New Jersey’s Bar On Alimony For People Who’ve Committed Certain Crimes
No spouse convicted of murder, manslaughter, criminal homicide, aggravated assault, or a similar offense can receive alimony if:
- the crime resulted in death or serious bodily injury to a family member of a divorcing party, and
- the crime was committed after the marriage.
A person who was convicted of an attempt or conspiracy to commit murder also cannot receive alimony from the person who was the intended victim. Courts also have the discretion to deny alimony for other bad acts. .)
Can I Terminate Or Decrease My Alimony Payments In New Jersey
Fortunately, for many former spouses who are supporting their former spouse, there are various circumstances that do qualify for termination or decrease in alimony payments. Some of those circumstances are as follows:
- You can prove that your former spouse is not taking the necessary steps to regain employment.
Have The Federal Changes Affected State Taxes
It is important for New Jersey residents to keep in mind that these laws only apply to federal taxes. New Jersey has not changed its rules for how alimony is handled on state taxes. So, is alimony deductible in New Jersey? When you file your state taxes, the answer is yes. You can still deduct any court-ordered alimony or separate maintenance payments that you make to an ex-partner. Meanwhile, alimony is taxable income in the state of New Jersey, so anyone who receives alimony payments must still claim the alimony as income and pay their state taxes on this income. If you make the mistake of not paying income taxes on the alimony you receive, you may get in trouble with the state of New Jersey. The fact that New Jerseys laws remain the same means that those who pay alimony can save a small amount on their state taxes. Meanwhile, those who receive alimony will save big on federal taxes, but they still need to pay a little in state taxes.
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When Are Men Entitled To Receive Alimony In New Jersey
A recent study found that in approximately 40% of households, the woman makes more than the man. 2 million families across the country have stay-at-home dads, and the wife works full time, supporting the family. If the ex-husband stays at home with the children and works at a job that pays significantly less, he is most likely entitled to be paid alimony. In addition, if a divorcing couple has a disparity in their earning capacity, education, and current salaries, the wife earning more may have to pay spousal support to her husband after the dissolution of their marital union.
Types Of Alimony And Spousal Support
There are several different types of alimony and spousal support that can be awarded based on the couples earning capacity and income. The court has latitude when ordering alimony or spousal support as the state of New Jersey has not created a calculator or formula.
Pendente Lite Support: This type of spousal support is meant to temporarily provide financial assistance while the divorce process takes place. Clients may request this type of support or provide it as part of the divorce proceeding to protect from any undue financial hardship. Unlike alimony payments, this type of support is not considered taxable income.
This level of support is often used to provide good faith effort to support the spouse losing the income. We can also move to discontinue this type of support if a lower amount of alimony is due after the divorce is finalized. In short, we ensure that alimony is handled properly because clients could lose money or be taken back to court.
Limited Duration Alimony: This type of alimony is most common in marriages that have lasted less than 20 years. New Jerseys updated alimony laws dictate that this type of support cannot last longer than the marriage. The alimony settlement can also be adjusted if the financial circumstances of the payer have changed.
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The Impact Of Retirement On Alimony Obligations In New Jersey
On behalf of John R. Lanza
A 2014 alimony reform law has made major changes.
New Jersey alimony law was amended in September 2014 after vigorous public and legislative debate over reform. One of the main issues was the impact of retirement on the ability to pay alimony. The new law establishes new court procedures and legal standards for retiring alimony payors, called obligors, who seek termination or modification of alimony orders.
How Long Does Alimony Last
When determining how long to award alimony, the duration of the marriage is a significant consideration that courts weigh. However, there is no set duration of commitment that immediately causes an alimony requirement under the statute. If they have been together for fewer than 20 years, however, New Jersey law forbids alimony from being charged for more than the duration of the marriage unless there are special conditions, such as the dependent spouse’s chronic condition. The new spousal support statute qualifies for open duration alimony if the union lasted more than 20 years.
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Factors That Are Considered To Determine Alimony
Under New Jersey alimony laws, there are 23 factors that the Judge must consider when calculating alimony and determining the type and duration. These factors are:
Open Duration Alimony Lawyers Mendham Nj
Perhaps an even more significant change to permanent alimony in the Alimony Reform Act of 2014 was the change to when open duration alimony is awarded, and how long alimony payments are expected to last in general.
For any marriage lasting less than 20 years, alimony can now only be sought for the same number of years as the marriage lasted. This means that if the marriage lasted for two years before ending in divorce, alimony can only be sought for a two year period following the divorce. This type of alimony is usually referred to as limited duration alimony, and is subject to the same termination and modification standards as open duration alimony.
On the other hand, if a marriage lasted for more than 20 years, financially dependent spouses can seek open duration alimony. If awarded, open duration alimony will last until such time that either party passes away or the dependent party remarries. Of course, if certain circumstances change substantially for either party after the open duration alimony agreement is reached, the agreement can be modified, either an increase in alimony obligations or a decrease depending upon the circumstances in question.
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Reduce Alimony Payments Can Alimony Be Modified In Nj
Starting a divorce is a stressful experience. However, when it turns out that forever isnt as long as expected, you have to deal with the messy consequences of separating your lives.
Then, theres everything that comes next. Like alimony modification, to reflect when your life circumstances change.
If your life has changed and you need to reduce alimony payments with alimony modification to reflect it, heres what you need to know before you head back to court.
How Alimony Is Calculated In New Jersey
Feb 20, 2020 | Alimony
Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a challenging concept. The obligation to pay support to a former spouse is often the most contentious issue in any divorce. One purpose of alimony is to ensure that both parties may continue to live in a reasonably comparable manner to which he or she grew accustomed during the marriage. Unlike child support, there is no standard formula or guideline to use when calculating alimony. Courts look at 14 statutory factors when deciding whether to award a spouse alimony and if so, how much. For instance, these factors include the length of the marriage, the financial needs of the parties, the ability to pay spousal support, and perhaps most importantly, the financial standard of living during the marriage.
The Importance of Determining the Standard of Living
Alimony is Non-Taxable and Non-Deductible
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in 2017 eliminated the deduction of spousal support payments for payors and recipients are no longer required to report payments as taxable income on their federal income tax returns. At the state level in New Jersey, however, the deduction of alimony payments for payors is allowed and recipients are required to report payments as taxable income on their state income tax returns. When negotiating an alimony obligation, it is important to consider how the alimony will be considered for taxation purposes.
Why the Rule of Thumb May Not Be Appropriate
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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.
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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Strategy : Keep Tabs On Your Spouses Relationship
Some states will stop making alimony payments mandatory when the spouse who is getting them begins living with a new partner or significant other. This info may be written in the fine print on your divorce decree ask your attorney to go over the section about alimony payments with you for the best information.
A new marriage will usually allow the payments to come to an end, so keep track of what your ex-spouse is up to when it comes to their relationships. Keep tabs on them via social media and through friends. Make sure you are aware of when these life changes occur so you can get those alimony payments to cease.
How Do Judges Determine Alimony In New Jersey
When deciding any type of alimony except pendente lite awards, the court must consider the:
The judge can also consider any other factors they deem relevant. When a judge believes that some of these factors are more or less relevant than the others, they must note their findings and reasoning in writing. .)
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Can I Get Spousal Support And Child Support During Our Separation
During separation from the filing of a complaint for divorce up and to and including the filing of a judgment of divorce many people are concerned with how they will continue to get by financially and how they will support their children. Its important to know that temporary alimony and child support may be available to you during this time.
Temporary spousal support and child support can either be paid by consent of the parties through a simple consent order agreement or alternatively one party can apply to the court through a petition called a notice of motion. This is a formal application to the court to ask the court to enter a temporary order that obligates one party usually the higher earning spouse to supply some type of financial relief to the non-earning spouse or the lesser earning spouse and/or to their children. The courts view this relief as providing for a more level playing field throughout the entire divorce process. The amounts specified in these temporary orders may not reflect the amounts ultimately agreed upon in your final divorce settlement.
How Many Years Do You Have To Be Married To Get Spousal Support In New Jersey
If you were married a year to three years, alimony is unlikely. Theres not a specific cutoff, but its not likely to be around two or three years of marriage. If you are awarded alimony, and you were married for ten years, the alimony cant last past the ten years that you were married. In other words, youll never get alimony for longer than ten years. Alimony can be permanent if you were married 20 years or more. However, there may be reasons why alimony stops even if you were married to someone for 20 years or more.
Alimony or spousal support depends on the marriage, but it also depends on an individuals needs and the 13 factors. Another factor to consider is whether other property or assets are going to affect spousal support. For example, if a pension gets divided and a spouse receives $300,000 from the pension, that spouse might get less alimony because he or she will have money to work with. All factors have to be considered in alimony and divorce. Its not a cut and dry, cookie-cutter deal in New Jersey.
For more information on Paying Alimony/Spousal Support In NJ, an evaluation of your case is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling today.
Call Now For An Evaluation Of Your Case 869-5444
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Contact Our Morristown Alimony And Spousal Support Attorneys Today
At The Law Office of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience helping our clients to draft, modify, and enforce alimony and spousal support agreements of all kinds in towns across New Jersey and Morris County, including Chester, Chatham, Mendham, Harding, Morris Township, and Morristown.
To speak with our legal team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your divorce, your alimony agreement, or any kind of alimony modification or alimony enforcement matter, please contact us online, or through our Morristown, NJ office at .
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How To Avoid Paying Alimony In New Jersey
The best shot at avoiding paying alimony is planning before marriage. A prenuptial agreement can help specify how to deal with finance issues during divorce and how to go about alimony and property division.
In your prenup, you could specify the amount and duration of alimony during a divorce or state that no neither spouse is obligated to pay alimony, notwithstanding the financial circumstances.
Provided the prenup wasnt signed under duress or fraud, and the court finds the terms unconscionable, it will likely uphold and enforce it. However, the court can reject a prenuptial agreement if it questions its legality or if it is too biased.
If alimony hasnt yet been awarded, you can show the court that your marriage was short-term or prove that your spouse doesnt need alimony to meet their financial needs. You may point out that the spouse seeking alimony has another income source, such as inheritance or a trust fund.
You could also show the court that paying spousal support would result in financial hardship for you. The court will likely deny the request for alimony by proving any of these factors.
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