Monmouth County Permanent Spousal Support
The emotional damage from a divorce can be devastating. During this time, it may be difficult to even think about the other consequences, specifically financial consequences, that a divorce can cause. A divorce will typically include the division of property and calculating spousal support. Sometimes a divorce involves children so there are questions of custody and child support as well.
A lawyer can help you navigate the Monmouth County permanent spousal support process. They can try to ensure that you are protecting your rights. Whether you are worried about having to pay spousal support or are concerned about receiving your fair share of spousal support, a distinguished spousal support attorney can help you figure out your options.Permanent Spousal Support Laws
The law in New Jersey recently changed so there is no longer permanent spousal support. Instead, there is now open duration spousal support, which is a spousal support award with no specific end date.
However, even with open duration spousal support, the arrangement will generally end or be modified when the paying former spouse reaches the federal retirement age of 67. Some, but not all, of the factors the court will look at when deciding to award open duration spousal support are:
- The length of the marriage
- Age and health of each spouse
- The need for support and ability to pay support
- How long the person asking for support has been out of the work force
- Any childcare responsibilities
- Earning capacity, educational level, or skills of each person
The law also specifies that if the marriage was under twenty years, it cannot have a spousal support period that is longer than the marriage. If a person’s marriage was for seven years, they cannot be ordered to pay spousal support for eight years.
However, in certain exceptional circumstances, the law will allow for an increased number of years in support, even past the number of years the marriage lasted. Some of the circumstances the court will consider are:
- Ages of the parties when they were married and when they asked for alimony
- If either spouse has an unusual health situation or chronic illness
- How much and how long one spouse depended on the other spouse
- Whether one spouse gave up a career for the other spouse
- If the marriage impaired the ability of one person to support themselves
- If one person received a far larger share of the property
- Any tax considerations for either party
- Any other circumstance the court believes is important
There are so many factors that the court will use when deciding on spousal support. There is the catchall factor that allows the court to consider any other factor that may be unique to that particular situation. This is why it can be so complicated to understand how much spousal support payments may be and for how long they may last. Even though New Jersey no longer has permanent spousal support, the law does allow for very lengthy spousal support orders, and also allows for extensions when they are necessary. By speaking to a spousal support lawyer, you can be better prepared for and informed about how much to expect when receiving Monmouth County permanent spousal support.