No matter whether you are the party that is paying alimony or receiving alimony, the big question all parties have is “HOW MUCH ALIMONY???”. In New Jersey, the answer is not so simple. The law relies on fourteen statutory factors when calculating the proper amount of alimony to be paid or received by one party. Although there is no formula for the calculation, one purpose of an alimony award is to enable each party to live a lifestyle reasonably comparable to the marital standard of living. However, for the majority of couples, it is not financially possible for both people to achieve that standard.
A judge must consider multiple factors, including:
- How long did your marriage last?
- What is the actual need and ability of the parties to pay?
- What is the age, physical health, and mental health of each party?
- What parental responsibilities do both parents have?
- What is the extent that one spouse depends on the other?
- What is the earning capacity, education levels, skills, and ability to find employment for both parties?
- Was there any temporary support paid?
- What is the standard of living established during the marriage?
- Has one spouse received disproportionate share of marital property?
- Are there any tax consequences from awarding spousal support?
- Are there any other factors that may impact alimony?
The amount of alimony awarded, and the reasons behind that amount, vary greatly from case to case, and alimony is not awarded in all divorces. Even if you or your spouse are entitled to an award of alimony the judge has the discretion to put more weight on certain factors than others. The application of the above factors is fact sensitive and no two matrimonial cases are the same. Additionally, as of January 1, 2019, alimony is neither taxable to the party receiving alimony nor deductible to the party, which means that you must take into consideration the net income of the payor not the gross income. Determining the appropriate amount of alimony can be complex and having the right attorney advocating on your behalf is critical to making sure you get the result you deserve. Contact the experienced family law team at Cohn Lifland Pearlman Herrmann & Knopf, LLP for an alimony consultation today.