Defining Spousal Support in New Jersey
Spousal support is extended to either the lower-income or non-moneyed spouse to allow them to maintain a reasonably comfortable standard of living after their marriage ends. The state uses the term “alimony” to describe spousal support.
The New Jersey laws defining the specific circumstances that require alimony payments may be difficult to fully understand without the assistance of a legal professional. An experienced spousal maintenance attorney could guide you through the process of awarding alimony and help you reach the agreement you want.
Elements of Spousal Support in New Jersey
New Jersey Revised Statutes §2A:34-23 was revised in 2014 and sets forth several types of spousal maintenance that one may be entitled to. The different types of spousal support are limited duration alimony, rehabilitative alimony, reimbursement alimony, and open durational alimony.
Circumstances Necessitating the Payment of Alimony
If someone should be required to pay alimony, they must have been married. It is not enough to have been in a long-term relationship. Alimony may be required if one party makes significantly more than the other or if payment is required to rehabilitate the other party after the divorce.
If the two parties make the same amount of money, neither would have to pay the other one alimony.
Enhancing Factors in Alimony Agreements
The longer the marriage, the longer the alimony obligation would be. Additionally, if there are gaps in someone’s employment, or if they are unemployed at the time of the alimony award, a court can impute income to that person.
A person could assign a number as to what their appropriate income would be if they were employed, or they can take the average of their prior employment. If there is a reason they can no longer work, then the court would take that into account as well.
The alimony may be more in the beginning if the receiving party is trying to find a job and become more self-sufficient, and the payments would reduce over a period of time. The duration and the amount of alimony payments can depend on a variety of specific circumstances. A nearby lawyer experienced in negotiating these agreements may be able to define and explain these factors of spousal support further.
Factors that Determine Alimony Agreements
The specific qualities that may determine the amount and duration of alimony payments include:
- The age of the party
- The length of the marriage or civil union at the time of the award
- The degree of dependency of one party on the other during the marriage
- Whether one spouse or partner has a chronic illness or unusual health condition
- Whether a spouse or partner has given up a career or career opportunity and supported the career of the other
If one party receives a larger amount of the assets, that would also factor into the agreement. Additional elements could be the impact of the marriage on either parties’ ability to become self-supportive, including a party’s responsibilities to primarily care for a child, the tax considerations of the other party, and any other factors that the court deems equitable. A local attorney could ensure these elements are correctly incorporated into the spousal support agreement.
Discuss Your Spousal Support Agreement with a NJ Attorney
An experienced New Jersey lawyer could help define and explain the relevant statutes and case law and how to apply them to your spousal support case. A lawyer may have experience working on many different alimony cases and could be familiar with how judges typically rule in a variety of circumstances.
A person who does not have experience in this field may struggle to navigate these complex issues. If you are seeking alimony, you may want a legal professional to help you maximize it. If you are paying it, an alimony attorney could help you avoid paying too much. Call today to schedule a confidential consultation and start preparing your case.