How long will alimony last after a New Jersey divorce?

It can be difficult to plan for your future after a divorce when you have no way of knowing how the divorce itself will end. If you decided to focus on the family instead of on developing your career, you may be at a financial disadvantage when it comes to living independently after the divorce.

The New Jersey courts will sometimes order alimony, also known as spousal support, to allow a formerly dependent spouse some degree of financial stability as they move on with their life. How long can you count on alimony lasting when planning for your future?

If your marriage was shorter than 20 years, alimony will probably be temporary

As a general rule, when the courts review spousal support requests related to a marriage that lasted for less than 20 years, they will usually only order alimony that lasts for less time than the marriage itself lasted. In other words, if you stayed married for two years, it’s likely that your alimony will last only two years or less. However, extreme circumstances may prompt the courts to deviate from that standard.

When does alimony last longer?

There are certain circumstances in which the courts may order permanent alimony or alimony that lasts for longer than the relationship that gave rise to the claim. Marriages that last longer than 20 years could result in permanent alimony. Other times, there will be an exceptional need that necessitates longer alimony payments.

For example, if you have a debilitating medical condition that will prevent you from supporting yourself in the future, the courts may consider that when ordering alimony is part of a divorce. The courts may also consider the custody of a minor child with disabilities that will persist into adulthood when determining the amount of support that one spouse receives.

Carefully looking at your family situation can give you a better idea about your right to alimony in a pending divorce.