Rehabilitative alimony permits a short-term award from one party in a divorce case to enable the former spouse to complete the preparation necessary for economic self-sufficiency after the divorce. ,” Hill v. Hill, 91 N.J. 506, 509 (1982); Milner v. Milner, 288 N.J.Super. 209, 213-14 (App.Div.1996). Thus, it ceases when the dependent spouse is in a position of self-support. Hughes v. Hughes, 311 N.J.Super. 15, 31 (App.Div. 1998).
Rehabilitative alimony thus represents an appropriate remedy where, for example, a spouse who gave up or postponed his or her own education to support the household requires a lump sum or a short-term award to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Mahoney, supra, 91 N.J. at 504, 453 A.2d 527. However, its purpose is to “enhance and improve the earning capacity of the economically dependant spouse.” Frank Louis, Limited Duration Alimony, 11 N.J. Fam. Law. 133, 135 (1991). Thus, even where a spouse didn’t give up an education, it can still be used where the spouse will pursue an education. This is because the focus of rehabilitative alimony is upon the ability of a dependant spouse to engage in gainful employment, combined with the length of the marriage, the age of the parties, Heinl, supra, 287 N.J.Super. at 346-48 and the spouse’s ability to regain a place in the workplace, Cerminara v. Cerminara, 286 N.J.Super. 448, 460 (App.Div.), certif. denied, 144 N.J. 376 (1996).
If you would like to discuss your chances of getting rehabilitative alimony in your New Jersey divorce case, call our rehabilitative alimony lawyers today to discuss your case.