New Jersey Spousal Support Lawyers
Award-Winning Spousal Support Lawyers in New Jersey Fighting for Individuals’ Rights and Interests
It surprises many people to learn that spousal support—traditionally known as alimony—is relatively uncommon. Only about 10 to 15% of divorces result in obligations to pay spousal support. Given the misconceptions around spousal support, it’s important for divorcing couples in New Jersey to learn the ins and outs of this delicate and often contentious topic.
Spousal support is the amount of money one spouse pays the other during or after a divorce proceeding. In New Jersey, spousal support is also payable during or after the dissolution of same-sex marriage or civil union.
In general, NJ spousal support serves two key purposes:
- To allow both parties to live somewhat equally for a period of time just as they did during the marriage
- To prevent an NJ divorce from having a stronger economic impact on one spouse than the other
It’s important to note that spousal support in New Jersey is gender-neutral and is strictly based on need. That is to mean both men and women can be eligible to receive alimony payments.
Determination of Spousal Support in New Jersey
There is no set equation to calculate support in New Jersey. To arrive at a decision that is both reasonable and just, the court analyzes the following factors as they appear in the NJ Revised Statutes 2A: 34-23:
- Duration of the marriage
- Investment income of both spouses
- Potential time and expense involved in education and/or training required for the dependent spouse to become self-supporting
- Each spouse’s age and health
- Parental responsibilities
- Each partner’s income and income capacity
- Standard of living during the marriage
- The plan for the division of assets
- Potential tax consequences of the alimony award
The Five Types of Spousal Support in New Jersey
If you’re requesting alimony, the judge may award you one (or any combination) of the following types of support:
- Pendente lite alimony is the only type available while the divorce is pending. The court often awards this temporary support when one spouse is financially dependent on the other and needs a hand in covering living expenses during the divorce proceedings.
- Limited-duration alimony applies to cases where the supported spouse needs time to become financially independent after the divorce.
- Rehabilitative alimony is intended to support a spouse who is expected to become financially self-sufficient after studying and/or undergoing job training that will ultimately lead to a paying job.
- Open durational alimony has replaced permanent alimony in NJ and has no predetermined fixed ending date. Unless under exceptional circumstances, the court can order open durational alimony only after a marriage of at least 20 years.
- Reimbursement alimony is spousal support that compensates an ex-spouse for expenses that he or she may have paid out on behalf of the ex-spouse.
What Happens If You Don’t Pay Spousal Support in New Jersey?
If you refuse to pay spousal support in New Jersey, the legal consequences include:
- Wage garnishments, which means a slice of your income is automatically diverted to your spouse.
- Contempt of court, which means you blatantly violated a court order. As a result, you stand to face civil or criminal charges.
- The court may intercept your tax refunds
How We Can Help
Spousal support is often fraught with complexities that can be overwhelming. Petrelli Previtera, LLC can provide you with the legal guidance necessary to navigate these complexities and secure your future.
Our New Jersey spousal support lawyers have helped many men and women get favorable outcomes, no matter the side of the court they’re on. We bring top-notch skill, award-winning expertise, and vast experience to every chaotic spousal support case we handle, all with the aim of helping our clients get the clarity they deserve.
When you schedule an initial consultation with one of our attorneys, expect a listening ear and a compassionate heart. Our goal is for you to leave the consultation with a clear understanding of NJ spousal support laws, your best option, and your rights. If you need help drafting a spousal support plan, we can help with that too. Reach out to our firm to get started.