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How do the courts determine alimony in your divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 29, 2023 | DIVORCE - Divorce

Going through a divorce in New Jersey may prompt questions about alimony. Often known as spousal support, alimony forms a significant part of your divorce settlement. Both parties will feel its long-term financial effects.

When deciding whether to award alimony, how much to award and the duration of payments, New Jersey courts weigh various factors. Here is a closer look at the process and the influences that shape the decision.

Assessing need and ability to pay

In determining alimony, a primary consideration is the financial need of one spouse versus the other spouse’s ability to provide. If you have consistently earned more in your marriage, you may face alimony payments. Conversely, if you have relied financially on your spouse, you might receive them.

Considering the duration of the marriage

The length of your marriage plays a significant role. Marriages that have lasted ten years or more, generally deemed long-term, often result in alimony. However, this is not to say that shorter marriages exclude the possibility of alimony. Other factors still come under consideration.

Maintaining the standard of living during the marriage

New Jersey courts also take into account the lifestyle you and your spouse enjoyed during the marriage. If you lived at a high standard, this could influence alimony decisions. The aim is to prevent a drastic lifestyle change for either spouse post-divorce.

Evaluating each spouse’s earning capacity

Your earning capacity and that of your spouse will also factor into the decision. The court will examine elements such as education level, employment history and job skills. If your spouse sacrificed a career to manage the home or care for children, this could affect the alimony decision.

Knowing how New Jersey determines alimony can prepare you to navigate your divorce proceedings. It is a complex process filled with many variables, and each case is unique. The goal is a fair resolution that acknowledges the financial realities of both parties.