Factors Used to Determine New Jersey Alimony

Alimony issues often arise in divorce cases. It is not always necessarily an issue, sometimes it is just an aspect of divorce or an additional hurdle that is considered when contemplating divorce and going through the divorce process. Just to expound on that, nothing is unique about marriages in New Jersey that make spousal support cases arise in New Jersey more.

Presently, if both people are similarly employed and there is no typical structure of just a breadwinner and a caregiver; both are breadwinners in the family. When individuals have similar incomes, it really means that alimony is not appropriate because they do not need that separate maintenance.

There are situations where individuals might have a more traditional arrangement where one spouse is the primary breadwinner, whereas the other spouse supports the breadwinning partner in other ways. In these instances, there are certain factors used to determine New Jersey alimony. A skilled alimony attorney can help individuals in the midst of a divorce determine which spousal support agreement works best for them.

Factors to Consider When Determining Alimony

Factors such as length of marriage are always an important consideration. The shorter the marriage, the least likely someone will be awarded alimony. The length of employment gaps and a significant difference in their income are also relevant factors used to determine New Jersey spousal support.. The specific factors the court analyzes when determining if alimony is appropriate and, if so, the type of alimony that should be awarded are:

  • Actual need and the ability of the parties to pay
  • Duration of the marriage or civil union
  • Age, physical, and emotional health of the parties
  • Standard of living that was established
  • likelihood that each party can maintain a reasonably comparable standard of living, with neither party having a greater entitlement to that standard than the other

This means that even though one party is a breadwinner and one party might be the caregiver, just because the breadwinner makes the money and has contributed to the household unilaterally, does not mean that they have a greater right to maintain that standard of living that both parties enjoyed. Both parties are expected to have a comparable standard of living as they did during the course of the marriage.

Other Considerations When Determining Alimony

Other factors used to determine New Jersey spousal support include:

  • Earning capacities, education levels, vocational skills and employability of the parties
  • Length of absence from the job market of the party that is seeking the maintenance, or the party that would be receiving the alimony award
  • Parental responsibilities for the children
  • Time or expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment, the availability of the training or employment, and the opportunity for future acquisitions of capital assets and income
  • History of the financial or non-financial contributions to the marriage or civil union by each party, including contributions to the care and education of the children and interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities
  • Equitable distribution ordered and any payouts of equitable distribution directly or indirectly out of current income to the extent that this consideration is reasonable, just, and fair
  • Income available to each party through investment of assets held by that party
  • Tax benefits or consequences to both parties of the alimony award including whether all or a part of it is non-taxable
  • The nature, amount, and length of the pendente lite support or aid, if any

and any other factors that the court may deem relevant.

Value of Working With a New Jersey Alimony Attorney

Attorneys that help with alimony cases are referred to as matrimonial or family law attorneys. It is important to deal with either a matrimonial or a family law attorney as they are familiar with New Jersey Law, the updates to the case law which are constantly changing, and the recent Alimony Reform Statute.

Without that knowledge, an individual could enter into an agreement that is disadvantageous in the long run. Experienced family law lawyers know about the factors used to determine New Jersey alimony and can make sure that individuals make the decision that works best for them.