Alimony payments aren’t something that occur automatically in a divorce. Many cases of alimony are worked out as part of a divorce settlement, but there are some that are decided by the court. It’s imperative that anyone who is considering seeking alimony or who is being asked to pay alimony understand how it might affect them.
In New Jersey, there are four types of alimony. These include:
- Limited duration alimony: This is common if the marriage wasn’t a lengthy one. If the marriage was under 20 years, the alimony won’t exceed the length of the marriage.
- Open duration alimony: These payments are made as long as the person receiving them has a valid reason why they aren’t able to support themselves.
- Reimbursement alimony: Repayment for the supportive role one spouse took while the other was advancing their education is made through reimbursement alimony.
- Rehabilitative alimony: This type of alimony helps the person to get an education or training so they can support themselves.
The court will review the circumstances of the marriage and divorce if it’s asked to make the determination about these payments.
What factors are considered for alimony in New Jersey?
The court looks at the financial status of both parties, including their ability to pay and support themselves. The duration of the marriage and how each party contributed to the marriage is considered. In some cases, the criminal history of the parties has to be considered because state law forbids people convicted of certain crimes from being able to collect alimony.
What are the tax rules that apply to alimony payments?
In the past, people who were paying alimony could receive a tax deduction for those payments. Starting with the 2019 tax year, that tax deduction was taken away as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. It’s written into code through at least 2025. The act also removes the requirement that the recipient of alimony file the payments as income. These terms are only valid for divorces that were filed after Dec. 31, 2018. People who filed before that date are still subjected to the old rules.
Working closely with your attorney on all matters related to your divorce, including alimony, can help you to protect your interests. Be sure to evaluate all the options you have so you know that you’re making the decisions you feel are best for you.