Do I need to be married a certain number of years to obtain alimony?
The short answer is no. There is no magic number of years in which you need to be married to have a viable claim for alimony. Similarly, there is no magic number of years before you can make a viable claim for permanent alimony. Deciding (a) if there is an alimony obligation, (b) if so, what is the length of the alimony obligation, and (c) how much will be paid, is based upon a careful review of New Jersey’s alimony statute.
N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23 sets forth a number of factors that need to be considered when answering these questions:
(1) Actual Need & Ability to Pay.
(2) Duration of the Marriage.
(3) Age and Health of the Parties.
(4) Standard of living.
(5) Earning ability.
(6) Length of Absence from Job Market.
(7) Responsibilities for the Children.
(8) Time & Expense of Training.
(9) History of Contributions.
(10) Equitable Distribution.
(11) Income Available through Investments.
(12) Tax Treatment.
No one factor is weighted significantly higher than another factor. Thus, when evaluating a situation, you need to look at the entire picture. For example, at first glance, someone married for twenty years presumably would have a claim for permanent alimony. However, depending upon the age of the parties and their incomes (or earning abilities), it may not be an alimony case at all. The details are important.
All of the attorneys at Domers & Bonamassa are well versed and have years of experience addressing family law issues, no matter how complicated. Contact us today at (856) 596-2888 for a private consultation. We appear in the following counties: Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Cumberland, Salem, Mercer, Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May. Our practice areas include: divorce, custody, parenting time, child support, alimony, domestic violence, college expenses, equitable distribution, name changes, step parent adoptions, paternity issues, child abuse and neglect, prenuptial agreements, mediation and arbitration.
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