How Does Alimony Work in New Jersey?
Alimony (also referred to as spousal support) is an amount of money one spouse pays to the other during an ongoing divorce or after a final divorce decree has been issued by the court. When money is ordered to be paid during the divorce proceeding, this is usually referred to as “Pendente Lite Relief”. Pendente Lite Relief is a Latin term which is essentially temporary support pending the outcome of the litigation.
In New Jersey, alimony may also be payable during or after the dissolution of a civil union. The main purposes for alimony spousal support are:
- to allow both members of a divorcing couple to maintain a lifestyle as similar as possible to the lifestyle the couple enjoyed together during marriage; and
- to balance the economic consequences of divorce to prevent them from falling disproportionately on either spouse.
Deciding whether or not alimony is appropriate in any given divorce case can be complicated. There have been recent changes to the law in New Jersey regarding the payment of alimony. In general, the longer the marriage and the greater the disparity of income between spouses, the higher likelihood of an alimony award.
If you would like to assess the probability of an alimony award in your case, seek advice from Daniel Himelman with up-to-date knowledge of the New Jersey alimony statutes and the most recent case law interpreting those statutes.
Are You Eligible for Alimony Support?
New Jersey courts do not follow any specific formula in calculating alimony, but instead take into account all relevant factors in each case. Courts are required to consider various factors when calculating alimony as detailed in New Jersey statutory law. Generally speaking, the following factors are taken into consideration when deciding on alimony:
- length of the marriage;
- the marital standard of living;
- each spouse’s age and health;
- the income available to each spouse, including any income resulting from marital property distribution;
- each spouse’s history of financial or other contributions to the marriage, including contributions as a homemaker or parent;
- each spouse’s ability to earn;
- whether one spouse needs financial support to maintain a lifestyle reasonably close to the marital standard of living;
- whether the other spouse is able to pay such financial support and still maintain a comparable lifestyle; and
- the tax implications of payments.