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Understanding alimony

While most people in New Jersey understand what alimony is, there is often confusion about why and when it might be ordered in a divorce case. Family law judges make decisions about requests for alimony based on a number of factors.

When a judge is considering whether or not to order alimony, they will consider how long the marriage lasted. They will also look at the incomes of each spouse and the contributions each made during the marriage. The age of the spouses is also important, as is the educational level of the lower-earning one. A judge will make a determination of how likely a lower-earning spouse will be to get the job training necessary to be able to provide for themselves independently. Finally, the court will look at what kind of standard of living the spouses were accustomed to during their marriage.

When there is a large difference between the incomes of the two spouses, and the marriage has been fairly lengthy, alimony is likely to be ordered. In some cases, alimony will be ordered for a set period of years. In others, an alimony order may be indefinite.

A person who believes they are likely to be ordered to pay spousal support in their divorce case may want to get help from a family law attorney. An attorney may be able to help their client by negotiating an agreement regarding the length of time for alimony as well as the amount of the payments. In many cases, people want to be able to cut ties with their ex-spouses and move on. An attorney may be able to get an agreement in which the spouse who would otherwise receive alimony instead agrees to take a lump-sum payment or a larger percentage of other assets.

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