If your marriage only lasted a few years, you might only pay alimony for a short period of time under limited duration alimony. Given that you probably want to limit your alimony as much as possible, you should know whether a judge could prolong your alimony for any reason.
According to New Jersey law, the court may order an extension of your limited duration alimony if there has been an unusual change in your circumstances.
How limited duration alimony works
The goal of limited-duration alimony is to help your former spouse boost his or her earning capacity. This period of alimony does not last long because the recipient spouse has probably not been out of the workforce long and still retains sufficient work skills to find a well-paying job.
Limited-duration alimony can also happen in concert with other forms of alimony. You might pay your spouse rehabilitative alimony to finance education or job training for your spouse. Once your spouse has completed training or coursework, your alimony period will likely expire.
When the court might extend your alimony
When a judge established your alimony period, he or she based that decision on your then-present circumstances. If these circumstances change in a significant way, a judge might increase the amount you pay your spouse. However, state law does not permit the extension of your alimony unless extraordinary events occur.
To take a few examples, your spouse could become disabled or acquire a chronic ailment that makes it harder to earn a reasonable income. While such abrupt changes might not happen in your case, it is still important to keep unexpected possibilities in mind when you plan your post-divorce future.