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How is alimony awarded in New Jersey?

Spousal support can be critical in helping financially disadvantaged parties adjust to life after divorce. Depending on the type of support that a person receives, it can provide long-term stability or short-term relief. In either case, it can be essential for recipients.

However, it is not a guarantee that you will receive alimony if you are going through a divorce. Several factors will need to be considered before the courts will approve an order for spousal support in New Jersey.

Factors that the courts will consider

When reviewing a request for spousal support, the courts will look at several factors, including:

  • Whether there is a need for support
  • Whether the other party can pay support
  • Age and health of each party
  • Standard of living enjoyed during the marriage
  • Each person's earning capacity
  • Each person's employability
  • The time, money and resources it would take for the requesting party to secure employment or training
  • Contributions to the marriage, both financial and non-financial

After taking into account these and other relevant factors, the courts will make a decision on whether to award alimony and what type of alimony to award. In New Jersey, there are various types of support, which reflect the specific needs of the requesting party.

Avoiding the courts

If you would rather avoid the courts and make a determination on spousal support yourselves, then you and your soon-to-be ex can work out an agreement in mediation. You might also have a prenuptial agreement in place that addresses spousal support. If that agreement is valid and enforceable, then it will dictate the award of alimony.

The importance of legal guidance

Having an attorney by your side can be crucial, whether you are requesting spousal support, responding to a request or negotiating terms in a prenup. Without legal guidance, you can make some serious missteps that jeopardize your financial future as you head into the next chapter of your life.

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