Spousal Support in New Jersey
When couples go through a divorce, the spouses must discuss and come to conclusions on many legal matters. Part of a divorce is determining spousal support, also known as alimony. Alimony is court-ordered support payments from one spouse to another. These payments are made for a period of time after the divorce to support the other spouse as necessary. If one spouse is the caretaker and the other is the family provider, the caretaker may be left without their own salary to start a new life. This can leave the dependent spouse in an unfair financial situation after the divorce. Support payments give the dependent spouse the opportunity to move on without financial difficulty.
Types of Alimony
In the state of New Jersey, there are four different types of alimony that apply to marriages situations. These categories include:
- Open Durational Alimony: Couples who were married or in a civil union over 20 years. This requires support to be paid without a specific end date. The payments continue until there is a lawful reason to terminate it. Situations that may require support to end could be cohabitation, remarriage, if the payor becomes disabled or unemployed, or if the dependent spouse becomes independent.
- Limited Duration Alimony: Marriage or civil union that lasted less than 20 years. These alimony payments are set for no longer than the length of the marriage. The payments may also end if there is a change in circumstances.
- Rehabilitative Alimony: When a dependent spouse put off their career to support the other spouse and help their family, this alimony requires funds to pay for schooling or training for the dependent spouse.
- Reimbursement Alimony: This support is meant to reimburse a spouse if they financed the other spouse’s education or training.
Factors in Determining Spousal Support
There are many cases in which divorces can be difficult and marriages do not end on good terms. This can cause the discussion of alimony to become challenging if one spouse does not want to support the other. Because of this, the court makes all decisions regarding support payments, not the spouses. When the court comes to a decision, they consider several factors. This may include:
- The length of the marriage
- The age and health of each party
- The earning capacity of each party
- The needs of the spouse who is dependent
- The independent party’s ability to provide support for the dependent party
- Whether the dependent party has had a significant absence from the job market
- The equitable distribution of property
- Each spouse’s parental responsibility for any children they may have
- The standard of living that the couple established during the course of the marriage
- Whether there is any income available from investments
- Whether there are any tax implications from spousal support payments
When a court is determining support payments, they usually do not consider if there is a marital fault. This means a judge does not make a decision based on if one spouse was at fault for the end of the marriage.
Contact our Firm
If you are going through a divorce and wish to know your options regarding alimony, contact the Law Office of Toby Grabelle, LLC. today.
The Law Office of Toby Grabelle, LLC is a family and divorce law firm serving Monmouth County and all of New Jersey that would be happy to assist you in legal counsel. If you need quality legal services, contact the firm for a consultation.