There is no doubt about it, divorce is hard. Trying to figure out how to separate everything from a married couple back into two distinct lives can sometimes feel like trying to separate the creamer back out of your morning coffee. For many, alimony is one of the tools used to facilitate that separation. Is alimony mandatory in New Jersey? We can answer that right now, no it isn’t, but there are some things you should know, and Carvajal Law is here to help!
Does New Jersey Have Permanent Alimony?
Permanent alimony was rarely ever exercised, and current New Jersey law doesn’t even allow it, though there is a loophole. In some circumstances, open duration alimony is allowed. This is rare and as close as you can get to permanent alimony in New Jersey.
Read More: Who Gets the House in a New Jersey Divorce?
What is Open Duration Alimony in NJ?
Open duration alimony works exactly the way it sounds in that when it is established, there is no set date as to when the alimony payments will end. However, there are a lot of caveats here. First off, for this to even be an option, the couple will have to have been married for at least 20 years.
The second caveat is that alimony payments can still end at any time if the right conditions are met. These conditions aren’t set in stone either but are rather there in case there is a change in circumstances requiring modification or termination of spousal support.
How Long Does Alimony Last in NJ?
As we said, with open duration alimony, the alimony could go on forever—though it rarely does. However, we mentioned that open duration alimony is only an option for marriages that have been maintained for at least 20 years. Any marriage shorter than 20 years cannot have alimony payments extending longer than the length of the marriage. So if you were married for 7 years, your alimony payments can only continue for 7 years.
This is not to say that if you were married for 7 years one spouse will HAVE to make alimony payments for 7 years. In most cases, an agreed alimony period will be lower than that, but in this case, 7 would be the maximum.
How to Get The Best Outcome For Your NJ Divorce
Going into any divorce without a lawyer is a bad idea. Getting the best outcome for your traditional or uncontested divorce means getting a good lawyer, and that’s where Carvajal Law comes in. We’re located in North Bergen where we serve all of Northern New Jersey. Schedule a free consultation today!
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