During divorce proceedings, a couple is required to discuss and come to a conclusion on several legal matters. An important part of a divorce is determining spousal support, otherwise known as alimony. Alimony is court-ordered support payments from one spouse to another. This is done for a period of time after the divorce to support the other spouse if necessary. If one spouse is the caretaker and the other is the family provider, it may leave the caretaker without a salary of their own to start new. This can put that spouse in a poor financial situation after the divorce. Spousal support payments give a dependent spouse the chance to move on and rebuild their lives without financial difficulty.
Types of Alimony
In the state of New Jersey, there are four different types of alimony that apply to different situations. These categories include:
- Open Durational Alimony: For couples who were married or in a civil union over 20 years. This requires support to be paid without a specific end date. The payments continue until there is a lawful reason to terminate it. Situations that may require support to end could be cohabitation, remarriage, if the payor becomes disabled or unemployed, or if the dependent spouse becomes independent.
- Limited Duration Alimony: If a marriage or civil union lasted less then 20 years. These alimony payments are typically set for no longer than the length of the marriage. The payments may also end if there is a change in circumstances.
- Rehabilitative Alimony: When a dependent spouse put off their career to support the other spouse and help their family, this alimony requires funds to pay for schooling or training for the dependent spouse.
- Reimbursement Alimony: This support is meant to reimburse a spouse if they financed the other spouse’s education or training.
Factors in Determining Spousal Support
There are many situations in which divorces can be difficult and marriages do not end on good terms. This can cause the topic of alimony to become complicated if one spouse does not want to support the other. Because of this, spouses do not determine if and how much alimony is paid. The court makes all decisions regarding support payments. When the court comes to a decision, they consider several factors. This may include:
- The length of the marriage
- The age and health of each party
- The earning capacity of each party
- The needs of the spouse who is dependent
- The independent party’s ability to provide support for the dependent party
- Whether the dependent party has had a significant absence from the job market
- The equitable distribution of property
- Each spouse’s parental responsibility for any children they may have
- The standard of living that the couple established during the course of the marriage
- Whether there is any income available from investments
- Whether there are any tax implications from spousal support payments
When a court determines support payments, they usually do not consider if there is a marital fault. This means judges do not make decisions based on if a spouse was at fault for the end of the marriage.
Contact our Firm
If you are going through a divorce and wish to know your options regarding alimony, contact the Law Offices of Paone Zaleski & Murphy today.
If you require strong legal representation for matters of divorce and family law in New Jersey, contact The Law Offices of Paone, Zaleski & Murphy to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today