How To Avoid Alimony
Many people considering divorce wonder how to avoid alimony or what is the best state for avoiding alimony.
There is no easy answer to this question, and the truth is that it is often difficult to avoid paying alimony. The following might reduce alimony payments or the duration of payment, and in some instances, may help you to avoid paying alimony:
Factors To Consider When Awarding Alimony
In a divorce proceeding, a judge will hear testimony from both spouses then consider factors before settling on an alimony payment. We must also consider the following factors before petitioning for alimony or arguing against what a client believes to be an exorbitant or unfair alimony order:
- Age, as well as physical and emotional health of both spouses.
- Actual need and ability to pay.
- Cost and time allotment for education and training for a dependent spouse.
- Earning potential, education, and income of each party.
- Length of absence from the workforce.
- Length of the marriage.
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Understanding Alimony In New Jersey
When it comes to alimony in New Jersey, there are a lot of factors and considerations to make. Some couples may spend months bitterly fighting over the potential alimony payments that one spouse feels entitled to. The receiving spouse may feel like he or she immensely sacrificed for his or her partner over the years. On the other hand, the paying spouse feels like his or her former partner is financially draining him or her dr. Discussing alimony payments is rarely a pleasant topic for anyone involved.
In the end, judges are entitled to make whatever decisions they feel are best for both parties. You should take note of some of the factors that your judge will use when making his or her decision. This knowledge could help your case, no matter which side of the argument you happen to be on. Arm yourself with some of these expert tips, so that you can make the best possible plan with your attorney.
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New Jersey Courts Calculate Alimony Based On The Following Factors:
- New Jersey courts calculate alimony based on the following factors:
- Duration of the marriage.
- Age, physical and emotional health of the spouses.
- Earning capacities of the respective spouses.
- Education levels, vocational skills, and employability of each spouse.
- Absence from employment length especially in the case of time spent raising children.
- Parental responsibilities for existing children who arose out of the marriage.
- Time and expense required to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the spouse seeking support for future accessibility to assets and income.
- History of financial and/or non-financial contributions to the marriage by each spouse.
- History and future educational contributions for children.
- Equitable property and payout distribution.
- Investment income.
Can I Stop Paying Alimony If My Ex Remarries
In New Jersey, when the dependent spouse remarries, you can stop paying alimony. However, it is important that you do not stop paying alimony without permission from the court. If you refuse to pay alimony without permission from the court, you can face legal consequences, including:
- Placing liens on owned properties in order to raise funds upon sale
- Work directly with banks to deduct funds directly from checking or savings accounts
- Find the other party in contempt of court which is a criminal offense
- Garnishing wages in order to secure payment
- Seizing property of the other party in order to sell the items to raise funds for alimony payments
If you have any questions about alimony in New Jersey, contact our firm today.
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Other Types Of Alimony
The court orders different types of alimony depending on the circumstances of the marriage. The types of alimony available in New Jersey are:
- Limited Duration Alimony: For couples who were married or in a civil union for less than 20 years. These payments should not be made longer than the duration of the marriage/union and can be terminated if either spouses finances change.
- Rehabilitative alimony: When a spouse holds off their career to support their family, this allows the dependent spouse to receive the education or training they need for work.
- Reimbursement alimony: If one spouse financially supported the others education or training, this type of alimony reimburses them for the cost.
Who Qualifies For Alimony In New Jersey
Alimony can be requested by either spouse, but the court will only award it after considering the following factors:
- The spouses true financial need and ability to pay.
- The duration of the union
- Age, physical, and mental health of each spouse
- The standard of living throughout the marriage and the possibility that both parties would be able to maintain a lifestyle that is substantially similar after the divorce
- Earning potential, educational levels, vocational abilities, and employability of each spouse
- Both spouses parental obligations and the length of time the supported spouse was out of work
- The amount of time and money required for the supported spouse to obtain education or training in order to find work, the availability of training and work, and the potential for future assets and income.
- The financial and non-financial contributions of each spouse to the marriage
- During a divorce, the equitable allocation of marital property is important.
- Income from investment assets for each spouse.
- The alimony award has tax implications for both spouses.
- Any other relevant factors as determined by the court
New Jersey law clearly precludes alimony awards to a spouse convicted of murder, manslaughter, criminal homicide, aggravated assault, or a similar violation after the marriage or civil union if the perpetrator caused death or significant bodily harm to a family member of the divorcing spouse.
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If I Get A Lawyer Can The Judge Order My Spouse To Pay My Attorney Fees
The judge has the authority to order that the either party pay the attorney fees of the other party in any claim for divorce, dissolution of civil union, termination of domestic partnership, nullity, support, alimony, custody, parenting time, equitable distribution, separate maintenance, enforcement of agreements between spouses, domestic partners, or civil union partners and claims relating to family type matters. The judge can make this order while the case is pending or at the end of the case. The judge will have to determine if an award of attorney fees is appropriate in each situation.1
1 NJ Court R. 5:3-5
Spousal Support In Nj
If you ask for alimony, the judge can give you one of five forms of support: temporary , limited length, rehabilitative, reimbursement, or permanent alimony in New Jersey.
While the divorce is proceeding, pendente lite alimony is the only option. When one spouse is financially reliant on the other and needs assistance to cover living expenses during the divorce, the court will grant interim support.
In circumstances where the supported spouse requires time to become self-sufficient following the divorce, judges will issue limited-duration alimony. The court will usually include a set of support terms that the spouse must follow, or the award will be terminated.
When a dependent spouse requires financial assistance while pursuing job training or education that would lead to employment and financial independence, rehabilitative alimony is offered. The recipient must demonstrate the breadth of the rehabilitation, the steps required, and the duration of the support to the court.
Suppose one spouse financially supports the other during the marriage by helping support the other through further education and is expected to profit from the education. In that case, the court will give reimbursement alimony. If you sponsored your spouse through law school but divorced before you could gain financially from it, the court may force your spouse to repay you.
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What Types Of Alimony Are There And How Long Can Alimony Last
There are four types of alimony that a judge can grant: 1) open durational alimony 2) rehabilitative alimony 3) limited duration alimony or 4) reimbursement alimony.1 To read the definitions of each type of alimony, go to our Selected New Jersey Statutes page.
For any marriage that lasts less than 20 years, alimony can only be ordered for the number of years that the marriage or civil union lasted unless there are exceptional circumstances. Exceptional circumstances which may require an adjustment to the length of alimony include:
- the ages of the parties at the time of the marriage and at the time of the alimony award
- how dependent one spouse was on the other during the marriage and how long that dependency lasted
- whether a spouse has a chronic illness or unusual health circumstance
- whether a spouse has given up a career or a career opportunity or otherwise supported the career of the other spouse
- whether a spouse has received a disproportionate share of equitable distribution
- the impact of the marriage on either partys ability to become self-supporting, including but not limited to either partys responsibility as primary caretaker of a child
- tax considerations of either party and
- any other factors or circumstances that the court deems equitable, relevant and material.2
1 N.J. Stat. § 2A:34-232 N.J. Stat. § 2A:34-23
Federal Taxes And Alimony
At the federal level, it used to be the same way. Broadly speaking, alimony was taxable as income for the recipient, and the payer could deduct it. In 2019, all of that changed. For couples who have divorced or modified a divorce agreement after the last day of 2018, alimony is no longer taxable or deductible.
Critics point out that this change to the tax law actually forces divorced couples to pay more money. Newly divorced couples will have less disposable income overall compared to other cohorts. Passed as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, its always possible that this rule might change in the future. Often, the tax code changes when political administrations do. Thats part of why its a good idea to work with a financial professional for tax preparation. They may be able to help you avoid some big mistakes when you file.
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Alimony In New Jersey: When Can I Stop Making Payments
Because each case is unique, theres no universal answer to this question. However, there are certain general rules that influence how long alimony payments should last.
For instance, New Jersey law forbids courts from ordering spouses to make alimony payments for longer than the length of their marriage if their marriage lasted less than 20 years. Alimony payments will extend longer than the duration of the marriage only in exceptional circumstances. An example would be if one spouse has a chronic illness that requires expensive treatment and limits their ability to earn an income on their own. Spouses can also agree to an alimony arrangement that lasts longer than their marriage.
Generally, alimony payments for marriages of 10 years or longer usually last for half the length of the marriage. For example, if you were married for 14 years, alimony payments may last seven years.
What Are The Different Types Of Alimony
New Jersey no longer refers to alimony, or spousal support, as permanent. There are several different types of alimony in New Jersey, and none of them are intended to go on forever. The four most common types of alimony payment structures are as follows:
- Limited-duration alimony: Generally, if you were in a short-duration marriage, the court will order the payment of limited-duration alimony. A court will make a decision based on the duration of your marriage, both you and your former spouses age, and both you and your former spouses earning potential.
- Open-durational alimony: This type of alimony is for spouses who have been married for over 20 years. Open-durational alimony does not have a set end date, though the amount can be modified based on a significant change of financial circumstances.
- Reimbursement alimony: A party may receive reimbursement alimony if their former spouse has foregone meaningful employment to pursue an advanced degree. Generally, this type of alimony is used to repay the spouse who was working while the other spouse was in school.
- Rehabilitative alimony: This form of alimony is generally used to pay for additional schooling or vocational training to help a financially dependent spouse reach financial stability.
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What Is The Average Alimony In Nj
While some states use a formula to calculate alimony, New Jersey doesnt. Alimony is determined and calculated on a case-by-case basis in NJ, making it difficult to state the average amount of alimony in the state. The amount and duration of alimony ordered by the court will depend on various factors that the court will consider before giving a judgment.
How Much Does A Divorce Lawyer Cost In New Jersey
The costs of hiring divorce lawyers vary depending on several factors, some peculiar to each case. The average hourly rate for New Jersey divorce lawyers can range from $150 to $500 depending on the experience of the lawyer and the complexity of the case. A divorce attorney would most likely require a retainer fee to ensure that the lawyer can continue working on your case.
There are also other costs to consider. For instance, filing a Complaint about Divorce with the court costs $325 where children are involved $300 otherwise. When expert services are needed for asset valuation or for a health assessment to resolve child custody or child support disputes, the costs can increase even further. If parties agree on the terms of a divorce or have a mediator facilitate their agreement, the costs of hiring an attorney will be significantly reduced. Where communication has broken down, it becomes more difficult to negotiate certain aspects of a New Jersey divorce such as the division of assets, which would then necessitate increased lawyers fees and legal costs.
Villani & Deluca P.C. alimony attorneys are always ready to help protect your interests, whether you are a payee or recipient under New Jersey spousal support laws. Divorce is not the end, there are remedies available to you in your alimony or child custody and support battle and we will work with you in and out of the court to ensure that your spouse complies with the spousal support order or alimony obligations.
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What Was Permanent Alimony Replaced With In New Jersey
In many marriages, both spouses can be in different financial standings. This is often seen when one is employed and the other is not. In these situations, one spouse is usually financially dependent on the other. This can make divorces difficult, which is why the court may order alimony. These are payments made from an independent spouse to a dependent spouse to provide them with stability until they can get on their own two feet. If you are seeking alimony in a divorce case, contact an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney for assistance.
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Carrie S Schultz Esq Author
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Are There Different Types Of Alimony
There are various types of alimony available to dependent spouses in New Jersey. Though permanent alimony is no longer available, there are several alternatives. They are as follows:
- Open durational alimony: This type of alimony is for financially dependent spouses who have been married for more than 20 years. If you are granted open durational alimony, the judge will order for you to receive alimony payments for an indeterminate period of time. Generally, the only factors that may cause this type of alimony to end are remarriage or cohabitation, or receiving/earning a sum of money that eliminates the need for financial support.
- Limited duration alimony: This is for dependent spouses who have been married for less than 20 years. If a judge determines you require alimony payments, despite the length of your marriage, he or she will grant you alimony for a specified period of time.
- Reimbursement alimony: This type of alimony is for spouses who paid for the dependent spouses schooling, training, or another program before the divorce. If the spouse needs reimbursement, he or she may receive it through this type of alimony.
- Rehabilitative alimony: If you are a spouse who forewent your career goals to support your spouses career before the divorce, you may receive rehabilitative alimony to help you undergo any retraining or reeducation you need to resume your career.
How Are Alimony Amounts Calculated
In New Jersey, there is no set formula or equation that is used to determine the amount of alimony you may receive. Rather, the law provides a number of factors that the courts must consider when deciding if you should receive support. The law is complex with regard to these factors, so you should seek the advice of an attorney if alimony is an issue for you. Some of the factors that the courts consider are the need for support and the ability of the other person to pay it, the length of the marriage, the financial standard of living during your marriage, the parties job skills and earning ability as well as level of education, responsibilities for the children and the history of contributions you made to your marriage This law can be difficult to navigate, so consider consulting with an experienced attorney.
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