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How Long Do You Have To Be Married To Get Alimony?

The Micklin Law Group-How Long Do You Have To Be Married To Get Alimony?

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a form of financial assistance that one spouse may be required to pay to the other spouse after a divorce. The purpose of alimony is to help the spouse who earns less or who has been financially dependent on the other spouse maintain their standard of living after the divorce. In many cases, alimony is temporary; it may only last just long enough for the payee to get back on their feet, or to pursue another career if they need a higher salary. However, in some cases, alimony is a permanent and expensive inconvenience for divorced men and fathers.

Who Has to Pay Alimony?

In New Jersey, there is no set formula or rule for how long you have to be married to be eligible for (or required to pay) alimony. The length of the marriage is just one of many factors that are taken into account when determining whether alimony is appropriate and, if so, the amount and duration of the payments.

The New Jersey Alimony Reform Act of 2014 changed the way that alimony is awarded in New Jersey. Under the new law, there are four types of alimony that may be awarded: open durational alimony, limited duration alimony, rehabilitative alimony, and reimbursement alimony. Each type of alimony serves a different purpose and may be awarded for a different length of time.

Types of Alimony in NJ

Open durational alimony is awarded in marriages that have lasted for 20 years or more, or in marriages where the length of the marriage is deemed “indefinite.” Open durational alimony may continue until either party dies or the recipient spouse remarries or cohabitates with a new partner. This can be thought of as “permanent alimony.”

Limited duration alimony is awarded for a specific period of time, which is typically based on the length of the marriage. This type of alimony is awarded in marriages that lasted less than 20 years and where open durational alimony is not deemed appropriate. The length of the alimony award cannot exceed the length of the marriage.

Rehabilitative alimony is awarded to help the recipient spouse become financially self-sufficient. It is typically awarded for a specific period of time to allow the recipient spouse to obtain education or training to increase their earning potential. The length of the alimony award is based on the time it takes for the recipient spouse to become self-sufficient.

Reimbursement alimony is awarded to reimburse one spouse for expenses they incurred during the marriage. For example, if one spouse paid for the other spouse’s education or supported them while they pursued a career, they may be entitled to reimbursement alimony to recoup those expenses.

Factors Considered When Determining Alimony

In addition to the length of the marriage, the court will consider several other factors when determining whether alimony is appropriate, including the age and health of each spouse, the standard of living during the marriage, the income and earning capacity of each spouse, and the contributions each spouse made to the marriage, both financial and non-financial.

It’s important to note that alimony is not automatic in any divorce case. The court will consider all of the relevant factors and make a determination based on the specific circumstances of the case. If alimony is awarded, the amount and duration of the payments will be based on the same factors. Alimony attorneys who have seen many divorces play out may be able to offer their clients advanced insight into whether they can expect to pay alimony.

Alimony Rights For Men in Nutley, NJ

If you are going through a divorce and are concerned about being ordered to pay alimony, it’s important to consult with an experienced New Jersey family lawyer who can advise you on your rights and options. The Micklin Law Group’s divorce lawyers for men have ample experience with complex divorce and family law cases, particularly higher-asset cases where alimony is on the table. We’ll help you determine what to expect during and after your divorce, and we’ll work to create an equitable divorce settlement that may take alimony off the table. You can reach our Nutley office by calling 973-562-0100.

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