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Handy Law Answer Book
ISBN: 9781578592173
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What is alimony, and what are different types of alimony?

  • It requires that one spouse supports the other during and after a divorce.
  • It traditionally requires the spouse that makes more money to provide alimony to the spouse that makes less money.
  • It has different terminology per state to describe the types of alimony, whether it is permanent or interim.


Alimony refers to the support of one spouse by the other while the parties are going through divorce proceedings and also after the parties are divorced. Traditionally, courts may require the spouse that makes more money to provide alimony to the spouse that makes less money. Often, a party will file a motion, seeking interim or pendente lite support. The main goal of alimony is to give the supported spouse relatively the same level of maintenance or support that they enjoyed the duration of the marriage.

There are different types of alimony, and states use different terminology to describe different types of alimony. These include permanent alimony, limited duration alimony, reimbursement alimony, rehabilitative alimony, alimony in solido, alimony in gross, alimony in future, periodic alimony, and transitional alimony.

New Jersey recognizes rehabilitative, reimbursement, limited duration, and permanent alimony. Often courts will award pendente lite or temporary support to maintain a spouse between the time of separation and eventual divorce. The other types of alimony are for a given period of time ranging from a couple years to virtually permanent support.

From The Handy Law Answer Book by David L. Hudson, Jr., JD., (c) 2010 Visible Ink Press(r) Combines practical legal tips with an exhaustive overview of U. S. law to answer to more than 800 legal questions.
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