Roselle Park NJ Factors of Alimony Attorney
Issues of money can be a source of ongoing conflict during a marriage and long after a divorce has been finalized. When you and your spouse begin the divorce process, the issue of alimony and spousal support may serve as yet another hotly debated financial issue. In order to ensure that your interests and your financial future are properly protected, it is essential to enlist knowledgeable legal counsel. Finding a dedicated legal advocate can save you inordinate amounts of time, money, and anxiety. Edward S. Cooper has dedicated his practice to providing this type of support and guidance to clients and their families for nearly 25 years. He prides himself on providing individualized service and operating with the utmost integrity as he works to facilitate the best possible outcomes for his clients. For a free evaluation of your case and the potential for an alimony component of your settlement, contact his offices anytime at 908-481-4625.
Factors that Determine Alimony in New Jersey
When a couple begins a divorce in New Jersey, one or more of the spouse’s may request alimony or spousal support payments from the other. Although there are different types of alimony in New Jersey, State law includes certain mandatory factors that must be considered before an alimony determination can be made. The following is a list of factors which must be weighed prior to any definitive alimony decision:
- The actual needs and ability of each party to pay;
- The duration of the marriage;
- The age and health of both spouses;
- The standard of living maintained during the marriage and the likelihood that each party can maintain a reasonably comparable standard of living without financial assistance from the other party;
- Each spouse’s earning potential, considering a host of factors including: level of education, employment history, parenting responsibilities, and the potential need for further education to obtain appropriate employment and associated standard of living;
- The length of absence from the job market of the party seeking maintenance;
- The parental responsibilities of each party;
- The time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to become self-sufficient;
- The previous contributions (both financial and non-financial) to the marriage by each party (including child care contributions that require personal sacrifices involving career and educational opportunities);
- The equitable distribution of property;
- The result of income-producing assets and investments;
- The consequences to each party of any alimony award, including taxable and tax deductible payments;
- Any other factors deemed relevant by the court.
New Jersey’s 2014 Alimony Reform Bill
Additionally, there were a number of significant alterations made to State law regarding alimony that took effect in September of 2014 with New Jersey’s Alimony Reform Bill. This new legislation introduces additional factors to be considered when the court makes a determination regarding the type of alimony to be awarded. Importantly, open durational alimony (with no specific date of termination) is only acceptable in marriages that extend over 20 years, unless any of the following exceptional circumstances are relevant:
- The ages of the parties at the time of the marriage or civil union and at the time of the alimony award;
- The degree and duration of the dependency of one party on the other party during the marriage or civil union;
- Whether a spouse or partner has a chronic illness or unusual health circumstance;
- Whether a spouse or partner has given up a career or a career opportunity or otherwise supported the career of the other spouse or partner;
- Whether a spouse or partner has received a disproportionate share of the marital estate;
- The impact of the marriage or civil union on either party’s ability to become self-supporting, including but not limited to either party’s responsibility as primary caretaker of a child;
- Tax considerations of either party; and
- Any other factors or circumstances that the court deems equitable, relevant and material.
To read New Jersey’s 2014 Alimony Reform Bill in its entirety, click here.
Contact an Experienced Linden NJ Spousal Support Attorney
Considering the increasing complexity of alimony assessments and awards in New Jersey, it is extremely beneficial to have an experienced legal professional advising you throughout this process. To discuss your impending divorce with Attorney Edward S. Cooper free of charge, contact his Union County offices at 908-481-4625.