When a couple goes through a divorce, they have to settle many legal matters before their marriage is officially over. An important part of the divorce process is determining spousal support, also known as alimony. Alimony is court-ordered financial support from one spouse to another. These payments are made after the divorce for a period of time in order to support the other spouse if it is necessary. There are certain situations in a marriage that leave one spouse in an unfair financial standing when the marriage is over. Situations may be if one spouse is the caretaker and one spouse is the family provider, a spouse may not have a salary of their own to start fresh with. Spousal support payments allow a dependent spouse the opportunity to rebuild their lives without financial trouble.
Types of Alimony
In the state of 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. This support is paid without a designated end date. The payments last until there is a valid reason to terminate them. Situations that call for support termination 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 be ended if there is a change in circumstances.
- Rehabilitative Alimony: If the dependent spouse put off their career to support the other spouse and help their family, this alimony often could require 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
Divorce can often be very difficult and marriages do not end with spouses on good terms. This can cause the subject of alimony to become complicated if one spouse does not want to support the other. Because of this, spouses do not determine alimony. The court makes 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 alimony, they do not usually consider if there is a marital fault. This means a judge’s decision is not based on whether or not a spouse was at fault for the end of the marriage.
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If you are going through a divorce and wish to know your options regarding alimony, contact Paris P. Eliades Law Firm LLC. today.
Paris P. Eliades Law Firm, LLC is honored to serve the people of New Jersey, including Sparta, Sussex County, Morris County, Passaic County, and Bergen County with the quality legal services they deserve. Contact our firm for a consultation today.