When might a dependent spouse qualify for durational alimony?

Alimony often doesn’t last for long. Most of the kinds of alimony available in a New Jersey divorce are temporary. Rehabilitative alimony may only last long enough for someone to get back in to the workforce, while restitution alimony will only last as long as it takes to repay someone their investment in supporting their spouse previously.

Durational alimony, on the other hand, could be permanent in certain situations. As long as the circumstances that qualified someone for durational alimony persist, that person can continue to seek spousal maintenance from their ex. When is durational alimony an option in the New Jersey divorce?

Durational alimony is only for those who cannot support themselves

Longer marriages give people a better claim to alimony, but so do some personal circumstances. If your marriage has lasted 20 years or longer and one spouse is unable to support themselves, the courts might consider ordering durational alimony.

Durational alimony is often the outcome where one spouse leaves the other because of a chronic medical condition. Unless the spouse receiving the alimony recovers, the payments will continue indefinitely. The same is true when a couple shares a child with special needs. If one parent has stayed out of the workforce to care for the child and will remain their caregiver, alimony will likely last until the child is independent or the parent receiving support can no longer take care of the child.

Alimony orders can be one of the more complex considerations in a pending divorce. Whether you are concerned about paying it or need to receive it you will want to familiarize yourself with your rights under New Jersey law. Your family law attorney can help.