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Family Law: Alimony

New Jersey Alimony Lawyers

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. At the family law firm of Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, our New Jersey alimony attorneys are knowledgeable of the different types of alimony in New Jersey.

The Basics of New Jersey's Alimony Law

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.

Can the Court order me to pay support during the course of the divorce proceeding?

Yes, “Pendente lite” alimony is basically temporary alimony that is awarded before the final judgment of divorce is entered. The goal of this temporary alimony is to maintain the current family lifestyle. The court wants to ensure that the mortgage is paid, the lights stay on, and that the kids are fed. This type of 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.

If I cannot agree with my to be divorced spouse as to how much alimony is appropriate, what happens?    

If the parties do not agree then the family court can determine an alimony award. In New Jersey there are specific guidelines, rules, and a computer program to determine child support. However, there are no alimony guidelines or computer programs to calculate alimony. Instead the courts will consider very specific factors when it calculates alimony. In general, the court must consider the marital lifestyle while both parties lived together, the supporting spouse’s ability to pay, and the dependent spouse’s ability to contribute to his/her own support.

How long does alimony in New Jersey last?

Along with an amount of alimony the court can set the time frame that alimony will be paid, with a current law change that all alimony will cease as of the one paying the alimony reaching full benefit amount Social Security age, unless the spouse receiving the alimony can prove they still need the payment.

Can alimony cease due to the behavior of the spouse receiving the alimony? 

Yes, based on factors such as the former spouse remarrying, or cohabitating with another unrelated adult. Cohabitation involves a mutually supportive, intimate personal relationship in which a couple has undertaken duties and privileges that are commonly associated with marriage or civil union, but they do not necessarily have to maintain a single common household.

What if I am paying alimony and I lose my job? 

The Court will look to a list of factors such as: why you lost your job, are you making a good faith effort to seek a new job, any severance pay received on the loss of your job, changes in both parties financial position at the time of the job loss, and how long have you been unemployed. The Court then can order a reduction of the alimony amount and or payment length.

Contact a New Jersey Alimony Lawyer Today

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. 

For more information, contact Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, PA, to speak with a top New Jersey alimony attorney.

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