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Criteria For Spousal Support or Alimony

Since courts order spousal support/alimony less often today than in the past, it is a good idea to work with a highly experienced family law attorney if it is an issue in your divorce. A judge will look at a number of factors to make the final decision. Yet, will that decision take into account your unique financial situation? At Bastarrika, Soto, Gonzalez & Somohano, L.L.P., we’ll put you and your financial security first as we fight for an appropriate spousal support award.

What Alimony Factors Will A Court Consider?

Spousal support allows the recipient to recover financially from the end of a marriage. Someone’s need for alimony could be caused by a lack of job skills or because the recipient stayed at home to raise a family. A judge will examine the financial disparity between the parties using these factors:

  • Length of marriage
  • Age and health of spouses
  • Actual financial need and ability to pay
  • Income, education and employability
  • Previous standard of living
  • Obligations to children
  • Cost of training to become employable
  • Financial contributions to marriage

Types Of Spousal Support

Temporary And Limited Duration Alimony

If you are unemployed or in a low-income job, a court could assign temporary alimony to pay your living expenses during the divorce process. If you need more time to become self-supporting, you might qualify for limited duration alimony.

Rehabilitative Alimony

Rehabilitative alimony could provide a longer period of payments than limited duration. During this time, you could go to school and gain new skills.

Reimbursement Alimony

When a person invests in a spouse’s higher education, a divorce could make that investment fruitless. If this describes your situation, then reimbursement alimony might be appropriate.

Permanent Alimony

Permanent alimony describes a potentially lifelong obligation to support an ex-spouse from, typically, a long marriage. In most cases, a qualifying recipient cared for a family instead of pursuing an education or career. However, permanent alimony has become a historical relic in most parts of the country, and a New Jersey law enacted in 2014 disallows lifelong spousal support. Additionally, marriages of fewer than 20 years cannot result in payments for more years than the people were married. New Jersey law also enables people to alter or end payments when they reach retirement age or lose a job.

Spousal Support And Prenuptial Agreements

These contracts, entered into by couples prior to the wedding, plan for certain financial issues in the event of a divorce, such as the division of the couple’s property. In the absence of a successful legal challenge, they guide a court when it is making a ruling dealing with alimony.

Contact A Lawyer

Remarriage or cohabitation creates a reason to end some forms of spousal support. New relationships do not necessarily halt rehabilitation or reimbursement alimony. At Bastarrika, Soto, Gonzalez & Somohano, L.L.P., we understand that spousal support could have serious long-term impacts on your future. Schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys in Woodland Park, New Jersey, to learn about your rights, or call us at 973-370-0997.