Alimony & Spousal Support in New Jersey
Alimony (also referred to as spousal support or spousal maintenance) is an amount of money one spouse pays to the other during an ongoing divorce or after a final decree of divorce. In New Jersey, alimony is also payable during or after dissolution of a civil union.
The main purposes for alimony are:
- to allow both members of a divorcing couple to maintain a lifestyle as similar as possible to the lifestyle the couple enjoyed together during marriage, and
- to balance the economic consequences of divorce to prevent them from falling disproportionately on either spouse.
Deciding whether or not alimony is appropriate in any given divorce case can be complicated. If you would like to assess the probability of an alimony award in your case, seek advice from one of our family law attorneys with up-to-date knowledge of the New Jersey alimony statutes and the most recent case law interpreting those statutes. The attorneys at Weinberger Divorce & Family Law Group, LLC have extensive experience analyzing alimony cases.
How is New Jersey Alimony Calculated?
New Jersey courts do not follow any formula in calculating alimony, but instead take into account all relevant factors in each case. Courts are required to consider various factors when calculating alimony as detailed in New Jersey statutory law.
The following factors generally have the greatest impact on an alimony decision:
- Length of the marriage (Reforms to the New Jersey alimony statute effective in September of 2014, place limitations on the duration of alimony awards in connection with the length of a marriage.)
- The marital standard of living
- Each spouse's age and health
- The income available to each spouse, including any income resulting from marital property distribution
- Each spouse's history of financial or other contributions to the marriage, including contributions as a homemaker or parent
- Each spouse's ability to earn, based on factors such as education, job history, parenting responsibilities, and the possible need for education or training to qualify for appropriate employment
- Whether one spouse needs financial support to maintain a lifestyle reasonably close the marital standard of living
- Whether the other spouse is able to pay such financial support and still maintain a comparable lifestyle
- The tax effects of payments (alimony is generally taxable income for the receiving spouse and tax deductible for the paying spouse)
There are several different varieties or types of alimony that a court might award in New Jersey, depending on the specific facts and the stage of the divorce proceedings.
Our family law attorneys can help you evaluate your case and determine whether or not a court would be likely to order either spouse to pay alimony, and if so, what type of alimony, in what amount, and for how long. We will make every effort to assist you in negotiating a fair and amicable agreement regarding alimony payments. If a settlement is not possible, we will advocate aggressively on your behalf in court.
Alimony is an issue that can affect your life long after your divorce is finalized. Whether you are seeking an initial alimony order, an alimony modification or enforcement of an alimony order that is already in place, Weinberger Divorce & Family Law Group, LLC can help.