How is Alimony Determined in New Jersey?
If you are going through a divorce in New Jersey, you may be concerned about what state your life will be in once your marriage has been dissolved. Alimony, or spousal support, exists to provide support to a financially disadvantaged spouse following a divorce. Alimony may take several forms, such as monthly payments, a one-time payment, or temporary support, but the goal is to allow the financially disadvantaged spouse to get back on their feet and maintain a lifestyle similar to the one they became accustomed to while married. Some people assume that alimony is a guarantee, but it is not automatically granted. Alimony must be awarded by the court, and whether to give it, in what form and the amount are all determined by the judge based on several factors.
Factors for Determining Alimony in New Jersey
As noted above, the court does not automatically grant alimony. Rather, it will only be awarded in cases where one spouse has demonstrated an actual need for spousal support payments and where the other spouse can pay it. Absent need or ability, alimony will not be granted. If need and ability can be demonstrated, the court will consider the length of the marriage, the age, health, and profession of each spouse, the lifestyle they maintained during their marriage, and each spouse’s ability to maintain a similar lifestyle following the marriage.
The court may also consider each spouse’s education, job, or ability to get a job, and how much they are likely able to earn on their own (and whether additional education, training, or time would be required to earn a sufficient income).
The court may also look at the financial or equitable contributions that each spouse made to the marriage, as well as sacrifices made by each spouse for the benefit of the marriage. For instance, if one spouse gave up their career to care for the household and children, allowing the other spouse to excel in their career, the court will consider this sacrifice in awarding alimony.
How property is divided during the divorce can also impact the amount of alimony that a spouse is eligible for. For example, if one spouse is financially disadvantaged but received a significantly greater share of the marital assets, such that they would be able to maintain a similar lifestyle to their married lifestyle following the divorce without spousal support payments, alimony is unlikely to be awarded. Income from investments can also be relevant in determining how much alimony will be awarded.
As you can see, many factors go into determining how much alimony an individual is entitled to receive following a divorce. The best way to get an accurate understanding of whether you are entitled to alimony, in what form, and what amount, is to consult directly with a New Jersey family law and divorce attorney who can review your specific facts and circumstances and give you personalized feedback.
Schedule a Consultation with Giro Law in Hackensack, New Jersey
If you are going through a divorce and want to make sure that you can get the spousal support that you are entitled to, having a dedicated legal advocate in your corner can make all of the difference. Contact Giro Law in Hackensack, New Jersey, to schedule your personalized consultation today.