New Jersey Alimony Lawyers
Need To Pay? Seeking Alimony? Need To Change or Stop the obligation? We’ll Review Your Options Together!
HELPING YOU GET A FAIR SPOUSAL SUPPORT OUTCOME
Divorce is a difficult and often emotionally charged process, and the financial issues involved are complex. They can affect you for years to come. Many divorces involve a monetary award known as alimony or spousal support, which is designed to assist the economically weaker spouse for a period of time. It is meant to bridge a gap to make uneven economic circumstances more objectively fair so that both parties can live a comparable (but not exact) lifestyle to that which they enjoyed while married.
At [MFR] Men’s & Fathers’ Rights Divorce Lawyers, our Hackensack alimony lawyers know that the issue of alimony is often a heated one, regardless of whether you are the intended recipient or whether you may have to pay. We will work closely with you and help you make the best decisions possible. When you work with our divorce lawyers we can prevent you from making costly mistakes.
Call the experienced legal team at [MFR] Men’s & Fathers’ Rights Divorce Lawyers to arrange a Case Evaluation at (201) 880-9770.
WHY CHOOSE US?
Experience counts in a family law firm when you have complex divorce issues to resolve, including concerning alimony. Our founder, Attorney Carrie S. Schultz , is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney, meaning she has demonstrated strong proficiency in this complex area of the law. The law firm has a firm culture and learning and growing and collaborate frequently on any updates in the law and applicability of that law into a case. The team at the firm, however, is also experienced in their own right. The combined attorney team at [MFR] has over 50 years of experience resolving divorce-related cases.
When you choose us we will:
- Explore all the options in order to guide you toward the best possible outcome
- Provide counsel that is clear and consistent and considers all the unique factors of your case
- Respond to your communications within 24-48 hours
- Do what we say we will do in an honest and ethical manner.
You can see what previous clients have to say about us here. To learn more about us and how we may be able to help you, contact us today.
HOW OUR ALIMONY ATTORNEY IN HACKENSACK, NJ, CAN HELP
The trends in alimony/spousal support in New Jersey are changing constantly, and the interpretation of the law is forever evolving. Determining or resolving the issue of alimony is not a straightforward analysis and is very fact-specific to your situation. In marriages where one spouse requires vocational training or education to become self-supporting, or if one spouse earns significantly less than the other, or one spouse never worked during the marriage but took care of the children, alimony will most likely be a consideration to discuss in divorce. However, this is not the end of the conversation! There are other factors that must be weighed to ultimately determine if alimony is appropriate (paid or received), and if so, how much and in what amount.
We will discuss with you the alimony factors that impact you, as well as the interplay among them. If you will be the recipient of alimony, we can address the amount that you would need and devise a method of payment that works for everyone to ensure the best chance for the paying spouse to comply with the obligation. . We will explain what steps you can take to ensure you get the alimony you negotiated and, if necessary, ways to enforce the alimony payment should your spouse stop paying for some reason.
If you are the spouse paying alimony (otherwise known as the obligor), our New Jersey alimony lawyers can assist you in limiting your exposure to pay too much and figure out a number that is fair, as well as devising a beneficial installment plan that suits your financial needs.
No matter whether you expect to pay or to receive alimony, we can examine your individual divorce and spousal support situation, answer your questions, and determine the best way to move forward and obtain the most advantageous solution for you and your family.
ALIMONY LAWYER IN HACKENSACK, NJ, EXPLAINS THE LAW
In alimony determinations, New Jersey law does not favor one spouse or sex over the other. The law, as written, attempts to ensure that both divorcing parties can function financially after the divorce. Determination of alimony is based upon factors that include the:
- Actual need and ability of the parties to pay
- Length of the marriage
- Age, physical and emotional health of the parties
- Standard of living established in the marriage
- Earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties
- Parental responsibilities for children.
You can see the full list of factors considered under the law at New Jersey statute § 2A:34-23. In making an alimony award and calculating the amount of alimony, the court considers all relevant factors.
What alimony is not is a lottery ticket or meant to be a windfall to the recipient.
TYPES OF ALIMONY AND SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE
After considering many factors, you may be entitled to receive or be required to pay one or more of the following types of alimony as described in the following sections.
Limited Duration Alimony
This type of alimony is awarded for a specific time related to the length of the marriage. In marriages lasting less than 20 years, the Court would only be able to award alimony—on a best case scenario— up to the duration in years of the marriage. In marriages that lasted for over 20 years, alimony open-durational alimony may be appropriate, without a fixed end point (although there are certain triggers that can come to be that would provide an opportunity to review, terminate, or modify the obligation).
The duration of alimony is a negotiated element according to certain circumstances, which include ages of the parties at the time of the marriage and the alimony award, how dependent one spouse has been on the other during the marriage, whether a spouse has a chronic illness, and other considerations. If a compromise cannot be reached with the assistance of counsel, then the Court will utilize the same factors and order the duration.
In most cases (unless you specifically negotiate otherwise), should circumstances change, the amount of alimony for a limited duration may be modified, but not the length of the term.. The length of the term is based on the time it would reasonably take for the recipient to improve their earning capacity to where the alimony is no longer needed or appropriate.
This form of alimony is generally awarded so that the recipient can pay for training and associated living costs for entry or re-entry into the job market or to advance to a higher-paying position within a certain amount of time. The spouse receiving alimony must show the scope of rehabilitation, the steps to be taken toward rehabilitation, and the time frame, including a period of employment during which rehabilitation will occur.
This type of alimony may be awarded when one party supported the other through an advanced education, in anticipation of increased earning capacity. This award cannot be modified.
Be aware that remarriage and civil unions do not end rehabilitative or reimbursement alimony unless the couple agrees or the court finds there is good cause to terminate the order.
Temporary Support During Divorce
In addition, the courts may award pendente lite alimony for the period while the divorce is pending. This is temporary support for situations where one spouse is financially dependent on the other and needs help to cover living expenses while the divorce is pending and being negotiated. .
All forms of alimony end if either spouse dies and typically if the recipient spouse remarries (unless you negotiate otherwise).
HOW ALIMONY PAYMENTS ARE MADE
Once you have an understanding of the factors that affect the amount of alimony you could pay or receive, you’ll want to know when these payments will happen. There are some options here.
- Periodic — Most payments are periodic, usually paid monthly. If couples cannot agree on how payment will be made, the court may issue an income-withholding order, which is otherwise known as an automatic wage execution from the payor’s employer.
- Lump-sum — Lump-sum payments are something that can be negotiated. However, this means it would be just one check that covers your entire alimony obligation that you would otherwise pay out over time. Sometimes this is a good option for those obligor’s who are self-employed or don’t receive a regular paycheck. Or, sometimes if someone emotionally just can’t stand the thought of writing a check or making the payment each month. That said, if you are considering this option, most definitely speak with an alimony attorney because a present value discount would need to be applied accordingly. The theory is that a bird in the hand for the recipient is more valuable than waiting over time for the funds.
Our alimony attorney in Hackensack, NJ, will explain how the payment process may work for you.
OUR ALIMONY LAWYER ANSWERS FAQS
Divorce and all its issues, including alimony concerns, can be confusing. Here are some common questions we get that may help clear some of the cobwebs.
Are alimony payments tax deductible?
For federal taxes, for divorces finalized on or after January 1, 2019, alimony payments are not tax-deductible to the paying spouse, nor are they reportable income for the recipient. For divorces finalized before January 1, 2019, payments are deductible and receiving spouses must report them as income. For New Jersey state taxes, alimony payments are deductible for payors and reportable for recipients, but often you need to specify the protocol during settlement negotiations.
Do child support agreements impact alimony payments?
Child custody and support situations may affect alimony. When you are calculating child support, you need to consider the amount being paid or received in alimony. This is a critical component that, if not factored in, could dramatically skew the overall child support and/or alimony figure in either direction. Our Hackensack alimony lawyer can guide you based on your situation.
Can we make our own alimony agreement outside the court?
Yes—if you are able to come to terms with your spouse on your own, you can put your agreement in writing without the court making the decision for you. Alimony is often a sensitive and contentious area of discussion, and it is to your benefit to engage a skilled divorce attorney to look out for your interests during alimony negotiations.
Can existing alimony orders be modified?
Modifications can be requested by either spouse if there is a significant change in circumstances, unless there is a written agreement or court order stating that alimony cannot be changed. To modify an order, the requesting spouse must prove that there has been a change in circumstances, such as the retirement of the payor spouse or a significant decrease or increase of income of either spouse for a long period of time.
CALL OUR ALIMONY ATTORNEY IN BERGEN COUNTY FOR HELP
The issues surrounding alimony are too important to try to manage them on your own. If you make one wrong decision, you could end up paying too much or not receiving enough. Our attorneys can guide you toward a satisfactory result.
For trustworthy legal help in New Jersey, call (201) 880-9770 to schedule a case evaluation with a knowledgeable alimony attorney from [MFR] Men’s & Fathers’ Rights Divorce Lawyers. We represent individuals filing for divorce in Bergen County as well as in many of the surrounding counties.