Alimony in Oradell
Unlike child support, which is typically determined by the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines to calculate the minimum amount of child support one party should pay to the other, there is no such formula to determine alimony.
Instead, N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(b) sets forth statutory factors to be considered when determining an alimony claim, as follows:
1. The actual need and ability of the parties to pay
2. The duration of the marriage or civil union
3. The age, physical and emotional health of the parties
4. The standard of living established in the marriage or civil union and the likelihood that each party can maintain a reasonably comparable standard of living, with neither party having a greater entitlement to that standard of living than the other
5. The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties
6. The length of absence from the job market of the party seeking maintenance
7. The parental responsibilities for the children
8. The time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment, the availability of the training and employment, and the opportunity for future acquisitions of capital assets and income
9. The history of the financial or non-financial contributions to the marriage or civil union by each party including contributions to the care and education of the children and interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities
10. The equitable distribution of property ordered and any payouts on equitable distribution, directly or indirectly, out of current income, to the extent this consideration is reasonable, just and fair
11. The income available to either party through investment of any assets held by that party
12. The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award, including the designation of all or a portion of the payment as a non-taxable payment
13. The nature, amount, and length of pendente lite support paid, if any and
14. Any other factors which the court may deem relevant.
No single factor is conclusive, and all factors should be given weight in the determination of an alimony award. New Jersey courts have held that the purpose of alimony is to provide the dependent spouse with a level of support and standard of living generally commensurate with the quality of economic life that existed during the marriage.
1. Open Durational Alimony: under most circumstances, this alimony is reserved for marriages lasting at least twenty years. Open durational alimony is not permanent and will continue until there is a change in circumstances warranting modification or termination of the obligation. There is a rebuttable presumption that open durational alimony ends when the supporting spouse reaches full retirement age.
2. Limited Duration Alimony: this type of alimony is generally reserved for marriages that last less than twenty years. Limited duration alimony cannot exceed the length of the marriage.
3. Rehabilitative Alimony: rehabilitative alimony may be awarded for a short and specific period of time until the dependent spouse is in a position to financially support his or herself. An example may include a situation where a dependent spouse has made sacrifices by postponing his/her education to support the household and will need to develop skills that will allow him/her to re-enter the workforce.
4. Reimbursement Alimony: this form of alimony is awarded when one spouse provides financial support to another spouse while the latter obtained a higher level of education. In these situations, the dependent spouse anticipated that future benefits derived from the higher level of education would be enjoyed by both parties. Reimbursement alimony can include tuition and costs of living, as well as any other costs related to obtaining a degree or training.
5. Pendente Lite Alimony: a court may also award pendente lite (temporary) alimony. This is a form of support that is meant to provide a dependent spouse with a means of support while the divorce process is pending. The decision to award pendente lite support is within the sole discretion of the court and there is no fixed formula or amount that is likely to be ordered. The court will consider the financial circumstances of the parties, the dependent spouse’s needs, the supporting spouse’s means, and the standard of living to which the parties had become accustomed.
If you have questions about alimony or support, you may need the guidance of an experienced family law attorney. Contact The Law Office of Joseph A. DiPiazza, LLC at (201) 597-0065 to schedule a legal consultation with our New Jersey Alimony Attorney.
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