Applying Changes in NJ Alimony Policy to Your Divorce
In choosing a divorce attorney for your New Jersey divorce, it is important to make sure that you select an attorney and a firm that keeps apprised of changes in family law. For instance, the alimony statute in New Jersey recently changed, as set forth below, and as a result, new cases are decided every day that interpret what each of these provisions will mean for your case. Because it is difficult to discern what this statute will mean to you and your case in dollars and cents, a consultation with an attorney will help you plan your life post-divorce.
In awarding one or more of the types of alimony, the Court must consider the following thirteen (13) factors as set forth in N.J.S. 2A:34-23, the recently amended alimony statute:
- The actual need and ability of the parties to pay;
- The duration of the marriage or civil union;
- The age, physical and emotional health of the parties;
- The standard of living established in the marriage and the likelihood that each party can maintain a reasonably comparable standard of living, with neither party having a greater entitlement to that standard of living than the other;
- The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills and employability of the parties;
- The length of absence from the job market of the party seeking maintenance;
- The parental responsibilities for the children;
- The time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment, the availability of the training and employment and the opportunity for future acquisitions of capital assets and income;
- The history of the financial or non-financial contributions to the marriage by each party, including contributions to the care and education of the children and interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities;
- The equitable distribution of property ordered and any payouts on equitable distribution, directly or indirectly, out of current income, to the extent this consideration is reasonable, just and fair;
- The income available to either party through investment of any assets held by that party;
- The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award, including the designation of all or a portion of the payment as a non-taxable payment;
- The nature, amount and length of pendente-lite support paid, if any; and
- Any other factors which the court may deem relevant.
“For any marriage or civil union less than 20 years in duration, the total duration of alimony shall not, except in exceptional circumstances, exceed the length of the marriage or civil union.” Id.
Our attorneys work each and every day on achieving the goals of our clients within the frame-work of this statute. To discuss your current situation with one of our highly knowledgeable New Jersey divorce lawyers today, contact our Morris County offices for a cost-free consultation.