New Jersey law establishes guidelines for spousal support payments in a divorce. While the state does not have a specific calculation for alimony, the court looks at several factors to come up with a fair arrangement.
Before filing for divorce, review the process of New Jersey spousal support determination.
Factors influencing spousal support
State law requires judges to review these considerations when awarding spousal support:
- The length of the marriage
- The financial need of each spouse
- The ability of each spouse to pay support
- The age of each spouse
- The mental and physical health of each spouse
- The standard of living the couple enjoyed during the marriage
- The ability of each spouse to earn an independent living
- Each spouse’s educational level and skills
- Whether either spouse left the workforce to care for children
- Each spouse’s vocation and ability to seek employment within that field
Duration of spousal support
An individual can ask for alimony no matter how long the marriage lasted. However, marriages less than 20 years will not result in spousal support lasting longer than the union itself. For example, when a marriage lasted less than five years, any alimony payment must end before the five-year mark after divorce. The judge can grant an exception when one spouse cares for minor children or has a chronic illness that leaves him or her unable to work.
New Jersey judges decide spousal support on a case-by-case basis. Before negotiating an agreement on this issue, gather documents that establish the average monthly living expenses for the past 12 months of the marriage.