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Family Law: Alimony

New Jersey Family Lawyers

Alimony (551)

Alimony is payment of support from one spouse to another after a divorce.  Alimony is not meant as punishment. It is an equitable tool courts use to ensure that both parties can maintain a reasonably comparable standard of living to the one that they enjoyed during the marriage. 

Pendente lite alimony is basically temporary alimony that is awarded before the final judgment of divorce is entered. The goal of pendente lite alimony is to maintain the status quo of the family lifestyle. The court wants to ensure that the mortgage is paid, the lights stay on, and that the kids are fed. Pendente lite support is not part of child support.

At Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, PA, our New Jersey family lawyers can help you determine whether there will be an alimony award in your case, how much it will be for, and how long it will last.

The family court has the discretion to determine an alimony award. The New Jersey Supreme Court has established some very specific guidelines and formulas to determine child support. However, there are no alimony guidelines. Many courts have tried to formulate alimony guidelines. New Jersey has case law and a statute that requires the courts to consider very specific factors when it calculates alimony. There are some guidelines and objective standards for the courts to consider, but there is no specific formula for a family court to calculate alimony. In general, New Jersey case law states that the court must consider the marital lifestyle, the supporting spouse’s ability to pay, and the dependent spouse’s ability to contribute to his/her own support.

At the NJ family law firm of Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, our attorneys are knowledgeable of the different types of alimony in New Jersey. The amount awarded and the length of time for which alimony will last is based on a complicated set of statutory factors that are applied to each individual case. 

These factors include (N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23.1):

  1. The actual need and ability of the parties to pay;
  2. The duration of the marriage or civil union;
  3. The age, physical and emotional health of the parties;
  4. The standard of living established in the marriage;
  5. The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties;
  6. The length of absence from the job market of the party seeking maintenance;
  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;
  9. The history of the financial or non-financial contributions to the marriage or civil union by each party including contributions to the care and education of the children and interruption of personal careers;
  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 alimony award; and
  13. Any other factors which the court may deem relevant.

For more information, contact Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, PA, to speak with NJ family attorney.

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