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New Jersey divorce laws and child support and alimony laws
There are 4 types of Alimony are permitted in New Jersey: Limited duration alimony Permanent alimony Reimbursement alimony Rehabilitative alimony Frequently asked Questions -Click here Limited duration alimony is awarded when economic assistance is necessary for a limited time. In determining the length of the term, the court must consider the length of time it would reasonably take for the recipient to improve his or her earning capacity to a point where limited duration alimony is no longer needed. Limited duration alimony is not awarded as a substitute for permanent alimony in a case where permanent alimony would otherwise be awarded. The court may modify the amount of the award but not the duration except in unusual circumstances. The length of the term is based on the time it would take for the recipient to improve his or her earning capacity, to where limited duration alimony is no longer needed. Limited duration alimony, like permanent alimony, terminates upon the remarriage of the spouse receiving it. Reimbursement alimony is awarded for a limited time and to compensate a spouse who supported the other party through an advanced education. It may be awarded separately or in conjunction with limited duration or rehabilitative alimony. Reimbursement alimony is not terminated upon remarriage unless the court finds that the circumstances upon which the award was based have not occurred, or the payer spouse demonstrates an agreement or good cause to the contrary. Rehabilitative alimony is awarded based upon a plan in which the payee shows the scope of the rehabilitation the steps to be taken and the time frame, including the period of employment during which rehabilitation will occur. Rehabilitative alimony may be changed based on a change of circumstances. New Jersey has caselaw and a statute that requires the courts to consider very specific factors when it calculates alimony. There are some guidelines and objective standards for the courts to consider, but there is not specific formula for a family court to calculate alimony. In general, New Jersey case law states that the court must consider the marital lifestyle, the supporting spouse’s ability to pay, and the dependent spouse’s ability to contribute to his/her own support. The alimony statute, N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(b) states that the court must consider the following thirteen factors: (1)The actual need and ability of the parties to pay; (2)The duration of the marriage or civil union; (3)The age, physical and emotional health of the parties; (4)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; (5)The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties; (6)The length of absence from the job market of the party seeking maintenance; (7)The parental responsibilities for the children; (8)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;
(9)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; (10) 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; (11) The income available to either party through investment of any assets held by that party; (12) 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; and (13) Any other factors which the court may deem relevant. When a share of a retirement benefit is treated as an asset for purposes of equitable distribution, the court shall not consider income generated thereafter by that share for purposes of determining alimony. How is alimony determined? A family court has a fair amount of discretion to determine an alimony award. The New Jersey Supreme Court has established some very specific guidelines and formulas to determine child support. However, there are no alimony guidelines. Many courts and panels have tried to formulate alimony guidelines. However, this goal is very similar to the Cubs quest to win the World Series. It just will never happen! Many men don’t enjoy paying child support, but they pay it anyway because they love their kids. However, most men are sick of their ex-wive’s and they hate paying alimony. Any set of proposed alimony guidelines is just too controversial and it will never become law. New Jersey has caselaw and a statute that requires the courts to consider very specific factors when it calculates alimony. There are some guidelines and objective standards for the courts to consider, but there is not specific formula for a family court to calculate alimony. In general, New Jersey case law states that the court must consider the marital lifestyle, the supporting spouse’s ability to pay, and the dependent spouse’s ability to contribute to his/her own support. The alimony statute, N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(b) states that the court must consider the following thirteen factors: 1. The actual need and ability of the parties to pay. 2. The duration of the marriage. 3. The age, physical and emotional health of the parties. 4. The standard of living established during the marriage and the likelihood that each party can maintain a reasonable comparable standard of living. 5. The parties’ earning capability, education and employability. 6. The length of absence from the job market. 7. Parental responsibilities for the children. 8. The time and expense needed to acquire education or training to enable a depended spouse to obtain appropriate employment. 9. The financial and non-financial contributions of each spouse to the marriage. 10. Equitable distribution. 11. Income available and non-financial contributions of each spouse to the marriage. 12. The tax consequences of alimony. 13. Any other factor which the court deems relevant. In summary, the main purpose of alimony is to permit the dependent spouse to live the same lifestyle after divorce that she lived during the marriage.
How does a spouse’s earning capacity affect alimony? When a court determines alimony the actual income of the supporting spouse is not always the only factor used to determine the alimony award. In many cases, the court will also assess if the deadbeat spouse is underemployed. In my experience, once the divorce starts the husband often loses that second job, they get laid off, and they defer bonuses and promotions. Basically, the men try to paint their economic circumstances as bleak as possible. The courts most of the time can see through these games and BS. The court may impute income to the deadbeat spouse. The court will analyze the husband’s income based on the New Jersey Occupational Wage Survey. Basically this book gives an average of yearly incomes for specific fields and occupations. Can a dependent spouse be forced to work? A very popular issue in divorce cases is that the dependent spouse has earning capacity, and that she should go get a job. In cases like these, the lazy spouse may have to be evaluated by an employability expert to assist the court to determine what an appropriate level of income to impute to that spouse. The expert’s report may enable the court to consider whether the dependent spouse has the ability or inability to contribute to her support. Can alimony be changed after the divorce? Yes. As previously explained, the main purpose of alimony is to permit the dependent spouse to maintain a reasonable standard of living. Alimony can be increased or decreased if the moving party can prove to the court that there was a “change in circumstances” since the divorce. The party who files the application has the burden to prove that there has been a “change in circumstances.” The most common “change in circumstances” is a major health problem(s), a loss of employment, failure of a business, or a decrease in income, and/or retirement. In my experience it is very difficult to obtain a termination of alimony based on employment loss. However, the court in many cases will reduce/terminate alimony if the payor spouse experiences major health problems that impair his earning abilities. Can a person request alimony after the divorce is over? In many divorces, neither party receives any alimony. This is because the dependent spouse has sufficient income to support herself, and maintain a reasonable standard of living. However, unforeseen circumstances may change after the divorce to justify alimony. (ie, serious illness and an inability to work) In cases such as these, the sick spouse will file an application for alimony even though the judgment of divorce does not provide for any. If the case has merit, then the court will set a plenary hearing to determine if an award of alimony should be made. This type of hearing is also called a Lepis hearing. The court will examine the financial situation of both parties, the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage, the sick spouse’s current prognosis, and any other relevant factor. How does alimony affect the calculation of child support? When the court calculates child support it will deduct any alimony payments from the payor’s spouse’s income. Moreover, the alimony will be included as income to the payee spouse. In summary, a high alimony payment may result in a reduction in child support. Alimony is deductible by the payor spouse, and it must be declared as income to the payee spouse.
State Abbreviation Statehood State Capital Number of Counties
NJ Dec. 18, 1787 Trenton 21
State Population (2005) State Quarter Issue Date State Flower Nickname State Flag
8,717,925 May 17, 1999 Purple violet Garden State
Area Codes Top 5 Cities (2000 population)
201, 551, 609, 732, 848, 856, 862, 908, 973
Newark Jersey City Paterson Elizabeth Edison
273,546 240,055 149,222 120,568 97,687
M ajor Sports Teams
NFL: New York Giants, New York Jets NBA: New Jersey Nets NHL: New Jersey Devils
This entry was posted on Thursday, August 11th, 2011 at 9:52 am tweets and is filed under Alimony, Child Custody, New Jersey Alimony Laws, New Jersey Child Support Laws, New Jersey Divorce Laws. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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