Do I Have a Right to Alimony?

In New Jersey, alimony is a need based form of financial support typically paid to the lower earning spouse to aid him or her in the transitional phase after divorce. Typically, the purpose of alimony is to help the receiving spouse become self-sufficient. Unlike child support, which is the right of the child, neither parent has an inherent right to alimony.

Alimony is most commonly ordered in divorces where one spouse earned less or sacrificed his or her career to raise children. In divorces where both spouses make similar incomes, the judge might not order alimony at all. To cover the range of financial situations one may be in after a divorce, there are a few different types of New Jersey alimony.

Reimbursement alimony compensates a spouse for the contributions he or she made to the career or education of the other spouse.

Rehabilitative alimony helps the receiving spouse reenter the workforce and may cover education, training, and living expenses during the rehabilitation period.

Limited duration alimony is paid for a certain number of months or years and is meant to help the receiving spouse become self-supporting with a standard of living close to what he or she had during the marriage.

Open durational alimony, which is a less common type, had no set end date and is only ordered after marriages of 20 years or longer and typically ends when the paying spouse reaches full retirement age.

When fairly calculated, alimony can help the dependent spouse maintain a standard of living close to what was experienced during the marriage. But because it’s based on financial need, it is not a right. You do, however, have the right to ask the court to order your spouse to pay you alimony.

Alimony is a vital form of support for spouses who are left unable to support their standard of living after the marriage. If you need alimony or are being asked to pay it, speak with an experienced New Jersey matrimonial attorney about your options. An attorney can help you identify the right type of alimony for your case and ensure the amount you receive or pay is fairly calculated.

Are you divorcing and have questions about alimony? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can explain how alimony works in the State of New Jersey and inform you of your options for paying or receiving support. Located in Short Hills, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 738-8366, email us at, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.

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