How Long Must I Be Married to Get Alimony Payments in New Jersey?

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When your fairytale marriage turns out to be a nightmare, you may not know how to proceed. One thing you’ll need to consider is whether or not you’ll request alimony, as you may be unable to support yourself without contributions from your ex-spouse. However, there are misconceptions about how long a couple must be married for a spouse to receive support. Keep reading to learn what you should know about alimony payments and discover how Hudson County alimony attorneys can help you navigate this process.

Does the Length of a Marriage Determine Alimony Payments?

It’s essential to understand that there are no guidelines on how long a couple must be married before a spouse is awarded alimony payments. However, the length of the marriage will be considered with several other factors before a decision is made.

Also, you should know that when alimony is awarded, it cannot last longer than the length of the marriage. For example, if you were married for five years, your alimony payments would not last longer than five years. Generally, it is up to the judge to grant alimony for shorter or extended periods of time.

The only exception to long-lasting alimony occurs for couples married for more than twenty years. Under New Jersey law, someone financially dependent on their spouse may be eligible for open durational alimony. This means that you will receive spousal support until you become financially independent or until you no longer qualify for payments under New Jersey laws.

What Factors Will Influence Spousal Support?

When fighting for alimony, it’s vital to understand what elements the courts will take into consideration. These include the following:

  • The earning capacity of each spouse
  • The employability reflected in the job market at the time of the divorce
  • The standard of living during the marriage
  • How much each spouse contributed to the marriage, including financial and child-rearing contributions
  • How financially dependent one spouse is on the other
  • If there are any health concerns
  • Whether the recipient’s spouse requires any additional education or training to earn money

However, alimony can be modified based on similar factors. Similarly, if a receiving spouse is found to cohabitate with a new partner, the paying spouse can request an early end to their payments. This is because a paying spouse has no further obligation to continue supporting their ex since they are sharing finances and living expenses with another person.

Whether you’re looking to receive spousal support or believe you’re paying too much to an ex-spouse, it’s in your best interest to contact an attorney. At Greenberg & Walden, our dedicated legal team has the experience you need to help you navigate this highly contentious and complex issue. Contact our firm today to learn more about how we can guide you through this process.

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