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An Overview of Spousal Support

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An Overview of Spousal Support

April 24, 2017


Spousal support, or alimony, is where one spouse may require economic support from the other spouse during or following their divorce. Such support permits the dependent spouse to retain a lifestyle that most closely resembles that which the couple had during their marriage. However, alimony is intended to last only until the dependent spouse can support him- or herself.

There are five kinds of alimony that New Jersey recognizes. They are temporary alimony, limited duration alimony, permanent alimony, rehabilitative alimony, and reimbursement alimony.

Temporary alimony, or alimony pendent lite, is given to spouses who earn low wages or who are unemployed. It is intended to assist with the payment of living expenses during divorce proceedings.

Limited duration alimony may be awarded by a judge on the basis of economic necessity.

Permanent alimony may be awarded after a lengthy marriage if one spouse gave up the opportunity to pursue a career or education. If you request permanent alimony, the court will analyze several factors in making its decision as to whether you are eligible. The court will then decide if any of the other support orders are suitable, along with the permanent order.

In order to receive rehabilitative alimony, the requesting spouse is required to provide to the court the measures to be implemented for rehabilitation, the time period, and a time during which the spouse will be employed while receiving such alimony. The objective of rehabilitative alimony is to help the spouse become financially independent through training and education.

Reimbursement alimony pays a spouse who supported the other spouse through higher education, and who anticipated benefitting from the results of that work, but was unable to do so because of the divorce.

The court can award any number of these orders simultaneously. Among the factors the judge will consider when deciding the amount and length of time for an award of alimony are:

·       The needs of the requesting spouse and the ability of the other spouse to pay

·       The length of the marriage

·       The age, and physical and emotional health, of each spouse.


If you are going through a divorce, call the divorce attorneys at Rudnick, Addonizio, Pappa & Casazza P.C. They will provide you with honest advice, and take the time to respond to all of your questions.

“The attorney working on my personal injury case was knowledgable, courteous, and payed careful attention to every detail. He was sure to address any questions and concerns thoughtfully and respectfully. I have had an excellent experience interacting with the firm and I highly recommend the law firm of Rudnick, Addonizio, Pappa & Casazza to others.”

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