Alimony, also known as spousal support or maintenance, is a payment from one spouse to the other to equalize incomes and the standard of living when a couple divorces. Alimony is not awarded in every divorce, but it can be a significant consideration and a source of great conflict.
The law firm of Capehart Scatchard represents men and women in all facets of New Jersey divorce, including negotiation or litigation of alimony. Our experienced attorneys can analyze your circumstances to determine whether spousal support applies in your case. We have successfully argued for and against alimony, and we help clients view alimony in the bigger picture of the divorce settlement agreement.
The majority of New Jersey divorces are resolved without alimony, but when it is awarded spousal support may amount to tens of thousands of dollars per year. There are five main types of alimony:
- Alimony pendente lite — temporary support during the divorce process
- Limited duration alimony — support for a fixed number of years
- Rehabilitative alimony — short-term support to enable a spouse to return to school or establish self-sufficiency
- Reimbursement alimony — compensation for putting a spouse through school or otherwise sacrificing to advance the spouse’s career
- Permanent alimony — ongoing support to a spouse until death or remarriage
Alimony is granted at the discretion of the court, based on statutory factors such as length of the marriage, income disparity, age and health, education, work history, earning capacity and the accustomed lifestyle of the parties. Permanently alimony, for example, is typically awarded in long-term marriages in which the recipient has a disability or minimal employable skills.
We ensure that the court has accurate information about income, need and ability to pay to make its decision about the amount and duration of alimony. Whether you are seeking or opposing alimony, it can be a useful bargaining tool in property division and other aspects of the divorce. Alimony can also be negotiated out of court as a lump sum distribution.
Our attorneys can also represent clients in petitions for spousal support modification or termination, when there has been a substantial change in economic circumstances or when the ex-spouse remarries or is cohabitating with a new partner.