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How does alimony work in New Jersey divorces?

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2021 | family law |

Alimony can be a confusing concept for divorcing couples in New Jersey. Many people try to compare alimony to child support, but these are two different things entirely.

What is alimony?

Alimony payments are meant to compensate for financial losses that one or both spouses might face during a divorce. For example, if one spouse was a stay-at-home parent while the other one worked, alimony would be provided to the spouse who stayed at home.

The alimony payments are meant to be support for however long the spouse needs them to essentially get on their feet. However, determining alimony is where it gets complicated, especially in cases where both spouses worked.

How do courts determine alimony payments?

There’s no straightforward formula to figure out how much alimony payments need to be. Instead, the court will look at a number of factors, including:

– If the spouse asking for alimony needs it
– If the other spouse can actually pay alimony
– Physical and emotional health of both parties
– Education levels and vocational skills of both parties
– How long the spouse was out of the job market
– The cost of living for both parties as single people

These are just some of the factors used to determine alimony payments. In addition to determining need, the court also wants to make sure that the alimony payments wouldn’t leave anyone in financial hardship.

How long do former spouses need to pay alimony?

Spouses who are getting alimony payments must still be trying to provide for themselves. With that being said, there are a lot of different factors that play into determining the length of alimony payments. Sometimes, it’s the former spouse reaching a certain income level, and other times, it’s just for a set number of years.

Not every divorce concludes with an alimony order being issued. Each couple will go through negotiations and possibly have an amount determined by the court.