Once your marriage has ended, you may be worried about how you will sustain the life you are accustomed to. In this situation, alimony is an ideal solution if your situation qualifies you for it. It can help you secure your financial situation while transitioning into single life In a New Jersey divorce, alimony is a complex issue. Because of this, we recommend contacting our experienced New Jersey alimony lawyer for assistance.
Our legal team can review your situation, including all related financial documents and other information about the situation. Once informed, we can create a plan to ensure you get the best possible outcome for your needs.
Understanding Alimony and How It Is Determined in New Jersey
In the state of New Jersey, alimony is the financial support paid by one spouse (typically the higher earner) to the other and included as part of a divorce decree. Alimony may also be called spousal maintenance or spousal support. Sometimes, alimony is also awarded when a civil union is ended.
The goal of alimony in New Jersey is to keep the divorce from negatively impacting just one spouse financially. The alimony award is designed to ensure that both individuals can maintain a comparable lifestyle to what they had during their marriage.
While this is true, alimony is not a factor in all divorce cases. For example, if you are in a situation where you and your spouse earn similar incomes, it is not likely that the court will find grounds for an alimony award. Instead, it is typically seen in divorce cases where one spouse makes significantly more money than the other (or if one spouse has the ability, skills, or education to earn more than the other).
Usually, alimony is awarded temporarily. However, permanent alimony may be awarded if you were married for over 20 years before filing for divorce. For marriages that lasted less than 20 years, the law in New Jersey limits how long you can receive these payments to the total amount of time you were married. While this is true, even temporary alimony awards will allow the spouse with less income or lower earning potential to gain financial independence, which is an area where our New Jersey alimony lawyer excels with SBM Law.
Determining Alimony Awards in New Jersey
In New Jersey, there is no formula to calculate alimony. Instead, family courts look at each case individually and base alimony decisions on several factors.
The factors considered when determining an alimony amount include the following:
- Assessing the individuals’ need for alimony. Does one spouse in the relationship need financial support to maintain the standard of living experienced in the marriage?
- The spouse’s ability to pay alimony. Can the paying spouse maintain a similar lifestyle they are accustomed to while they pay alimony?
- Marriage duration. The amount of time a couple was married in a civil union impacts alimony amounts and duration. If a marriage lasted under 21 years, the alimony term could not exceed the length of the marriage (there are some exceptions to this but must be “exceptional circumstances”).
- Standard of living during the marriage. Will both parties be able to maintain a standard of living comparable to what they experienced during their civil union or marriage? How much of an increase in living costs is required for each person to achieve this?
- Age. Factors like if the unemployed spouse is too old to begin a new career or if they are at retirement age will be considered.
- Health. Does one spouse have a disability, physical health issue, or mental health issue that would prevent them from earning an income? Does one spouse have other expenses due to their disability or health issues?
- Income. What amount of income is available to each spouse? Is there any other income that would result from marital property distribution?
- Assets. Will one spouse have access to business income, investment income, or other assets?
- Marriage and family contributions. The contributions each spouse made to the marriage will be considered. This includes financial, parental, home maintenance, and childcare contributions.
- Employability and earning capacity. What is each spouse’s earning potential based on work history and education level? What are both individuals’ vocational skills? Did one spouse stop working to care for children? Does one spouse require training or education to become employable?
- Parenting responsibility. Are young children involved in the situation? What parental responsibility does each parent have?
- The tax impact. The court will consider how alimony payments will impact taxes for both people involved. For example, alimony is taxable income for the receiver and a deduction for the payer.
- Pendente-lite support payments. Did one spouse pay temporary support while the divorce was going on?
- Other factors. The courts may consider other relevant factors when determining alimony.
Is Alimony a Factor in Your Neptune, New Jersey Divorce?
If filing for divorce will cause financial hardship, you may want to request alimony. Our New Jersey alimony lawyer is ready to help you with this process and discuss your options. We can help determine the best solution for your situation and your family.
Does New Jersey Allow Palimony?
The term “palimony” is used for money paid to someone who cannot legally receive alimony payments or spousal support. It is used for situations where a couple is living together but not married or joined in a civil union. However, in New Jersey, it is not something that is legally recognized and, therefore, not something that the court will award.
If you are in this situation, you will not be able to have the property division process decided in court. Even though this is the case, it is possible to have a contractual agreement with your partner that may allow you to receive certain types of support or property after you split up.
It may be possible to receive palimony in New Jersey if one of the following things is true:
- You have a signed partnership or cohabitation agreement.
- You have a verbal partnership or cohabitation agreement created before January 18, 2010.
Attempting to receive palimony in New Jersey can be complex and confusing. It is best to contact our legal team so we can review your case and help you achieve the best possible outcome.
Contact Our New Jersey Alimony Attorney for Assistance
Our law firm has handled multiple alimony cases in New Jersey and can help you get the desired outcome. We take time to learn about your needs and ensure that they are addressed in the divorce or separation decree.
Our team understands how confusing and frustrating a situation can be if you are concerned about your financial future. Alimony aims to ensure you can transition into single life without significant hardship.
The first step is to contact our office to schedule an initial appointment. We will learn about your situation and create a plan to help you achieve the best possible outcome with our experienced New Jersey alimony lawyer.