Search Site

How Is Spousal Support Determined in New Jersey?

Spousal support (also known as alimony) is sometimes awarded in New Jersey divorces. Courts usually grant it where one spouse has a much higher income or earning potential than the other. Unless your marriage lasted more than 20 years, spousal support is also typically temporary. Assuming you do qualify, how is the amount of support determined?

A divorce court can award one or more of the five types of spousal support available under New Jersey law:

  • Temporary support — Also known as pendente lite alimony, this form of support is available during the divorce proceedings.
  • Limited duration alimony — This is awarded where one spouse needs time to become self-supporting. There are usually conditions that the spouse must comply with or lose the support.
  • Rehabilitative alimony — This is awarded to help a spouse acquire the skills or education that will lead to financial independence. The request must include what needs to be achieved, how to achieve it and the time frame.
  • Reimbursement alimony — This is awarded where one spouse financially supported the other’s advanced education and expected to benefit from it (i.e., one spouse help put the other through law school).
  • Permanent alimony — No longer very common, permanent alimony is usually only awarded where there was a long-term marriage and one spouse is unlikely to become self-supporting.

The court will look at many factors in granting an award of support of any kind. Factors that the court will consider include:

  • The needs of the receiving spouse and the ability of the paying spouse to pay
  • The length of the marriage and how long the spouse is seeking support
  • The spouses’ ages and health
  • The couple’s standard of living during the marriage
  • The ability of each spouse to earn a living, education, training and employment possibilities
  • How long it will take the receiving spouse to become self-supporting
  • Tax consequences, marital property division and each spouse’s investment income

A court has a great deal of discretion in deciding alimony. There is no specific legal formula. You and your soon-to-be ex-spouse can agree on terms, and the court can approve them. No support can be awarded to a spouse convicted of certain serious crimes.

The court will order support either in a lump sum or as periodic payments. Monthly payments are the most common. If the parties can’t agree on the payments, the court will issue an income withholding order to the paying spouse’s employer. If the paying spouse doesn’t pay, the receiving spouse can get enforcement help from the court.

If you are anticipating the need for support at some point during or after your divorce, you need to work with an experienced and knowledgeable divorce attorney who can present your case effectively.

The Law Offices of Kisha M. Hebbon, LLC in Somerset represents clients in divorce cases throughout New Jersey, including Somerset, Middlesex and Union counties. Call us at 732-873-6464 or contact us online today.

Contact us

Please fill out the form below and one of our attorneys will contact you.

Quick Contact Form

COVID-19 Notice
As you are aware, New Jersey Governor Murphy ordered all "non-essential businesses" to close as of 9:00 p.m. Saturday, March 21, 2020. In compliance with this directive, we have closed our office to the public. In compliance with the executive order, we will not have any staff on site. However, I will be working remotely. We also have a call service answering all calls to ensure our operations proceed smoothly. This will enable us to continue to be available to assist you. We are still accepting new cases and can conduct phone consultations. For existing clients, please note that all court dates are either being held telephonically or adjourned. We will keep you posted as soon as the court advises of the status of your matter. Your calls, emails, and correspondence will be answered in a timely and professional manner and we will continue to deliver the same quality of service our clients have come to expect from us.
Our office
  • Somerset Office
    19 Clyde Road
    Suite 202
    Somerset, New Jersey 08873
    Phone: 732-873-6464
    Fax: 732-873-6480
  • Make a Payment