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Examining the different forms of alimony

To you (a most other in Essex County), alimony may simply be alimony. It is the money that either you or your ex-spouse will have to pay the other as a form of financial support. Yet this further highlights the incorrect assumptions that so many have about alimony. People often come to us here at The Law Office of Laurie A. Bernstein P.C. thinking that alimony is just another of punishing the spouse that makes more money by obliging them to support the other; rather, it is simply temporary assistance that ends once you or your ex-spouse secures gainful employment. As such, there are actually different types of alimony designed to fit the unique circumstances of your case. 

According to Section 2A.34-23(b) of New Jersey's state statutes, the state recognizes four distinct types of alimony: 

  • Open durational alimony
  • Limited duration alimony 
  • Rehabilitative alimony
  • Reimbursement alimony

Say that your ex-spouse worked to support you and your family while you completed your schooling (thus helping to cover its expense). In such a case, the court may require that you pay them reimbursement alimony to pay back that assistance. Reimbursement alimony may be paid in a one-time lump sum, or be broken up into periodic payments. If, on the other hand, your spouse put their career ambitions on hold to attend to the affairs of your household, the court may ask you to pay them rehabilitative alimony while they work to re-enter the workforce. 

Limited duration alimony is just as its name implies: a payment obligation over a pre-determined period of time. Of all the different forms of alimony obligations, only open durational will typically not have a specified end-date. You stop paying it when your spouse or remarries. 

More information on alimony obligations can be found throughout our site. 

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