Transcript of "New jersey divorce laws and child support and alimony laws"
secretdivorce.com http://www.secretdivorce.com/successful-divorce-planning-for-men/new-jersey-divorce-laws- and-child-support-and-alimony-laws/New Jersey divorce laws and child support and alimony lawsThere are 4 types of Alimony are permitted in New Jersey: Limited duration alimony Permanent alimony Reimbursement alimony Rehabilitative alimonyFrequently asked Questions -Click hereLimited duration alimony is awarded when economic assistance is necessary for a limited time. In determiningthe length of the term, the court must consider the length of time it would reasonably take for the recipient toimprove his or her earning capacity to a point where limited duration alimony is no longer needed.Limited duration alimony is not awarded as a substitute for permanent alimony in a case where permanentalimony would otherwise be awarded. The court may modify the amount of the award but not the durationexcept in unusual circumstances. The length of the term is based on the time it would take for the recipient toimprove his or her earning capacity, to where limited duration alimony is no longer needed. Limited durationalimony, like permanent alimony, terminates upon the remarriage of the spouse receiving it.Reimbursement alimony is awarded for a limited time and to compensate a spouse who supported the otherparty through an advanced education. It may be awarded separately or in conjunction with limited duration orrehabilitative alimony. Reimbursement alimony is not terminated upon remarriage unless the court finds thatthe circumstances upon which the award was based have not occurred, or the payer spouse demonstratesan agreement or good cause to the contrary.Rehabilitative alimony is awarded based upon a plan in which the payee shows the scope of therehabilitation the steps to be taken and the time frame, including the period of employment during whichrehabilitation will occur. Rehabilitative alimony may be changed based on a change of circumstances.New Jersey has caselaw and a statute that requires the courts to consider very specific factors when itcalculates alimony. There are some guidelines and objective standards for the courts to consider, but thereis not specific formula for a family court to calculate alimony.In general, New Jersey case law states that the court must consider the marital lifestyle, the supportingspouse’s ability to pay, and the dependent spouse’s ability to contribute to his/her own support.The alimony statute, N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(b) states that the court must consider the following thirteen factors:(1)The actual need and ability of the parties to pay;(2)The duration of the marriage or civil union;(3)The age, physical and emotional health of the parties;(4)The standard of living established in the marriage or civil union and the likelihood that each party canmaintain a reasonably comparable standard of living;(5)The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties;(6)The length of absence from the job market of the party seeking maintenance;(7)The parental responsibilities for the children;(8)The time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seekingmaintenance to find appropriate employment, the availability of the training and employment, and theopportunity for future acquisitions of capital assets and income;
(9)The history of the financial or non-financial contributions to the marriage or civil union by each partyincluding contributions to the care and education of the children and interruption of personal careers oreducational opportunities;(10) The equitable distribution of property ordered and any payouts on equitable distribution, directly orindirectly, out of current income, to the extent this consideration is reasonable, just and fair;(11) The income available to either party through investment of any assets held by that party;(12) The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award, including the designation ofall or a portion of the payment as a non-taxable payment; and(13) Any other factors which the court may deem relevant.When a share of a retirement benefit is treated as an asset for purposes of equitable distribution, the courtshall not consider income generated thereafter by that share for purposes of determining alimony.How is alimony determined?A family court has a fair amount of discretion to determine an alimony award. The New Jersey SupremeCourt has established some very specific guidelines and formulas to determine child support. However, thereare no alimony guidelines. Many courts and panels have tried to formulate alimony guidelines. However, thisgoal is very similar to the Cubs quest to win the World Series. It just will never happen! Many men don’t enjoypaying child support, but they pay it anyway because they love their kids. However, most men are sick oftheir ex-wive’s and they hate paying alimony. Any set of proposed alimony guidelines is just too controversialand it will never become law.New Jersey has caselaw and a statute that requires the courts to consider very specific factors when itcalculates alimony. There are some guidelines and objective standards for the courts to consider, but thereis not specific formula for a family court to calculate alimony.In general, New Jersey case law states that the court must consider the marital lifestyle, the supportingspouse’s ability to pay, and the dependent spouse’s ability to contribute to his/her own support.The alimony statute, N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(b) states that the court must consider the following thirteen factors:1. The actual need and ability of the parties to pay.2. The duration of the marriage.3. The age, physical and emotional health of the parties.4. The standard of living established during the marriage and the likelihood that each party can maintain areasonable comparable standard of living.5. The parties’ earning capability, education and employability.6. The length of absence from the job market.7. Parental responsibilities for the children.8. The time and expense needed to acquire education or training to enable a depended spouse to obtainappropriate employment.9. The financial and non-financial contributions of each spouse to the marriage.10. Equitable distribution.11. Income available and non-financial contributions of each spouse to the marriage.12. The tax consequences of alimony.13. Any other factor which the court deems relevant.In summary, the main purpose of alimony is to permit the dependent spouse to live the same lifestyle afterdivorce that she lived during the marriage.
How does a spouse’s earning capacity affect alimony?When a court determines alimony the actual income of the supporting spouse is not always the only factorused to determine the alimony award. In many cases, the court will also assess if the deadbeat spouse isunderemployed. In my experience, once the divorce starts the husband often loses that second job, they getlaid off, and they defer bonuses and promotions. Basically, the men try to paint their economiccircumstances as bleak as possible.The courts most of the time can see through these games and BS. The court may impute income to thedeadbeat spouse. The court will analyze the husband’s income based on the New Jersey OccupationalWage Survey. Basically this book gives an average of yearly incomes for specific fields and occupations.Can a dependent spouse be forced to work?A very popular issue in divorce cases is that the dependent spouse has earning capacity, and that sheshould go get a job. In cases like these, the lazy spouse may have to be evaluated by an employabilityexpert to assist the court to determine what an appropriate level of income to impute to that spouse. Theexpert’s report may enable the court to consider whether the dependent spouse has the ability or inability tocontribute to her support.Can alimony be changed after the divorce?Yes. As previously explained, the main purpose of alimony is to permit the dependent spouse to maintain areasonable standard of living. Alimony can be increased or decreased if the moving party can prove to thecourt that there was a “change in circumstances” since the divorce. The party who files the application hasthe burden to prove that there has been a “change in circumstances.”The most common “change in circumstances” is a major health problem(s), a loss of employment, failure of abusiness, or a decrease in income, and/or retirement. In my experience it is very difficult to obtain atermination of alimony based on employment loss. However, the court in many cases will reduce/terminatealimony if the payor spouse experiences major health problems that impair his earning abilities.Can a person request alimony after the divorce is over?In many divorces, neither party receives any alimony. This is because the dependent spouse has sufficientincome to support herself, and maintain a reasonable standard of living. However, unforeseen circumstancesmay change after the divorce to justify alimony. (ie, serious illness and an inability to work) In cases such asthese, the sick spouse will file an application for alimony even though the judgment of divorce does notprovide for any. If the case has merit, then the court will set a plenary hearing to determine if an award ofalimony should be made. This type of hearing is also called a Lepis hearing. The court will examine thefinancial situation of both parties, the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage, the sick spouse’scurrent prognosis, and any other relevant factor.How does alimony affect the calculation of child support?When the court calculates child support it will deduct any alimony payments from the payor’s spouse’sincome. Moreover, the alimony will be included as income to the payee spouse. In summary, a high alimonypayment may result in a reduction in child support. Alimony is deductible by the payor spouse, and it must bedeclared as income to the payee spouse. State Abbreviation NJ Statehood Dec. 18, 1787 State Capital Trenton Number of Counties 21
State Population (2005) 8,717,925 State Quarter Issue Date May 17, 1999 State Flower Purple violet Nickname Garden State State Flag Area Codes 201, 551, 609, 732, 848, 856, 862, 908, 973 Top 5 Cities (2000 population) Newark 273,546 Jersey City 240,055 Paterson 149,222 Elizabeth 120,568 Edison 97,687 M ajor Sports Teams NFL: New York Giants, New York Jets NBA: New Jersey Nets NHL: New Jersey DevilsThis entry was posted on Thursday, August 11th, 2011at 9:52 amtweetsand is filed under Alimony, Child Custody, New Jersey Alimony Laws, New Jersey Child Support Laws, New Jersey DivorceLaws. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.