What You Need To Know About Spousal Support
At The Law Office of Jennifer J. McCaskill, LLC, LLC, lead attorney Jennifer McCaskill has focused specifically on family law issues since first practicing law in 2002. A large portion of our practice concerns alimony and child support issues. As with every issue regarding your case, we provide personal attention to your alimony matter. We help you understand the process and educate you as to all of your choices. Before agreeing to any offer regarding alimony payments, we make certain you understand the process and the ramifications of any alimony payment determination, so you can make an informed decision.
How Alimony Is Determined In New Jersey
There are many factors that are considered with an alimony determination. There are many factors the Courts will look at, such as:
- The needs of the individual receiving alimony payments
- The income and financial status of the person who has to pay alimony
- The amount of time the person who is requesting alimony has been away from the workforce
- Length and duration of the marriage
- The ages and number of children the couple has, and which parent has been the primary caretaker of the children
- Amount of property that each spouse will have upon divorce
- Standard of living during the marriage
- Education level of both spouses
It is important to remember that there are tax consequences regarding alimony payments. Usually, alimony is tax deductible for the person who pays it and is taxable income to the person who receives it. The amount of alimony paid directly affects the amount of child support.
The alimony process in New Jersey is complex, so it is best to speak with a lawyer who lives and breathes family law issues. Without having a knowledgeable attorney on your side, you have much less of a chance to negotiate a fair alimony settlement.
What Is Open-Durational Alimony?
New Jersey recently passed an “alimony statute,” which provides better parameters for how long the alimony obligation should be. Under the new statute, couples married for more than 20 years are subject to open-durational alimony – meaning that the payor will continue making alimony payments until at least reaching the full-age of retirement (approximately 67). For couples married less than 20 years, the amount of time a person has to pay or receive alimony is based upon the length of the marriage unless there are exceptional circumstances. The longer you are married, the longer alimony is paid.
While this new statute has better delineated how long alimony will be paid, it remains unclear how Courts will interpret the statute because it is still so new. Therefore, it is important to speak to an experienced family law attorney regarding potential alimony issues to understand your available options.