Pursuant to the remand of the Appellate Division, this court was directed to consider whether a combination of rehabilitative and permanent alimony was appropriate. All references are made to facts appearing at the trial.
The parties married on June 29, 1963. The defendant had been employed as an airline stewardess for some two and one-half years and remained in this position for some two months before becoming pregnant and ceasing employment. For the remaining twenty-four years of the viable marriage, she was not gainfully employed. The plaintiff was an airline pilot, working into senior status, and earned sufficient funds to enable the parties to maintain an upper middle-class lifestyle while permitting the defendant to remain at home to raise and be available to the children. His income was some $147,000.00 per year.
The defendant did, in September, 1987, obtain a part-time position as a nursery school aide, which required no formal
training. She was and continues being paid $8.50 per hour and receives $420.00 per month.
"* * * alimony payable for a short, but specific and terminable period of time, which will cease when the recipient is, in the exercise of reasonable efforts, in a position of self-support."
The case of Kulakowski v. Kulakowski, 191 N.J. Super. 609, 468 A.2d 733 (Ch.Div.1982), was first to award a combination of "permanent" and "rehabilitative" alimony, using the rationale that there will be cases wherein the supported party may be able to obtain training enough to enable him or her to become employed but would not reasonably be expected to earn enough to maintain the same standards afforded that party during the viable portion of the marriage and would need both. The Kulakowski court then, based on specific facts adduced at trial, made findings that the wife would, after three years of schooling, be expected to earn $15,000.00 per year.
On November 14, 1988, N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(b) was amended, effective September 1, 1988, permitting permanent or rehabilitative alimony or both. As a result, the concept of "both" became firmly embedded in our jurisprudence.
While the Legislature codified certain mandatory factors that the court must consider in all types of alimony determinations, factor No. 7 is particularly applicable to "rehabilitative" or "both".
"(7) The time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment, the availability of the training and employment, and the opportunity ...