One aspect of divorce that isn’t often discussed is spousal support, or alimony. New Jersey has specific spousal support laws; obtaining spousal support or having it modified can be quite difficult. Here’s what you need to know to understand the basics of spousal support or alimony in New Jersey.
Factors Used to Determine a Spousal Support Award
New Jersey courts take a variety of factors into consideration when determining whether or not to award spousal support, including but not limited to:
- The ability of the potential payor to make spousal support payments
- The needs of the potential recipient
- How long the marriage lasted
- What standard of living was established during the marriage
- The age of both parties
- The health condition of both parties
- The ability of each party to earn a living and reasonably support themselves independent of the marriage
- What additional job training or education the potential recipient may need to reach a self-sufficient status
- Any property each spouse was awarded during the property division process
- How each spouse participated in the acquisition of assets during the marriage
Can Alimony Be Permanent?
Permanent alimony is very rarely awarded in New Jersey divorce cases. In cases where the potential recipient is physically or mentally disabled, or is in some way not able to reasonably provide for themselves in a self-sufficient manner, permanent alimony may be awarded. However, in most cases, spousal support is temporary and is designed to be used as a “stepping stone” of sorts to allow the recipient time to secure employment and begin providing for themselves independent of the marriage.
Can Spousal Support Orders Be Changed?
In some cases, spousal support orders may need to be modified. For example, if the recipient marries another person, they would generally be considered to no longer need the financial support, and the alimony would be terminated. In cases where the payor is experiencing financial hardship and cannot make payments according to the order, a modification may change the amount of the alimony due.
When to Talk to An Attorney
If you are considering getting a divorce or are involved in a divorce where spousal support may be an issue, it is important to learn about your rights under New Jersey law by speaking with an experienced divorce lawyer. Rita T. Jerejian, LLC can help you discover more about New Jersey’s spousal support laws and how they may apply to your case. Call now for a consultation at (201) 489-7714.