In New Jersey, child support determinations are made using a set formula. The same is not true, however, of alimony and spousal support. Alimony instead varies on a case-by-case basis, with courts arriving at awards determinations from a list of factors. New Jersey’s Alimony Statute N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23 is the specific document which spells out the factors to be considered for alimony settlements in divorce cases. It names several ” exceptional circumstances” which impact both the duration and the amount of alimony awarded. Let’s take a closer look.
Ages of the Parties
When determining alimony in New Jersey, one factor courts will consider is the ages of the spouses when they married, as well as their ages when they are divorced.
Level of Dependency of the Parties
Another factor courts consider when determining alimony is the degree of dependency one spouse may have on another, as well as how long they were dependent on that person. Sometimes spouses only become dependent when they have children, leaving work to help raise the kids, other times the neither spouse is dependent on the other, they share equally all finances and debts between them.
Health of the Parties
The health of the divorcing parties also plays a role. Chronic illnesses or unusual health circumstances can push the courts to higher settlements awarded.
Sometimes a spouse may have left a lucrative position for the benefit of the marriage. Or they may have been unable to study during the marriage in order to obtain a wage level necessary to maintaining their previous lifestyle. When determining alimony, New Jersey courts will consider the ability for each spouse to re-enter the workplace.
Alimony is also affected by the divorcing couples’ property settlement agreement. If one spouse, in the eyes of the court, received more than the other in the distribution of property agreement, it can impact their alimony settlement. Courts also take into account how the property received is being taxed, and award alimony accordingly.
Responsibilities as Parents
Alimony courts also factor in a parent’s obligation to their children. If they have the majority of custody for their children, that party probably won’t be able to work a full-time job and be necessarily self-supporting. While an alimony court is not deciding child support, they do take into account whether a parent can realistically split their time between work and raising the children and have the income to support it.
Finally, alimony courts are given the discretion to consider any other circumstances they deem relevant to the case.
Contact a Bergen County Alimony Attorney Today
As you can see, while determining child support in New Jersey is often a very straightforward process, determining alimony is not. There is a wide variety of factors that a court will consider when determining alimony. This is where an experienced Bergen County, NJ alimony attorney can help negotiate on your behalf.
At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, we have dedicated our practice entirely to divorce and family law because of the experience and skill that is necessary to master these complex and highly contentious issues. With three partners who are included in the only 2 percent of lawyers recognized by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Certified Matrimonial Law Attorneys, we bring a diverse and extensive body of knowledge to each case, providing our clients with the resources of a large firm and the personalized attention of a small one. To discuss your unique situation with one of our seasoned divorce attorneys, contact our offices in Bergen County anytime at 201-397-1750. We are always available to answer your questions with a cost-free consultation.