Alimony, also known as spousal maintenance or spousal support, can become one of the most contested issues in a divorce. The spouse with less earning potential may desperately want alimony to protect their standard of living, while the spouse with higher earning potential may not want to subsidize the lifestyle of their former spouse.

As a spouse who has stayed out of the workforce to provide uncompensated labor for the family, you will likely be worried about your earning potential and the kind of life you will have after a divorce. The longer you were married and the longer you stayed home, the stronger the potential claim for alimony or spousal support you have.

There is no straightforward formula for New Jersey alimony

When setting the amount of child support for a divorcing couple, the New Jersey family courts can follow a very simple and straightforward formula. Alimony is often a more nuanced topic that involves the consideration of multiple factors without the assistance of a formula.

The length of the marriage, the discrepancy in earning potential between the spouses, how long one spouse has stayed out of the workforce, the unpaid contributions each spouse made to the household and the standard of living that both expect after the marriage can all influence the court’s view as reasonable or fair for alimony in your case.

The closer you are to retirement age and the less able you are to earn a living wage yourself, the more likely the courts are to order substantial alimony or permanent alimony that will persist through your retirement years. Younger spouses getting divorced will have more opportunities to increase their earning potential after divorce, leading to lower levels of alimony and temporary alimony instead of permanent alimony.