Limited Duration Alimony in New Jersey
Limited duration alimony accommodates the marital partnership principle by “recogniz[ing] in certain marriages that a permanent alimony order—or no alimony award at all—is an injustice, and [that] the law must provide sufficient flexibility to enter orders fulfilling not only the statutory directives but the fundamental purposes of alimony.” Louis, Limited Duration Alimony. This flexibility mandates an appropriate judicial analysis of the statutory factors when contemplating an award of more than reimbursement or rehabilitative alimony, the former being awarded to recognize past forbearances and the latter to meet fixed future needs. Limited duration alimony is to be awarded in recognition of a dependent spouse’s contributions to a relatively short-term marriage that nevertheless demonstrated the attributes of a “marital partnership”. In determining whether to award limited duration alimony, a trial judge must consider the same statutory factors considered in any application for permanent alimony, tempered only by the limited duration of the marriage. All other statutory factors being in equipoise, the duration of the marriage marks the defining distinction between whether permanent or limited duration alimony is warranted and awarded.
Thus, limited duration alimony is probably the most frequently awarded alimony obligations in New Jersey. While there are not clear guidelines as to when there is no alimony obligation, a limited duration alimony obligation or a permanent alimony obligation, your lawyer should be able to give you a range of possibilities for your case.