When going through a divorce in New Jersey, it is vital to know if you are eligible for alimony. The state calculates alimony very differently from child support. There is no specific formula for alimony. There are a variety of factors to look at before determining the amount of alimony that is appropriate.

According to the New Jersey State Statute, the length of the marriage helps determine the amount of alimony awarded in a divorce. Judges and family courts may award alimony as a reimbursement one-time payment or as a series of installments for a set period of time. In some situations, one spouse may be responsible for paying for the other party’s legal fees if there is a financial disparity.

The court looks at many different facts before awarding an alimony amount to a party. Spousal support awards consider each person’s income and expenses. Courts also consider the couple’s standard of living and the ability to maintain a comparable lifestyle after divorce. If one party does not have a job, the court determines the cost of acquiring education or training and the amount of time needed to secure employment.

Family courts also look at the history of each party’s financial contributions throughout the marriage. Spouses who have made nonfinancial contributions in the form of childrearing are also taken into account when alimony comes into play. Property distribution, investment income, parenting demands and each person’s age and health also make a difference in alimony award amounts.

If you seek alimony in your divorce case, there is no set award or standard that applies. State laws offer guidelines to the court to determine what is fair. This is general information only and is not intended to be legal advice.