According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the divorce rate in New Jersey for 2021 was 2.2 divorces for every 1,000 marriages. Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a financial arrangement that can play a significant role in divorce cases.
Alimony designates an amount of financial assistance for one spouse to pay to the other after a marriage ends.
Factors considered in alimony decisions
Many factors influence the court regarding whether to grant alimony, how much and for how long.
- Length of marriage. In New Jersey, the length of your marriage is a key factor in determining whether you may be eligible for alimony; however, there is no specific threshold regarding the number of years of marriage to qualify for alimony. Generally, longer marriages may result in more substantial alimony awards.
- Lifestyle and standard of living. The goal of the court is to maintain a similar quality of life for both spouses post-divorce.
- Contributions made. The courts evaluate the contributions made to the household by each spouse, both financial and non-financial. The calculations will likely include income, homemaking, childcare and other forms of support during the marriage.
- Financial requirement. Each spouse’s earning capacity and potential financial needs play a role in the court’s decision, and alimony awards may help a spouse become financially self-sufficient if they are not currently employed.
- Age and health. Health issues or advanced age may impact one’s ability to work and generate income.
- Children. The court considers child custody and support arrangements when calculating alimony if the couple has children.
The distribution of assets and liabilities in the divorce settlement can also impact alimony decisions.
The courts evaluate each alimony case individually. The court aims to create a fair and equitable arrangement that considers each couple’s unique circumstances. These calculations can be very complicated, and predicting how a court will view the situation may be difficult.