Determining whether and how much a person receives in alimony after a divorce is not the result of a specific formula in the state of New Jersey. Rather, in ascertaining whether alimony should be awarded in a particular case, a New Jersey judge is obliged to consider a set of 14 factors. These factors are weighed and balanced on a case-by-case basis to determine the extent of any alimony ordered.
Primary factors to determine alimony according to New Jersey law
Of the 14 factors enumerated in New Jersey law regarding the possibility and extent of an alimony award in a divorce case, several considerations are more fundamental to the calculation. These are:
- Actual financial need of party seeking alimony
- Financial ability of the other party to pay alimony
- Duration of marriage or civil union
- Age, physical and emotional health of the parties
- Consideration of standard of living of the parties during marriage and financial requirements to maintain that standard
Other factors set forth in New Jersey Law regarding alimony
New Jersey law sets forth other factors beyond this primary list that can also come into play in some cases. These include:
- Education level, earning capacity and employability of parties
- Length of absence from job market of the party seeking alimony
- Parental responsibilities assigned to each party
Divorces are often contentious legal proceedings by their very nature. Money is nearly always an emotional subject matter during a marriage dissolution, and the topic of alimony can heighten emotions and make the case more complex for everyone involved. Consequently, if negotiating for alimony is an issue, retaining a divorce attorney with a background in alimony matters is advisable.