Understanding Spousal Support and Alimony in New Jersey

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Understanding Spousal Support and Alimony in New Jersey

Pen and check with words "Spousal Support" written on small piece of paperThe phrases, alimony and spousal support, can be used interchangeably. These phrases refer to support paid to and for the other spouse. This support arrangement is separate from child support. Alimony is paid by one spouse to the other, either during the pendency of a divorce proceeding, during a situation where the parties may not be living together but may have not filed for divorce, or after a final judgment of divorce is entered. Alimony is also paid in same-sex marriages, and during or after a civil union has been resolved, if the circumstances require.

How much spousal support am I entitled to? 

Unlike child support, in the state of New Jersey, alimony is not calculated by a set standard formula. Rather, there are a significant number of statutory factors which are considered, when alimony is being determined. When negotiating alimony, it is important to understand the process and how alimony is determined in our court system. 

The analysis is very fact specific, and takes into consideration the unique set of circumstances in a particular situation.  The factors include but are not limited to the age and health of the parties, the length of time that the parties were married, current income, as well as employment history and earnings, ability to earn income, if there are children, each parent’s responsibility to care for those children along with the needs of the person seeking alimony, and the ability of the other party to pay whatever the ultimate alimony will be.  All of these factors will be examined in detail with your spousal support attorney.

The objective of alimony is to ensure that both parties are able to continue living a lifestyle reasonably comparable to the lifestyle that they lived during the course of the marriage with the understanding that neither party will be able to live the exact same lifestyle. The objective is always to ensure that one party is not in a drastically different circumstance than the other party, or than the circumstances that existed at the time of the marriage.

Temporary spousal support

The court can impose a temporary spousal support arrangement while the divorce is pending or during a time when the parties are not living together, perhaps before filing a divorce complaint. The purpose of a temporary spousal support award is to maintain the marital expenses and ensure that both parties are able to benefit from the marital earnings and maintain their own personal living expenses and ensure that any marital assets continue to be maintained. 

How much spousal support should I ask for?

Spousal support is based on the ability of the person paying support to actually make those payments and the needs of the party receiving support, taking into consideration the factors addressed above.  A fairly recent amendment to the alimony laws have modified the tax implications.  Alimony used to be deductible to the person paying alimony and taxable to the person receiving the alimony award but that is no longer the case for determinations made following 2019.

Spousal Support Attorney

Consulting with a spousal support attorney is essential to understanding alimony and spousal support in New Jersey. Our legal team here at DeTorres and DeGeorge can provide the guidance that a person needs when facing questions concerning alimony, whether you may be responsible for paying alimony or if you are the person that will be receiving alimony in the future. Contact us today for your consultation.

 

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