Alimony is an important part of many divorces as it determines how much money one spouse will be paying the other for a set period of time. Under New Jersey law, a variety of factors are considered that determine how much alimony will be paid. If you’re going through a divorce, understanding the factors that go into making an alimony decision can help you prepare accordingly.
What factors go into alimony decisions?
First, understand that alimony is different in every divorce as there is no set financial formula. Instead, many factors are considered, including:
– The need and ability of one spouse to receive alimony and the other spouse to afford payments
– The length of the marriage
– The ability of the receiving spouse to maintain the standard of living that they have become accustomed to on their own income
– The age and health of both parties
– The earning capacity of both parties, which includes professional experience, skills, and education levels
– Parental responsibilities and the need to provide for children
– How long the receiving party has been out of the job market and how long it may take them to get back into the job market
One-third difference standard
In previous years, an unwritten standard was that one-third of the gross difference between the two parties was used as the alimony number. That standard was largely made out of date thanks to tax changes that became law in 2019.
When it comes to handling alimony in a divorce, there are no guarantees that couples will work out an agreement or like the decision that a judge hands down. However, understanding the process and what goes into these decisions can give you a better idea of what to expect during your divorce.