Can You Receive (Or Do You Need to Pay) Alimony If You’re Separated?

You and your spouse are separated, but your divorce is still not final. Do you qualify to receive NJ alimony — or likewise, could you be on the hook to pay alimony until your divorce goes through?

In New Jersey, if financial support is needed to help one spouse retain the standard of living enjoyed when the couple lived under one roof, the courts may decide to award a temporary form of spousal called pendente lite alimony.

Pendente lite alimony is typically awarded early on in the divorce process. The main goal of awarding alimony at this time is to maintain each spouse in the same financial position that existed prior to filing for divorce. Legally, this is done to maintain “the status quo.”

How is it awarded? In practice, there is little or no emphasis on alimony factors that may come into play later on in the divorce process, such as each spouse’s future ability to earn or the potential impact of marital property distribution. This means that the amount paid or received during a marital separation may not be the same as the amount that will be reached during a divorce settlement. Among the factors looked at this time are cost of living expense statements, including mortgage payments and utility bills, and current income.

Pendente lite alimony terminates automatically once a divorce is final. It may be replaced by one or more of the other types of alimony. You can read more about these here: New Jersey Types of Alimony.