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When divorcing, one of the most contentious issues couples face is alimony. In some cases, the court may award alimony to one of the former spouses to provide them with needed financial support to maintain the lifestyle established during the marriage. The court considers several factors before determining whether a spouse can receive this financial assistance. If you are facing a divorce and alimony is an issue, contact our experienced Monmouth County Spousal Support Attorneys, who can help protect your interests. Please continue reading to learn how alimony is determined in New Jersey. 

What is alimony?

If the court deems it appropriate, they can award the lower or no-income spouse alimony or spousal support. The primary purpose of alimony is to combat the unfair economic effects of a divorce. Many families today use a stay-at-home parent structure, meaning one spouse is the breadwinner while the other raises the children. When one spouse stays at home or has put their career on the back burner for the sake of their family, it can put them at a significant financial disadvantage in the event of a divorce. Alongside giving up their careers to care for the home, they may have also contributed to paying for their former spouse to go to school to obtain a higher-paying job. In such cases, alimony would provide them with financial support to maintain the standard of living they were accustomed to during the marriage.

Are alimony payments determined solely on the financial needs of the former spouse in New Jersey?

As mentioned above, the court will consider several factors when determining whether a former spouse should be granted alimony. To determine eligibility for this type of predetermined periodic payment, the court will examine whether one spouse truly needs financial support and whether the other spouse can afford to pay that support. Although many believe alimony payments are determined solely by the financial needs of the former spouse, that is not the case. While a former spouse’s needs are a factor the court considers, they also consider various other factors when setting alimony, including:

  • The duration of the marriage
  • Each spouse’s age, emotional state, and physical condition
  • The couple’s standard of living during the marriage
  • Each spouse’s contributions to the marriage
  • Each spouse’s financial resources
  • Each spouse’s earning potential
  • The tax ramifications of alimony payments
  • The length of time it would take for the recipient to complete education or training to become self-sufficient
  • The length of time the recipient was out of the workforce
  • Any history of domestic violence
  • Any other relevant factors

As you can see, the court considers the financial needs of former spouses, among other factors, when making alimony payment determinations.

If alimony is a contested matter in your divorce, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a skilled attorney from the legal team at Paone Zaleski & Murphy, who can assist in fighting for just settlements and safeguard your rights throughout this intricate legal process. Whether you are the party requesting support or the one expected to provide support, we are prepared to fight on your behalf to help you achieve the best possible outcome.