amended a statute regarding this law in 2014. This replaced permanent alimony with open duration alimony. Open durational alimony is available to couples who were married or in a civil union for more than 20 years. Under this, there is no specified end-date to the payments until a reason arises to terminate them. Reasons to terminate can include cohabitation, remarriage, if the paying spouse becomes disabled or unemployed, or if the dependent spouse becomes independent.

Other Types of Alimony

As not all marriages are the same, there are different types of alimony that may be awarded depending on the divorcing couple’s situation. In addition to open duration alimony, the following are other types of alimony available in New Jersey:

  • Limited Duration Alimony: For couples that were married or in a civil union for less than 20 years. Payments should be made no longer than the length of the marriage/union and may be terminated if there is a change in either spouse’s financial situation.
  • Rehabilitative alimony: This may be ordered when a spouse holds off their career to support their family. This lets the dependent spouse to receive the education or training they need to get back in their field. 
  • Reimbursement alimony: This alimony reimburses a spouse if they financially support their partner’s education or training.

How is Alimony Determined?

The court determines if alimony is necessary for a couple. To make these decisions, they consider the following: 

  • The length of the marriage
  • The age and health of each spouse
  • The earning capacity of each spouse
  • The needs of the dependent spouse
  • The independent spouse’s ability to support the dependent spouse
  • If the dependent party had a significant absence from the job market
  • Equitable distribution of property
  • Each spouse’s responsibility for any children they have
  • The standard of living the couple established during their marriage
  • If there is any income available from investments
  • If there are any tax implications from spousal support payments

Contact our Firm


If you require strong legal representation for matters of divorce and family law in New Jersey, contact The Law Offices of Paone, Zaleski & Murphy to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.