The awarding of temporary and permanent alimony in divorce cases can be rather simple or rather complex depending on the length of the marriage and the complexities of each case. When awarding alimony, courts first look at what type of alimony is being sought: permanent versus temporary. Permanent alimony is that which is awarded during a divorce or while a divorce is pending, up until the date of divorce judgment. Permanent alimony refers to alimony that is awarded from the date of the divorce judgment to the ‘end’ of the award period. Permanent alimony is often misconstrued as alimony which never ends; however, this is not so, as permanent alimony is awarded only for a period of time. Let’s look a little further into this.
Temporary alimony is usually given in cases where one spouse is dependent upon the other spouse and in which case the divorce causes a significant financial hardship or burden on the dependent party. Although temporary alimony can come in the form of cash payments, it is also awarded as ‘in kind’, meaning that spousal support can come in the form of maintaining the mortgage payment or the rent payment while the dependent spouse still resides in the home or maintaining the car payment while the dependent spouse still drives the vehicle. Temporary alimony is based off of several factors, including the financial picture and earning potential of both parties. Again, temporary alimony is awarded while the divorce is pending and will end upon the judgment for divorce.
Permanent alimony is a whole other monster, with complex variables determining the amount of permanent alimony awarded and whether permanent alimony is awarded at all. As briefly mentioned, permanent alimony does not mean spousal assistance forever, but rather it means for a set amount of time. The length of time permanent alimony is awarded depends on several factors, including the length of the marriage, the established standard of living during the marriage, and spousal dependence. Because of the nature of permanent alimony, legal battles often become protracted and messy, as a thorough examination of the marriage takes place and the factors for divorce are scrutinized.
If you’re facing a divorce or are concerned regarding temporary versus permanent alimony, contact an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney for legal advice.