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Defining Alimony

What is alimony?

Amy Wechsler’s Answer:

Alimony is a means by which one party pays support to the other following a separation or divorce. New Jersey has four types of alimony:

  1. Limited duration alimony in marriages or civil unions lasting fewer than 20 years cannot exceed the length of the marriage other than in exceptional circumstances, and is often for a shorter period. In exceptional circumstances, alimony lasts longer than the length of the marriage.
  2. Open durational alimony may be awarded in marriages of 20 years or more, and this does not have an end date.
  3. Rehabilitative alimony is for a short time to help a party be more independent by getting education, training, or gradually re-entering the workforce. The person seeking rehabilitative alimony must have a specific plan for this rehabilitation.
  4. Reimbursement alimony is for a party who supported a spouse to obtain an education during the marriage.

A judge can award more than one type of alimony if the facts of a given case warrant it.

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