According to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau, about 243,000 people received spousal support payments in 2016 — 98% of whom were women. Alimony (or spousal support) is among the key issues that need to be settled before s divorce is finalized. If you are thinking about filing for divorce and want to understand your options regarding alimony, it is important that you consult with an experienced New Jersey family law attorney for detailed guidance.
At Schwartz, Hanna, Olsen, & Taus, P.C., we have the experience and resources to assist and guide clients in different family law matters, including divorce and alimony. As your legal counsel, we can evaluate your personal situation and enlighten you about the various legal options that are available to you. Whether you are trying to establish an alimony agreement or modify an existing spousal maintenance arrangement, we can offer you the knowledgeable legal counsel and strong advocacy you need.
If you're located in the New Jersey areas of Middlesex, Somerset, Morris, Passaic, Essex, and Bergen Counties, or anywhere else in the state, contact us at Schwartz, Hanna, Olsen, & Taus, P.C. today for a one-on-one case evaluation.
Alimony is a court-ordered financial payment made by the higher-earning spouse to the non- or lower-earning spouse during the divorce process or for a period after finalizing the divorce. The spouse who receives the alimony payment is referred to as the "supported spouse," while the spouse that makes the alimony payment is known as the "paying spouse."
There are five different types of alimony recognized under New Jersey law. These include:
Temporary or pendente lite alimony is available while the divorce case is yet to be finalized. The court may award temporary alimony to help the dependent spouse meet daily living expenses and attorney fees during the divorce proceedings.
In a divorce case in which the supported spouse needs time to become self-supporting, the court may award limited duration alimony. The court may include certain conditions for support that the requesting spouse must meet. If not, the alimony award may be terminated.
Rehabilitative alimony is awarded in divorce cases in which the requesting spouse needs financial assistance to learn a skill, acquire education, or job training, which will eventually lead to employment and financial independence. Before rehabilitative alimony can be awarded, the requesting spouse must show the following:
The scope of rehabilitation
The steps necessary
The time frame for the support
Reimbursement alimony is awarded in divorce cases in which one spouse financially supported the other spouse through their education during the marriage.
In New Jersey, permanent alimony is reserved for long-term marriages in which the requesting spouse is unable to become financially independent or self-supporting.
Either spouse can petition for alimony in New Jersey, regardless of gender.
When determining the type, amount, and duration of alimony, the court may consider the following factors:
The duration of the marriage
The actual need and ability of each spouse
Age, physical condition, and mental health of each spouse
The standard of living established by the spouses during the marriage
The educational levels, earning capacities, vocational skills, and employability of each spouse
The parental responsibilities and financial obligations of both spouses
The time and expenses required for the supported spouse to acquire education, skill, or training to find employment
The history of the financial and non-financial contributions of each spouse to the marriage
The equitable distribution of marital property during the divorce
The income from investment assets of each spouse
The tax consequences of the alimony award for each spouse
Any other factors considered relevant by the court
In order to modify an alimony arrangement, the requesting spouse must show "substantial changes in circumstance" since the existing decree was made. Examples of such circumstances include:
Involuntary loss of a job
Increase or decrease in income
Increase in cost of living
Loss of a home
Either spouse’s cohabitation with another person
Becoming seriously ill or developing a disability
Receiving significant assets through inheritance or personal gift
Filing for divorce in New Jersey involves a lot of complexities. Agreeing on a divorce settlement or establishing alimony arrangements can make the whole process even more daunting. When preparing for a divorce, consulting with an experienced divorce attorney is important to protect your legal rights and receive detailed guidance on the alimony process.
At Schwartz, Hanna, Olsen, & Taus, P.C., we are committed to providing knowledgeable and comprehensive guidance to individuals and families in complex divorce issues and spousal support matters. As your attorneys, we can review your unique situation, explore your possible options and decide the best course of action. We will also work meticulously with both parties to establish a fair settlement agreement, settle divorce issues peacefully, and help you move forward quickly. Our attorneys will fight to protect your rights, your future, and help you in a way that works best for you.
If you are thinking about filing for divorce and trying to understand how to determine alimony arrangements, our team at Schwartz, Hanna, Olsen, & Taus, P.C. is ready to help. If you're located in the New Jersey areas of Middlesex, Somerset, Morris, Passaic, Essex, and Bergen Counties, or anywhere else in the state, call us for the help you need.