Carolann M. Aschoff, P.C.

Types of spousal support: what to expect

The end of a relationship can be emotionally taxing, especially when it is the end of years of married life. Apart from the emotional aspect, New Jersey residents in the midst of a divorce may become overwhelmed with the intricacies of the process. This is especially true when it comes to spousal support.

Spousal support refers to a fixed monthly amount paid by one party to the other in cases of divorce or legal separation. The main aim is to enable the receiver to pay monthly living expenses. The circumstances surrounding the divorce will determine the type of alimony awarded.   

The first type of spousal support is permanent support. This type of alimony will be paid to the receiver until his or her death, remarriage or, in some cases, even permanent cohabitation with another person. The amount paid monthly is calculated by considering a variety of factors, such as the required living expenses, age and the contribution made over the years.

Secondly, a court may award a lump sum as alimony, especially in cases where the spouse does not qualify for support according to state laws. In some cases, a court may award temporary alimony payments for a set period, normally five years or less. In this instance, the aim is to provide a spouse deemed in need of additional support to get established the opportunity to do so.

The fourth type of alimony a court may award is called rehabilitative alimony. This type of support provides the receiver with the opportunity to receive training needed to find a job and become independent. Therefore, it is awarded for shorter periods of time - three years or less. An additional requirement may be that the receiver must be enrolled at a school or university.

Once it has been established that an ex-spouse or partner is entitled to spousal support, a court order will set the amount considered as fair, as well as the period of time the money must be paid. Thus, before negotiations start between the two parties, a consultation with a New Jersey family law attorney may benefit. The assistance of an experienced family law attorney can help secure an award of alimony when warranted.

Source:, "Types of Alimony", Audrey M. Jones, Accessed on Oct. 02, 2017

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