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Alimony and Spousal Support in NJ
If you are in the process of obtaining a divorce, you may be entitled to receive spousal support in NJ. A New Jersey divorce lawyer can examine the facts and circumstances of your individual case and determine whether spousal support is applicable.
The primary purpose of spousal support in NJ, or alimony, is to help a recipient spouse maintain the same standard of living that he or she was accustomed to over the course of a marriage.
Alimony is also available for the time period during or after a civil union is dissolved.
What Types of Spousal Support in NJ Are Available Under the Law?
In New Jersey, five types of alimony are available. A New Jersey court could also award a combination of the following types of alimony:
- Alimony pendente lite: Also known as temporary alimony, this covers a recipient spouse’s living expenses over the course of a pending divorce or civil union dissolution proceeding.
- Limited alimony:The court awards this for a limited period of time, for as long as it takes a recipient spouse to become self-sufficient. This alimony may enable a recipient spouse to receive additional education or training for career purposes.
- Permanent alimony:The court usually awards this type of alimony after a lengthy marriage. It provides for permanent, ongoing spousal support. A spouse may receive this when he or she gives up a career in order to have a family, thereby relying on the other spouse for income and support during the marriage.
- Rehabilitative alimony:This type of alimony is awarded on a temporary basis to help the recipient re-enter the job market and get back on his or her own two feet.
- Reimbursement alimony:This is available when a recipient spouse puts his or her former spouse through school or makes some other significant financial contribution to the well-being of the marriage, prior to its dissolution.
How Is Spousal Support in NJ Calculated?
In calculating the amount and duration of spousal support in New Jersey, courts do not use any hard-and-fast formula or calculation. Rather, they look to the following non-exclusive factors:
- each spouse’s individual needs
- health of each spouse
- age of each spouse
- length of the marriage relationship
- each spouse’s financial needs, including incomes and assets
- a spouse’s ability to pay alimony
- each spouse’s educational level, career level, job history, and income level
- each spouse’s level of parental responsibility
- standard of living maintained by the spouses throughout their marriage relationship
- time and expense necessary for a dependent spouse to become self-sufficient
- each spouse’s monetary and non-monetary contributions to the marriage
What Are the Income Tax Ramifications of Spousal Support in NJ?
It is important to note that spousal support in New Jersey is tax-deductible to the payor and is also considered income to the recipient.
What Happens When Spousal Support in NJ Must Be Modified or Terminated?
A court order can modify or terminate spousal support when there is a material change in circumstances. A common example is when one of the spouses remarries or no longer requires the support. At that point, the court may terminate ordinary alimony payments. Rehabilitative alimony, however, may continue, depending upon the circumstances – including the recipient spouse’s career readiness.
It is also important to note that a spouse’s death will terminate all forms of spousal support in NJ.