When a couple goes through a divorce, they are required to discuss and resolve several legal matters before their marriage may end. An important part of divorce proceedings is determining spousal support, otherwise known as alimony. Alimony is court-ordered financial support from one spouse to another. These payments occur after the divorce to support the other spouse if necessary. If one spouse is the caretaker, they may not have a salary of their own to start fresh with. In some cases, one spouse may be the family provider, leaving the other spouse in a poor financial standing after the marriage is over. Spousal support payments allow a dependent spouse the opportunity to move on and rebuild their lives without financial trouble.
Types of Alimony
In New Jersey, there are four different types of alimony that apply to marriages. These categories include:
- Open Durational Alimony: For couples who were married or in a civil union over 20 years. It requires support to be paid without a designated end date. The payments last until there is a valid reason to terminate it. Situations that call for ending support may 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 payments are to be set for no longer than the length of the entire marriage. These payments may also end if there is a change in circumstances.
- Rehabilitative Alimony: For situations in which the dependent spouse put off their career to support the other spouse and help their family. This alimony often 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
Sometimes, a divorce can be difficult and marriages do not end on good terms. This can cause the issue of alimony to become complicated, as one spouse may not wish to support the other. It is because of this that spouses do not determine alimony. The court has the right to make all decisions regarding support payments. When the court comes to a decision, they consider several different 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 typically 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 Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C., today.
The law firm of Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C., is composed of experienced defense attorneys throughout the state of New Jersey. Please contact the office for a free initial consultation and get any questions answered regarding criminal charges and procedures.