Family Law Monday, October 1, 2018
New Jersey state law allows for the award of alimony, also known as spousal support or maintenance, during a divorce when the court deems the payments “reasonable and just.”
But what exactly does that mean? This post will focus on three of the most commonly asked questions about alimony payments. Since family law is a creature of state law, it is important to clarify that this post will focus specifically on the award of alimony as governed by the laws in New Jersey.
How does alimony work? Those who are going through a divorce generally have two options. The couple can either come up with a divorce settlement agreement on their own or they can litigate the issue in court. Whether the court or couple choose to award alimony, a type must be specified. There are generally four options: open durational alimony, rehabilitative alimony, limited duration alimony or reimbursement alimony. Our next post will delve into the differences between these options.
How does the court decide to award alimony? The court will take a number of factors into consideration to determine if an alimony award is appropriate. These factors can include the need of the parties, the duration of the marriage and the age and physical health of the parties as well as parental responsibilities if children are present.
The court can also take the standard of living afforded during the marriage into consideration as well as “any other factors which the court may deem relevant.”
What happens if one party refuse to make alimony payments? The court can require payment through the immediate sequestration of personal property.
These are just some common questions to navigate when reviewing the potential for alimony during a divorce proceeding. You should also address tax implications and other factors. As such, it is wise to discuss these and other potential factors with an attorney before finalizing a divorce settlement agreement.