Can fault grounds affect spousal support?

When a spouse files for divorce, they have the option of claiming a fault ground. By claiming a fault ground, this may put the blame on one spouse for the divorce. However, spouses also have the option to file for divorce with no-fault grounds. This can simply state that there was an irretrievable breakdown of marriage. With this ground, there is no one to blame for the breakdown of the marriage. It does not place the liability on either party. It also does not signify any kind of abuse or unfaithfulness on behalf of either party. No fault ground claimed can lead to an uncontested divorce. When a fault ground is claimed, it can lead to a contested divorce, which may not be able to be solved by the spouses if they are unable to cooperate with one another.

Although a fault ground can be stated, it will not be used to decide on spousal support. The judge will not usually take this into consideration when deciding on how spousal support should be provided. Instead, they will consider other factors.

What factors are considered for spousal support?

Some couples can decide on spousal support during mediation. However, others may need a judge to make decisions for them in litigation. During this process, a judge will consider many factors that relate to the spouses and their overall marriage. These aspects can include the length of the marriage, the age of the spouses, financial information of both parties, each party’s role in the family and their monetary and non-monetary contributions to the marriage.

If one spouse stayed at home with the children during the marriage, they may need spousal support as a way to financially handle their individual future. Without a stable job with a sufficient income, they may not be able to support themselves. This can lead to them receiving spousal support payments. Other scenarios can seem similar. If one spouse took on a role that supported the family financially while the other took on the role of caretaker for the kids, they may need support. If one spouse pursued their education while married, they may be required to pay back their spouse for their contributions to their education during this time. These situations and more will be considered to decide the best outcome.

If you require strong legal representation for matters of divorce and family law in New Jersey, contact The Law Offices of Paone, Zaleski & Murray to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.