Friday, April 26, 2013

13 Tests for Alimony in NJ - Here's the Law

How Much Will I Get In Alimony After My New Jersey Divorce?

New Jersey’s alimony statute, NJSA 2A:34-23(b) sets forth 13 different criteria for a judge to consider when awarding alimony.  The statute states:

In all actions brought far divorce, divorce from bed and board, or nullity the, court may award one or more of the following types of alimony: permanent alimony; rehabilitative alimony; limited duration alimony or reimbursement alimony to either party. In doing so, the court shall consider, but not be limited to, the following factors:
  1. The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties
  2.  The standard of living established in the marriage and the likelihood that each party can maintain a reasonably comparable standard of living
  3. The length of absence from the job market of the party seeking maintenance
  4. The actual need and ability of the parties to pay
  5. The duration of the marriage
  6. The age, physical and emotional health of the parties
  7. The parental responsibilities for the children
  8. The time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment, the availability of the training and employment, and the opportunity for future acquisitions of capital assets and income
  9. The history of the financial or non-financial contributions to the marriage by each party including contributions to the care and education of the children and interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities
  10. The equitable distribution of property ordered and any payouts on equitable distribution, directly or indirectly, out of current income, to the extent this consideration is reasonable, just and fair
  11. The income available to either party through investment of any assets held by that party
  12. The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any spousal support award, including the designation of all or a portion of the payment as a non-taxable payment
  13. Any other factors, which the court may deem relevant
As noted above, New Jersey recognizes five types of alimony: temporary alimony, limited duration alimony, permanent alimony, rehabilitative alimony, and reimbursement alimony.
  • Temporary alimony (alimony pendente lite) is awarded to low-earning or unemployed spouses for living expenses during the divorce process
  • A judge may award you limited duration alimony, based on your financial needs, for a time so that you to become self-supporting.
  • You may be entitled to permanent alimony after a long marriage if you gave up career or education opportunities in order to care for your family, or to further your spouse’s education or career.
  • Rehabilitative alimony is intended to help you get back on your feet and provide training and education so that you can be self-supporting.
  • Reimbursement alimony compensates a spouse who supported the other spouse through advanced education, and who expected to enjoy the fruits of that labor, but was not able to because of the divorce or legal separation.
The court may award any combination of these orders. This means that if the court makes an order for rehabilitative spousal support, it can also order reimbursement alimony, as well as limited duration alimony.

Clearly all of these issues are very complex.  Unlike other states, there is no calculator or formula for figuring out an appropriate alimony.  This is where we can help you to gain a just and equitable alimony in your divorce. 

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