Alimony awards generally do not last forever

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2022 | Alimony |

If you are paying alimony, you likely want to know just how long these payments will last. And your former spouse who is receiving these payments likely wants to know how much time they have before those payments stop.

It is good, then, to have a basic understanding of how long you will be paying alimony in New Jersey.

Check your divorce decree

Your order for alimony may include a specific end date. If so, alimony will end on that date.

Sometimes, an order for alimony is of open duration. This means it does not have a specific end date. If so, a judge will review the award periodically to determine if it should continue.

New Jersey statutes

However, under New Jersey statutes, if you were married for under 20 years, the length of time you will pay alimony should not last longer than the length of your marriage.

However, a court is permitted to deviate from this recommendation if there are exceptional circumstances. If you are paying spousal support, the court will examine several factors to determine if exceptional circumstances exist. These factors are:

  • How old you and your former spouse were when you married
  • How old you and your former spouse were when alimony was awarded
  • How dependent your former spouse was on you financially while you were married
  • Your health and your former spouse’s health
  • Whether your former spouse gave up their career to support your career
  • The outcome of the property division process
  • How your marriage affected your former spouse’s ability to support themselves post-divorce
  • Tax factors
  • Other relevant, fair and material factors

An award of alimony will end automatically if your former spouse remarries or if you pass away.

It is good to have a general idea of how long you will be paying alimony. This can help you prepare for financial future, and it can help your former spouse do so as well.