Which Party Generally Has To Pay Alimony Or Spousal Support In A Divorce In New Jersey?
The spouse with the higher income and who’s been supporting the other spouse is usually the one who pays alimony or spousal support in a divorce. Alimony in New Jersey is not a cut and dry issue. To award alimony, the court has to consider 13 different factors. One of the elements, of course, is discerning whether a spouse is making substantially more money than the other spouse. In New Jersey, when you get divorced, the courts are not going to allow someone to leave the other person living in a hovel while they live in a house on the hill. There’s going to be an equitable, fair distribution of all the assets, including income. The spouse who has supported the other person will, for some period of time, support their ex-spouse until he or she can get themselves on their feet and move on with life.
Is Alimony Or Spousal Support Always Awarded In Every Divorce Case In New Jersey?
No, spousal support or alimony isn’t always awarded in a divorce. Sometimes, the 13 factors don’t weigh in your favor. To some extent, maintenance is a function of need and ability to pay. For example, if a couple separated two years ago, and the wife during this time worked, paid for rent, and supported herself, she most likely will not be awarded alimony, even if the husband makes more money than she does at the time of divorce. She may want alimony, but she does not need alimony to live her lifestyle. Alimony is not always awarded.
How Is The Amount Of Alimony Or Spousal Support Determined Under New Jersey State Law?
Need and ability to pay are factors in determining spousal support. New Jersey doesn’t have a formula like some other states. The courts in New Jersey try to equalize the income or at very least make sure that the supported spouse can approximate the lifestyle of the marriage. However, the new 2019 tax law has changed the way alimony is allocated. Alimony is no longer taxable to the supported spouse but paid by the payor spouse. Therefore, alimony awards tend to be smaller than they were a year ago or in the past.
How Many Years Do You Have To Be Married To Get Spousal Support In New Jersey?
If you were married a year to three years, alimony is unlikely. There’s not a specific cutoff, but it’s not likely to be around two or three years of marriage. If you are awarded alimony, and you were married for ten years, the alimony can’t last past the ten years that you were married. In other words, you’ll never get alimony for longer than ten years. Alimony can be permanent if you were married 20 years or more. However, there may be reasons why alimony stops even if you were married to someone for 20 years or more.
Alimony or spousal support depends on the marriage, but it also depends on an individual’s needs and the 13 factors. Another factor to consider is whether other property or assets are going to affect spousal support. For example, if a pension gets divided and a spouse receives $300,000 from the pension, that spouse might get less alimony because he or she will have money to work with. All factors have to be considered in alimony and divorce. It’s not a cut and dry, cookie-cutter deal in New Jersey.
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