Retirement and Alimony in New Jersey

Retirement and Alimony in New JerseyIn the state of New Jersey, alimony may be awarded in a divorce on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the court, based on a number of factors, including, among other things:

  • How long the parties were married
  • The needs of the potential recipient vs. the ability of the other party to pay
  • The age and health of both parties
  • The lifestyle to which the parties were accustomed during the marriage
  • The potential earning capacities of each party

Though the court will enter a binding order, the amount and the requirement to pay alimony may change, based on either the circumstances or a subsequent court order. For example, if the recipient remarries or cohabitates with another person, the obligation to pay alimony will automatically be terminated (unless the divorce decree states otherwise). Furthermore, the payor may often petition the court for a reduction in alimony payments if his or her income drops significantly.

Alimony and Retirement

Often, upon retirement, a person’s income decreases, sometimes substantially. As a general rule, when a payor’s income goes down dramatically due to circumstances beyond his or her control it can provide the necessary rationale for a reduction of alimony. But can a party petition the court for a reduction of income because of retirement? Can a person retire early and ask for a reduction? It depends on the circumstances.

In New Jersey, the normal retirement age is considered to be 65. When a person reaches the age of 65, he or she may petition the court for the reduction of an alimony obligation, provide income has gone down significantly. Approval of such a motion is not automatic, though. The court will look at the facts and circumstances of the retirement to ascertain whether it was reasonable, considering such factors as:

  • The age and health of both parties
  • The extent to which the retiring party had any discretion in the decision to retire
  • The nature of the work the retiring spouse was engaged in
  • Whether the divorce agreement specified an anticipated retirement date (and whether this is earlier than that date)
  • The impact a reduction in alimony will have on the recipient

Contact the Law Office of David M. Lipshutz

We will only take your case if we know we can help. For an appointment, contact our office online or call us at 856-627-1990. We are available to meet with you Monday through Friday, between 9 am and 5 pm.

Understanding Alimony in New Jersey—An Introduction

Understanding Alimony in New Jersey—An IntroductionA spouse in New Jersey (male or female) still has a right to seek spousal support (alimony) during and after a divorce. In the Garden State, spousal support typically is determined on a case-by-case basis, with the court looking at the following factors:

  • How long the parties have been married
  • The age and physical health of the parties at the time of the divorce
  • The needs of the receiving party and ability of the other party to pay
  • The extent to which each spouse is actively involved with child-rearing
  • The standard of living to which the parties were accustomed during the marriage
  • The respective earning capacities of both parties, as well as educational levels, job training, and skills that may affect earning capacity
  • The length of time the recipient has been out of the job market
  • The length of time it would take the recipient to acquire education or training to become self-supporting
  • How property was allocated in the divorce decree
  • Ownership by either party of income-producing assets
  • Any other factors the court deems relevant

The Different Types of Alimony

There are five different types of spousal support in New Jersey:

  • Alimony pendent lite—This is an award that is only payable while a divorce is in process—essentially a temporary form of spousal support.
  • Limited duration alimony—In many cases, the court will award alimony for a specified time to allow the receiving spouse time to become self-supporting – the term generally cannot exceed the length of the marriage.
  • Rehabilitative alimony—Similar to limited duration alimony, this award typically lasts until the receiving spouse completes job training or other requirements to become self-sufficient.
  • Reimbursement alimony—This award represents reimbursement for sacrifices one spouse made to benefit the other, such as working to support the family while the other spouse obtained an advanced degree.
  • Open duration alimony—This is an award without an identified termination date. It may be for the rest of the person’s life, or it may be ended by the court at its discretion.

Modification of Alimony

Once alimony is awarded, it can be subsequently terminated or reduced if a substantial change in circumstances is proven, e.g., remarriage, cohabitation, loss of job, retirement, severe health problems, or significant change in income of either party.

Contact an Experienced New Jersey Family Law Attorney

At the law office of David M. Lipshutz, we won’t take your case unless we know we can help.For aprivate meeting, contact our office online or call us at 856-627-1990. We are available to meet with you Monday through Friday, between 9 AM and 5 PM.

What You Need to Know about Alimony in New Jersey

Understanding Your Rights and Obligations Regarding Spousal Support

What You Need to Know about Alimony in New JerseyThough it’s nowhere near as common as it used to be, alimony (also known as spousal maintenance or spousal support) is still available in New Jersey. Under current law, it’s based strictly on need and is gender neutral. A divorcing husband has just as much right to alimony as a wife. The courts will work hard to ensure that alimony is not used as a weapon, but strive to use it to strike a balance, allowing both parties to be as close as possible to the lifestyle they had during the marriage. The ultimate goal, in most situations, is to provide the necessary support to allow the recipient to take the necessary steps to become self-sufficient.

It’s important right up front to understand that New Jersey law is less than clear on how to address alimony, giving a fair amount of discretion to judges. It is also important to note that the recent tax law changes eliminate the deduction of spousal support payments and no longer require recipients to claim alimony as taxable income. Further complicating matters, New Jersey tax law allows for the deduction of spousal maintenance on state returns and requires recipients to report payments as income.

Unlike child support, where the court simply takes the income of both parties and plugs it into a formula, there is no similar calculation method for alimony. The court may consider a wide range of factors, including:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The actual need and ability of the parties to pay
  • The standard of living to which the parties were accustomed during marriage
  • The age, physical and emotional health of the parties
  • The potential earning capacities of both parties
  • Any parental responsibilities of either party
  • The extent to which either party gave up a career to care for children or to further the career of the other party

Contact Attorney David M. Lipshutz

We will only take your case if we know we can help. For an appointment, contact our office online or call us at 856-627-1990. We are available to meet with you Monday through Friday, between 9 am and 5 pm.

Alimony in New Jersey – An Overview

AlimonyIf there’s a common thread that runs through just about every divorce, it’s money. It may have been a significant contributing factor the breakup of your marriage—more than one third of people in a recent poll cited financial problems as a cause of relationship stress and it’s long been the primary reason people file for divorce. More often than not, though, the biggest conflicts involving money in a divorce are about what happens when the proceedings are over. In this blog, we look at how the courts determine whether alimony/spousal support is warranted and, if so, the factors that go into its calculation.

Alimony in New Jersey

In New Jersey, the decision to grant alimony is determined on a case-by-case basis and is gender-neutral—that means that man or a woman can receive spousal support. Alimony can take a number of forms:

  • Permanent support—an order requiring payment for the remainder of the recipient’s life
  • Temporary alimony—an order requiring payment for a specific period of time
  • Rehabilitative alimony—an order requiring payment until the recipient has either obtained education or training to become self-sufficient or has become employed

The court may take a wide range of factors into consideration when calculating alimony, including:

  • How long the parties have been married
  • The health and age of both parties
  • The standard of living while married
  • The potential earning capacities of both parties
  • The actual needs of the recipient, as well as the ability of the other party to pay
  • The extent to which each party played a significant parental role during the marriage
  • The property settlement in the divorce proceeding
  • Any income producing assets owned by the recipient

Contact Attorney David M. Lipshutz

We will only take your case if we know we can help. For an appointment, contact our office online or call us at 856-627-1990. We are available to meet with you Monday through Friday, between 9 am and 5 pm.