When a marriage ends in New Jersey, the courts and the interested parties often must grapple with a list of financial concerns. Some of these concerns rest on the ability of the parties to pay for costs associated with legal action.
Another central issue, the matter of alimony, often involves several complex issues.
Determining the amount of alimony
New Jersey statutes explicitly state the factors the courts should consider when setting a dollar level for alimony. The following listed factors do not prevent the courts from considering additional circumstances:
- The duration of the marriage or the civil union
- The ability of a party to pay
- The age and physical and emotional health of each party
- The potential earning ability of each party
- The parental responsibilities of each parent
- The tax implications of an alimony award on either party
The court may also take into account other relevant factors. The courts can also consider adjustments to an alimony award as a situation changes.
Establishing the duration of alimony
In marriages of less than 20 years duration, the courts cannot, except in unusual situations, require alimony payments that last longer than the actual union. Some factors that could impact alimony duration include the age of the parties, the degree of dependency of one party, the health of the individual receiving alimony and the ability of a person to achieve a reasonable standard of living.
When determining the duration of alimony, the courts typically consider many factors. Ultimately, though, both the amount and the duration of alimony depend upon an equitable look at the complete financial picture of each party.