Essex County Spousal Support Lawyer
Divorce can create a great deal of financial uncertainty. Many people facing a divorce worry about whether they will be able to keep their home and how they will afford to live on their own. Spousal support, also known as alimony, is meant to help people deal with the extra costs that come during the transition from married to single life.
If you had a lengthy marriage, gave up a career to raise children, or supported your spouse while they completed their education, you may be able to make a claim for alimony in your divorce case with the help of an Essex County spousal support lawyer. Speak with an accomplished family attorney to learn more.
Who Can Receive Alimony?
Spousal support is not gender-based—both husbands and wives may be entitled to support depending on their family circumstances. Instead, alimony payments are based on one spouse’s financial needs after a divorce and are meant to assist the lower-earning spouse in becoming self-sufficient.
Likewise, spousal support is not based on fault in the marriage and is not meant to punish or reward either spouse. As an example, a spouse who had an affair could still receive alimony payments based on their financial need, and a judge would not reduce these payments because of their adultery.
Types of Spousal Support
An Essex County spousal support attorney could help a divorcing spouse seek one of four types of support. Each type differs based on the purpose of the support and its duration.
Open duration spousal support, once called permanent alimony, provides a spouse with financial payments indefinitely. Typically, a judge will only award this type of alimony in the case of long-term marriages—over twenty years in length—where one spouse was a full-time parent or homemaker.
Limited duration spousal support has a set end date. This type of alimony compensates people in marriages that were shorter than twenty years but still lengthy. Limited duration spousal support cannot be awarded for longer than the length of the marriage.
Rehabilitative spousal support is meant to help one spouse become self-sufficient after the marriage. One person may be ordered to support the other financially while they finish school, take vocational or training courses, or start a business.
When one spouse supports the family financially while the other completes advanced educational coursework, New Jersey law recognizes the working spouse’s contribution. People who attend medical school, law school, business school, or another post-graduate school benefit from their education over the course of their lives. Consequently, people with advanced degrees may be ordered to pay spousal support to the person who provided for them while they were in school.
Factors Considered When Awarding Alimony
New Jersey law is somewhat vague when it comes to spousal support, and there are no set formulas for calculating the amount of alimony a person should receive. However, New Jersey Revised Statutes §2A:34-23 provides guidelines for judges to follow regarding factors to keep in mind when making a determination about support. These factors include each person’s income and earning potential, the length of the marriage, and the parties’ age and physical health.
Because the law allows judges great leeway in determining the fair amount of spousal support, the amount of alimony that people receive can vary wildly from case to case. Consequently, many people choose to negotiate their own terms for spousal support through their Essex County lawyers and in mediation.
Learn More from an Essex County Spousal Support Attorney
Spousal support can be a financial lifeline for people after divorce. If you are worried about how you will pay your bills after a separation, a family attorney could help you make a plan for your future. Schedule an appointment and discuss your options with a skilled Essex County spousal support lawyer today.