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Alimony for Spouse Qualifications in New Jersey

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When a marriage ends, one of the most important considerations is whether one spouse must provide financial support to the other. In New Jersey, this support is called alimony or spousal support. Alimony ensures that both parties maintain a standard of living similar to what they had during the marriage. Only some spouses qualify for alimony in New Jersey, however.

Factors Determining Alimony Eligibility in New Jersey

New Jersey courts consider several factors when deciding whether a spouse qualifies for alimony. These factors include:

  • The duration of the marriage: Generally, the longer the marriage, the more likely one spouse will qualify for alimony.
  • Each spouse’s earning capacity: Courts consider their income, skills, education, and employability to determine their ability to support themselves.
  • The age and health of each spouse: If one spouse is significantly older or has health issues that affect their ability to work, they may be more likely to qualify for alimony.
  • The standard of living during marriage: Courts try to ensure that both spouses can maintain a similar standard of living after the divorce.
  • Each spouse’s contributions to the marriage: Courts look at financial and non-financial contributions, such as childcare and household management.
  • The need for education or training: If one spouse requires education or training to become self-sufficient, this may be considered in alimony decisions.

How is Alimony Calculated in New Jersey?

If a court determines that one spouse qualifies for alimony, the next step is calculating the payment amount and duration. New Jersey courts consider several factors when calculating alimony, including:

  • The paying spouse’s ability to pay: Courts look at the spouse’s income, assets, and financial obligations to determine how much they can afford to pay in alimony.
  • The receiving spouse’s needs: Courts consider the receiving spouse’s income, assets, and expenses to determine how much support they need to maintain a similar standard of living.
  • The length of the marriage: The duration of the marriage often influences the length of the alimony payments.
  • The age and health of each spouse: If the receiving spouse is older or has health issues, they may require longer or higher alimony payments.
  • The tax consequences of alimony payments: Under federal law, alimony payments are no longer tax-deductible for the paying spouse or taxable income for the receiving spouse.

Can I Get Alimony After Two Years of Marriage?

The duration of the marriage is one factor that courts consider when deciding alimony eligibility and calculating payments. While no strict rule automatically qualifies or disqualifies a spouse for alimony based on the length of the marriage, shorter marriages generally result in a lower likelihood of alimony or shorter alimony payment periods.

It is possible to qualify for alimony in a two-year marriage, but it may be more challenging to demonstrate the need for support. Courts will still consider other factors, such as each spouse’s earning capacity, contributions to the marriage, and standard of living during the marriage.

Alimony awarded after a two-year marriage is likely shorter than that awarded after a longer marriage. The alimony payments may be designed to provide temporary support while the receiving spouse becomes self-sufficient.

Types of Alimony in New Jersey

New Jersey recognizes several types of alimony, each designed to address different circumstances:

  • Limited duration alimony: This type of alimony is awarded for a specific period, usually tied to the length of the marriage.
  • Open durational alimony: Formerly known as permanent alimony, this type of alimony continues until the receiving spouse remarries, cohabitates with a new partner, or either spouse dies.
  • Rehabilitative alimony: This alimony is intended to support the receiving spouse while they acquire the education or training needed to become self-sufficient.
  • Reimbursement alimony: The court awards alimony to compensate a spouse who made significant financial contributions to the other spouse’s education or career advancement.

Modifying or Terminating Alimony in New Jersey

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Alimony orders are not necessarily permanent. If circumstances change significantly after the original alimony order, either spouse can request a modification or termination of alimony. Some reasons for modifying or terminating alimony include:

  • The receiving spouse remarries or cohabitates with a new partner.
  • The receiving spouse’s financial circumstances improve significantly.
  • The paying spouse experiences a substantial decrease in income or financial hardship.
  • The receiving spouse needs to make a good-faith effort to become self-sufficient.

Understanding Alimony in New Jersey with the Help of a Skilled Attorney

Understanding alimony can pose complexity and contention during a divorce. Collaborating with a seasoned family law attorney can clarify your rights and obligations, safeguarding your interests throughout the proceedings.

At Law Office of Andrew A. Bestafka, Esq., our seasoned divorce attorneys boast over a decade of experience guiding clients through the complexities of alimony and other family law matters. We grasp divorce’s financial and emotional ramifications and pledge to offer each client compassionate, personalized representation.

If you are considering divorce or have questions about alimony in New Jersey, contact Law Office of Andrew A. Bestafka, Esq. today at (732) 898-2378 to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced family law attorneys. We are here to guide you through the process and help you achieve the best possible outcome for your unique situation.