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Jennifer McCaskill
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Timing can have financial consequences when it comes to alimony

Some say that numbers don't lie. Yet, there are times when the numbers just don't seem to add up and something just doesn't appear to be right. When it come to determining the amount of alimony that a New Jersey spouse will be responsible for paying, it may be necessary to look beyond the surface of what is reported on one's tax return.

Generally, all forms of income earned by the individual are taken into consideration in determining the amount of alimony to be paid. One's salary is the most common form of earned income. However, deferred compensation, employer retirement contributions, bonuses and other forms of income may also play an important role.

The timing of a divorce may also be an important consideration in determining alimony. For example, if one's spouse is expected to receive a substantial bonus in the near future, it may be advantageous to wait and file for divorce after this has been received. Likewise, since the courts generally review one's income history, it may be best to go ahead and file if one's income is expected to rise in the near future.

Unfortunately, some prefer to play games and attempt to make the numbers appear different from what they should be. In addition to timing the divorce due to anticipated increases or decreases in income, others have been known to undertake employment opportunities that are not in keeping with their earning potential in an effort to minimize alimony payments. An experienced attorney can analyze the situation and offer guidance in navigating one through the divorce process within the New Jersey court system.

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