Livingston Alimony Lawyer
How is Alimony Calculated in NJ?
Alimony, or support paid by one spouse to another upon divorce, is often a highly-contested issue. By statute (N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23 (b)), the courts of New Jersey are authorized to award to either spouse “one or more” of four (4) different forms of alimony: “open durational” (i.e., without a set end date); “limited duration” (for a specific term of years); “rehabilitative” (to afford a supported spouse time to gain financial independence) and “reimbursement” (to compensate a supported spouse for, by way of example, contributions made to the other party’s education or career).
Unlike child support, there is no established formula or rubric for the calculation of alimony in New Jersey and the courts are instead tasked with analyzing the statutory factors set forth in N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(b) to determine both the duration and amount of alimony.
These factors include:
- The ability and need for parties to pay
- The length of the marriage
- The age and health of both spouses
- The marriage's established standard of living and each spouse's ability to maintain a comparable standard living
- The education and current and potential earning capacities of each spouse
- The length of time the spouse seeking maintenance has been away from the job market
- The spouses' separate parental responsibilities to the children
- The expense and time required of the spouse seeking maintenance to acquire the training or education needed for employment, their access to training and employment, and any opportunities they have to secure future capital assets
- The contributions (financial and non-financial) each spouse provided the marriage, including childcare, and any resulting professional or academic interruption they caused
- The equitable division of property that's been decided by the court, including any payouts out of current income
- Each spouse's available income via investments
- The tax considerations and consequences that both parties may incur by an alimony award
- Any other factors the court finds relevant
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As can be seen from the list above, the determination of alimony in New Jersey is extremely fact-sensitive. Additionally, a host of other factors come into play with respect to the determination of alimony and its modification including, but not limited to, a party’s need for a “savings component” as part of an alimony award, a supporting spouse’s retirement, and a supported spouse’s cohabitation.
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