Under the alimony reform laws, when there is a long-term marriage, the duration of alimony payments cannot exceed the duration of the marriage unless a judge decides that there are exceptional circumstances. If a marriage lasted for 15 years, alimony would be required at most for 15 years in most cases.
If you had a relatively brief marriage and are the spouse obligated to pay, negotiating other assets to cover alimony may be even more within reach given the shorter duration, and thus lower total amount of support to be paid.
If you are the receiving spouse and had a brief marriage, be prepared to make a strong case for why alimony is necessary in your situation. If you left your career as a computer programmer to stay at home and raise the kids, you may be able to make a case that rehabilitative alimony can provide support as you pursue education. or re-train to re-enter the workforce in this fast-changing career field.
Bari Zell Weinberger is the owner and managing partner of Weinberger Law Group in New Jersey. She is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney.