Alimony, like custody, is one of the most disputed and controversial issues we face as attorneys. It’s difficult to tell somebody they have to pay alimony and the person receiving alimony often times believes that the amount is insufficient. There’s a series of statutory factors that have to be considered when this analysis is performed. Certainly, you look to the age of the parties. The length of the marriage is critical. The incomes that people have earned, their abilities, their educational backgrounds, their child-rearing responsibilities are some of the factors that are considered. We look to how you’ve lived your lives. You will fill out these financial statements and we see what kind of cars you drove, what kind of vacations you took, where you shopped, where you ate. All of those things tell us the lifestyle that you enjoyed during the marriage. The case will try to create a situation where both parents can enjoy a lifestyle reasonably comparable to that which existed during the marriage.
Now, let’s be honest. In most instances, we’re unable to achieve that. There’s just not enough money to go around. That does not mean that alimony would not be applicable. This is a concept that we discuss extensively. If you’re a homemaker, we talk about the requirement of you having to go out and earn money to mitigate your husband’s or your wife’s obligation to pay you support. These are difficult concepts. It’s difficult to change the way you do things, but it’s the law. Here in our firm, we advocate that you actively look for employment that will suit your needs when you’re the paying spouse. Obviously, we’ll look to see that you’re paying appropriately and not paying greater than you should otherwise pay. We will work to allow you to live a lifestyle reasonably comparable to that which existed during the marriage. This is a very complicated analysis we take very seriously and we work very hard to ensure that it’s fair and reasonable under the circumstances.
Paris P. Eliades Law Firm, LLC serves Sussex, Morris, and Bergen County residents who face divorce and family law issues. If you need our quality legal services, contact our Sparta office for a free consultation.