This guide is about the different types of alimony available to litigants in New Jersey and how alimony is calculated.
Do I Have to Pay Alimony? How is Alimony Determined?
If a court orders you to pay alimony, you must pay. If the question is does every husband who earns more than his wife or vice versa, must pay alimony, that depends on the specific factors of each case. When a court determines whether alimony should be paid, the court takes into account several factors. I will focus on the factors I feel the court considers more often than not. 1. The earning capacities, educational levels of the parties; 2. The age and health of the parties; 3. The actual need and ability to pay; 4. The length of the marriage; 5. The standard of living enjoyed by both parties with with neither party having a greater entitlement to that standard of living than the other; and 6. The parental responsibilities for the children.
How Long Must I Pay Alimony or How Long Can I Receive Alimony in New Jersey?
The length of time that alimony can be paid depends on the length of the marriage. In cases that they marriage is less than 20 years, "the total duration of alimony shall not, except in exceptional circumstances, exceed the length of the marriage or civil union. So for example, if a the parties are married 12 years, the maximum exposure the payor would have is 12 years, again this is the maximum not the absolute norm. In exceptional circumstances and marriages/civil unions lasting 20 or more years, open duration alimony may be on the table.
Can an Alimony Award be Modified?
Limited duration and rehabilitative alimony can be modified. Alimony that is considered Reimbursement Alimony, which cannot be modified for ANY reason. When a court does modify an alimony award, it is more likely to modify the amount paid each month rather than changing the term of the payments.
Is it Better to Pay More Child Support or More Alimony? The Tax Ramifications
Alimony is tax deductible while child support is never tax deductible. According to the Internal Revenue Service, Topic 452, For alimony to be tax deductible, the following requirements must be met: You and your spouse or former spouse do not file a joint return with each other You pay in cash (including checks or money orders) The payment is received by (or on behalf of) your spouse or former spouse The divorce or separate maintenance decree or written separation agreement does not say the payment is not alimony If legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance, you and your former spouse are not members of the same household when you make the payment You have no liability to make the payment (in cash or property) after the death of your spouse or former spouse, and Your payment is not treated as child support or a property settlement.
Can Alimony Be Terminated?
Yes based on change circumstances, alimony can be terminated. This is extremely case specific, whether cohabitation exists, whether the payor is retiring, etc. In short, it is possible to terminate alimony.
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