Many divorce cases in New Jersey involve contentious disputes about child support, child custody and property division. However, the one issue that can really cause debilitating strife in the legal proceedings is a request for alimony. After all, most divorcing spouses view the end of their marriage as the end of any type of relationship between the two ex-spouses - many do not treasure the idea of owing a financial obligation to an ex-spouse after the marriage is over.
However, just because one or the other of the spouses requests alimony does not mean the request will be granted. There are various criteria that is used in New Jersey to determine whether or not an alimony request should be granted.
First of all, the divorce court will look at each party's financial security and their ability to earn an income and support themselves once the marriage is over. If both of the spouses have similar earning capacity, educational background and job skills, a court may be less inclined to enter an award of alimony. However, if there is a difference in these factors, for whatever reason, an award of alimony may be much more likely.
Beyond the economic factors, a divorce court will also consider the relative physical and emotional health of each party, as well as how each party has contributed to the marriage. Perhaps, for example, one spouse sacrificed opportunities in order to stay home and raise children while the other spouse advanced his career. In such circumstances, an award of alimony becomes more likely. But each divorce case has its own unique facts. For more information about how our law firm attempts to help New Jersey residents with alimony issues, please visit our website.