Alimony Types in New Jersey

Alimony has deep roots in history, dating back thousands of years.   The laws have certainly evolved to keep up with our changing society, and they continue to do so. Long gone are the days where husbands were automatically ordered to pay wives alimony in the event of divorce or where alimony awards were calculated based upon fault.  Because alimony laws are frequently changing, and because each case is so fact-specific, it is a highly-litigated issue in divorce proceedings.


So what are the types of alimony in New Jersey?



Open durational  – In September of 2014, the term “permanent alimony” was replaced with the term “open durational alimony” in the New Jersey alimony statute.  It is similar to permanent alimony because there is no end date to the award.  However, it differs because it can only be awarded if the marriage lasted at least 20 years (except in exceptional circumstances), and it is presumed to end when the paying spouse reaches full retirement age. This is most common in situations where one spouse stayed home the entire marriage to raise children and maintain the home,  with a low probability of being able to maintain the marital standard alone.  


Limited duration — this is awarded for a set period of time that considers how long it would reasonably take the recipient to improve his or her earning capacity and be able to maintain the marital standard of living.  The duration cannot exceed the length of the marriage, except in extreme circumstances.   


Rehabilitative –this awarded based on a plan the recipient has to improve his or her earning capacity and become self-sufficient.  It is focused on providing support for the required education or skills to get back into the workforce.  Once the goals are reached, the support obligation is terminated.


Reimbursement –this is awarded to a spouse that supported the other through an advanced education, expecting to share in the financial success generated by that education.  It can include reimbursement for direct education costs like tuition, as well as indirect costs such as rent and utilities paid while the other spouse was attending school.


Please keep in mind that courts can award more than one type of alimony.  



If you would like to speak with an attorney about the different types of alimony available in New Jersey, contact The Law Office of Jill Jedrusiak, LLC today at (732) 719-2202 or