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Category Archives: Child Support

What are the different types of Alimony?

What are the different types of Alimony?North Jersey Law Firm Breaks down Alimony into 5 Types

Alimony, also called spousal support, is a legal obligation for a person to provide financial support to a spouse after divorce.  Once a marriage is dissolved either spouse can petition the court for interim support.  Alimony is not an absolute right and a strong case must be presented in order for it to be received.  The type, terms and amount all vary depending on the circumstances and the kind of alimony that is granted.

At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, L.L.C., with offices in Morristown, New Jersey, our divorce attorneys have the knowledge required to effectively address the issue of alimony in New Jersey. We have aided numerous clients with diverse circumstances. If your case involves high net worth or high profile divorce, division of business assets, or complex property distribution, our family law professionals will fiercely advocate to achieve the best outcome. We will work to achieve an efficient, cost-effective agreement. One that can make all the difference for you in your post-divorce life.

The 5 Types of Alimony in New Jersey

In New Jersey five types of alimony are recognized: temporary alimony, limited duration alimony, permanent alimony, rehabilitative alimony, and reimbursement alimony.

  • Temporary alimony (alimony pendente liteis granted to unemployed or low-earning spouses for the purpose of helping to cover living expenses during divorce proceedings.
  • Judges can award limited duration alimony, based on financial need, for as long as is necessary for you to become self-supporting.
  • One may be entitled to permanent alimony after a long marriage if you gave up career or educational opportunities to care for your family, or to advance your spouse’s education or career. If permanent alimony is requested, the court examines the factors listed below to determine if you qualify, and then determines if any of the other support orders are appropriate in addition to the permanent order.
  • In the case of rehabilitative alimony, the requesting spouse is obligated submit to the court the steps to be taken for rehabilitation, the time frame and a period of employment to occur during the rehabilitation period.
  • Reimbursement alimony is compensation to a spouse who supported the other spouse through advanced education, and who expected to enjoy the fruits of that labor.

Any combination of these orders may be awarded by the court. Meaning that if the court makes an order for rehabilitative spousal support, it can also order reimbursement alimony, in addition to limited duration alimony.

Factors for Alimony Awards in my Morristown Divorce

When determining the duration and amount of an alimony award, the judges look at many factors, including:

  • the requesting spouse’s needs and the other’s ability to pay
  • how long the marriage lasted
  • the age of each spouse as well as physical and emotional health
  • the income of each spouse, earning capacity, education level, and employability
  • the standard of living during marriage
  • parental responsibilities
  • time and expense necessary to gain education and/or training for the dependent spouse to become self-supporting
  • the financial or non-financial contributions mad by each spouse to the marriage.

At this time there are no specific alimony calculators or guidelines for support in New Jersey; courts make decisions based on the above listed factors and thus awards can vary.  This is one of the reasons why effective legal representation is so critical.

Alimony Modification and Termination in Morris County

A judge may modify limited duration alimony and rehabilitative alimony orders circumstances change. Court orders based on assumed events that  did not occur may be grounds to modify an order—for example, if the supported spouse could not be rehabilitated within the expected time, or was unable to find a job to become self-supporting.

Should the recipient spouse remarry or enter into a New Jersey civil union, the supporting spouse must be informed and alimony payments may be stopped. (However, the supporting spouse must pay any arrearages ,late payments, that have accumulated.) Furthermore, the death of either spouse will terminate all forms of alimony.

Alimony Payments for my Mendham Divorce that are not Based on Marital Fault

Although courts rely on several factors – such as the spouses’ ages and earning capacity, among others – to determine alimony payments, the law recognizes that each marriage (or civil union) is different. As a result, courts can take into account any other relevant facts or circumstances when calculating a just payment. These may include tax consequences, the equitable distribution of marital property, and even investments that may mature at a future date.

Marital fault is not taken into account for alimony purposes. Meaning that even a spouse who behaved badly during marriage can still get alimony.  Example can include infidelity among other.  In essence, an affair will not count against the unfaithful spouse unless it is economically relevant (such as where one spouse spent marital savings on a lover).

In rare cases where marital fault caused economic damage, then alimony can be either increased or reduced based on that negative impact. Also, by law, a court can’t award alimony to a spouse who commits a serious crime like murder or aggravated assault against a family member during the marriage or civil union. Likewise, a spouse who plans to kill the other – even if those plans fail – will not receive alimony. In any event, a court may deny alimony in circumstances where one spouse’s bad act makes it unjust to force the other to maintain economic ties.

When a Spouse Won’t Work

The court will not allow a spouse to avoid alimony responsibilities by voluntarily working less or not working at all. In fact, the court may “impute” income. This means it can assign an amount that the unemployed or under-employed spouse should be making, based on past earnings. However, a court will not impute income when the supporting spouse becomes disabled or loses a job involuntarily.

Changing the Amount of Alimony

Spouses can’t avoid their alimony responsibilities, however, with court approval, they can reduce or increase the amount due. Whether or not the court changes payments depends on how economic circumstances have changed and the type of alimony previously awarded.

Usually, the court reviews finances of both spouses when determining to modify the amount of alimony or not. A decrease or increase in payments is warranted when there is a substantial change in circumstance, such as the loss of a job or a higher paying job has been obtained. Other reasons for modification include increases in the cost of living, disability, illness or if the dependent spouse moves in with another partner in a marriage like situation. In addition, if the type of alimony is of limited duration or rehabilitative, the court can modify payments when an expected event, like a spouse’s completion of an educational program, has occurred.

Tax Implications of Alimony

Alimony payments are tax deductible to the paying spouse and should be reported as income by the receiving spouse until the end of 2018.

However the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Bill”, which will take effect January 1st 2019 will reverse this.  Current taxation laws allow individuals who are paying alimony to a former spouse to deduct those alimony payments from their income before paying income tax. The tax on alimony was declared by the recipient. But, under the 2019 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act alimony recipients will no longer be required to pay income tax on the alimony that they receive and the payer will no longer be able to deduct these payment from their annual income before filing taxes.

For this reason it is crucial to speak to your Morristown Alimony Attorney to gain experienced guidance on the tax implications of your alimony.

Attorneys’ Fees

If financial need can be adequately shown, the court can order the other spouse to pay for lawyers’ fees.

New Jersey Statutes

2A:34-25: Termination of Alimony

2A:34-23: Alimony, maintenance

Contact Our Morristown NJ Alimony Attorneys for a Free Consultation

Divorce can cause a great deal of uncertainty. Questions about alimony often bring questions about your future, your rights, and your responsibilities. With a skilled and experienced divorce attorney on your side, you can make informed, confident decisions that best serve your interests. Contact the Morris County law offices of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark today to understand your available options. One of our New Jersey divorce attorneys will answer your questions and provide you with a cost-free initial consultation.

For additional information and the answers to your pressing questions, contact us at 866-957-2982 to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our experienced divorce attorneys.

Is My NJ Mediation Legally Binding?

Mediation is a commonly used form of alternative dispute resolution which seeks to resolve the issues of divorce and family law matters without formal litigation. Many individuals choose divorce mediation in order to keep their legal proceedings as amicable and flexible as possible, and to have the power to reach their own decisions in the areas of child custody, child support, alimony, and… Continue Reading

Co-Parenting During and After Divorce Harding, NJ

For parents going through a divorce, the safety, happiness, and wellbeing of their children is a top priority. While the many legal concerns of divorce such as alimony, division of marital assets, child custody and so forth are extremely important, it is also vital that children are given a consistent and loving environment during and after the divorce process.… Continue Reading

Why Choose Collaborative Divorce in Morris County?

Collaborative divorce, much like other alternative conflict resolution methods such as mediation, is a great choice for many divorcing spouses who wish to work together during the divorce process. Divorce is certainly a stressful time, but it does not need to be a battle. Many spouses are able to resolve even the most complex issues of divorce… Continue Reading

Financial Benefits of Divorce Chester, NJ

Divorce gets a bad rap in a lot of respects, but nowhere more than how it has the potential to negatively impact the financial wellbeing of former spouses. While this certainly can be the case without proper legal counsel, many family’s financial situation actually improves after a divorce. There are two primary ways to both protect… Continue Reading

Non-Traditional Families Morris County, NJ

Less than half of all American families are what would formerly be considered “traditional”. In fact, our family law attorneys hesitate to even use the term traditional as the concept is quickly fading away. Thankfully, legislation and state laws are changing to reflect this as well. With same sex marriage becoming legal at a state and federal level, judges considering tri-parenting child… Continue Reading

Holidays for Separated Co-Parents in Morris County, NJ

While it may not be on the forefront of parents’ minds while going through a divorce or of unmarried parents going through child custody proceedings, scheduling holidays and vacations are amongst the most contentious issues for co-parents. The conflict is often simple: holidays only occur once per year and both co-parents want to spend that time with their children. Thankfully,… Continue Reading

Substance Abuse and Divorce in Morris County, NJ

The issues of substance abuse and divorce are the types of topics which we all know effect millions of people, but never expect it to impact us. Unfortunately, the reality is that in the U.S. nearly 1,000,000 divorces take place each year and tens of millions of adults will partake in binge drinking or illicit drug use. When the numbers are that… Continue Reading

What is Considered a Default Divorce?

Contrary to popular belief, not all divorce proceedings are long and painful. It is actually quite common for divorcing spouses to come to amicable terms of a settlement agreement and get through their divorce with minimal interference. In some cases, this may result in what is known as a default divorce. While not all amicable divorces are ultimately… Continue Reading

What is Rehabilitative Alimony in New Jersey?

For spouses going through a divorce, the issue of alimony and spousal support is common. However, many people do not realize that there are actually five types of alimony agreements pursuant to New Jersey divorce law. In addition to the common limited duration alimony and open duration alimony, there is also reimbursement alimony, temporary alimony during divorce, and rehabilitative alimony.… Continue Reading

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