New Jersey Alimony Lawyer
What is Alimony?
Alimony (sometimes referred to as Spousal Support) is a monthly monetary payment made by one spouse to another pursuant to a settlement agreement between the parties or a court order. Alimony is in place to balance the differences in income between the two spouses to help them maintain a lifestyle similar to what they lived prior to the divorce or separation.
Are there different types of Alimony?
There are four different types of alimony that can be granted to a party: Open durational, limited durational, rehabilitative, and reimbursement. Here are descriptions of each type:
Open Durational Alimony
Open Durational Alimony will only be awarded following a long-term marriage of 20 years or more. Generally, alimony will continue until the court terminates it or the parties agree to terminate it. This type of alimony can be modified (reduced or terminated) upon a substantial change of circumstances, such as remarriage of the dependent spouse, disability of either spouse or retirement. However, open durational alimony is presumed to end when the payor spouse reaches full retirement age unless there is evidence to rebut that presumption.
Limited Durational Alimony
Limited Durational Alimony will generally be awarded where the marriage/civil union lasted less than 20 years in duration. The term of alimony is typically stated in years and will not exceed the length of the marriage, except in exceptional circumstances. Limited duration alimony is often awarded in recognition of a dependent spouse’s contributions to a shorter term marriage that nevertheless demonstrates the attributes of a “marital partnership.” It can be modified based on “changed circumstances” or the nonoccurrence of events that the Court found would happen at the time of the award. The Court can modify the amount, but not the term, unless unusual circumstances are presented.
The court may award rehabilitative alimony to a dependent spouse for a defined period of time to allow the receiving spouse to complete necessary education or job training in order to obtain or enhance employment and gain a sufficient level of self-support. Rehabilitative alimony is generally a short term award which enables the former spouse to complete the preparation necessary to become economically capable of addressing his/her own support needs. Rehabilitative alimony can be modified upon “changed circumstances” or the nonoccurrence of circumstances the Court found would occur at the time of the award.
This type of alimony is awarded under circumstances in which one party supported the other through an advanced education. Such contributions may consist of household expenses and educational costs. The award is usually limited in nature. In addition, reimbursement alimony is non-modifiable for any reason.
- What factors influence the specific amount of alimony paid, and the terms?
- The amount and duration of the alimony to be paid depends on many statutory factors including:
- The actual need and ability of the parties to pay
- The duration of the marriage or civil union
- The age, physical and emotional health of the parties
- 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
- The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties
- The length of absence from the job market of the party seeking maintenance
- The parental responsibilities for the children
- 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
- 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
- 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
- The income available to either party through investment of any assets held by that party
- 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
- The nature, amount, and length of pendente lite support paid, if any
- Any other factors which the court may deem relevant.
What happens if my circumstances change, I can’t make an alimony payment?
Should there be a change in circumstances, it’s your (and your Lawyer’s) responsibility to certify in moving papers that you have clearly experienced events beyond your control that would warrant a modification of an existing Order or Agreement. For instance, if you lost your job and are no longer able to pay the agreed upon or ordered alimony amount, it will be necessary to show that Court that you did indeed lose your job and that you attempted to secure employment thereafter to mitigate the situation and loss of income.
My former spouse has stopped paying. What is my recourse?
If you are not receiving the child support or alimony you were ordered to receive or that was agreed upon at the time of the divorce, a motion can be filed to make certain you receive these benefits. If your situation calls for enforcement of an Agreement, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We can immediately begin the process of rectifying the situation either via negotiation with the other party or by putting a formal motion before the Court.
Foreman Law: Here to support you in your Alimony case
We have extensive experience representing clients in alimony cases in the State of New Jersey, with a proven track record of obtaining optimal results for our clients. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me for a free consultation. You will leave this meeting with a firm plan of action that will be suited to your goals and needs. My sole inspiration throughout the process will be to get you the outcome you deserve.
People often ask if an attorney is really needed in family law proceedings. Usually it’s for all the right reasons – they are worried about cash flow, or spending saved money that could be going to their children. Unfortunately the answer is yes. I’ve seen people attempt to avoid doing it, choosing to rely on Internet research, friends, etc. The results aren’t pretty. Along those lines, it absolutely makes sense to consider an Attorney like myself over a higher-priced alternative from a larger firm.
Trust me when I tell you that I am tenacious. I will not stop until I deliver the optimal results that you deserve.
But don’t just take it from me: Click here to read testimonials from my family law clients.
WHERE DO I PRACTICE FAMILY LAW?
My law office is conventionally located in Livingston, New Jersey. I serve all New Jersey Counties including Essex, Morris, Bergen, Passaic, Hudson, Sussex, Warren, Union, Middlesex, Ocean, Monmouth and any other county I am needed.
In short, I won’t let geography stand in the way of helping you, and I’m more than ready to take your case! I’ll travel to where you need me. If you’d like to schedule a free appointment, click here, or call me now at (973)-315-3232