Typically, spouses maintain a lifestyle that becomes essential to their lives. So understandably, the dissolution of marriage would drastically affect at least one of the spouses. For this reason, the courts award spousal support to the party more likely to be financially affected by the divorce. But before doing so, they first look into several factors to decide whether the support is justifiable and if yes, how much the support award should be.
Key factors of determination
Spousal support can be temporary, permanent, rehabilitative, limited or reimbursed. But before deciding on the type of support, the courts first determine the spouse’s eligibility for support and the amount of award for alimony. For this purpose, New Jersey family courts take the following, among others, into consideration:
- The years of marriage
- The spouses’ lifestyle during the union
- The age and health conditions of each party
- The educational and career background of each spouse
- Each spouse’s ability to earn income
- If there is a child involved, the custodial responsibilities of each parent
- The actual financial need of the spouse in need and the other spouse’s ability to pay
These are some of the considerations the courts look at when deciding spousal support. This is not a complete list because several factors may come into play which may be applicable for some and not for others.
Each case is unique
It is good to note that each case is unique and the courts may not use the same set of factors in each case. While the law does not guarantee spousal support, it is still possible for a party to receive support if found eligible. With an understanding of New Jersey’s alimony laws, parties can be aware of their rights and mitigate expectations.