In New Jersey, there are a list of factors under the alimony statute N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23 that are used to determine the appropriate amount of alimony. The factors the court uses in its analysis are as follows:
How much spousal support you need (factor number one above) is typically based upon your budget. A monthly budget is determined using a document called a Case Information Statement, which includes a listing of all income as well as a monthly budget (both during the marriage and post-separation or divorce) along with a listing of assets and liabilities. If the parties are still living together during a divorce, consideration is given to the lifestyle the parties led during the marriage when determining a future budget. The “lifestyle” includes the type of house they lived in, the type of cars they drove, where and how often they went on vacation, where and how often they went out to dinner, where they shopped, what they spent on their expenses, etc.
If the parties are not separated during the divorce, an estimate of a future budget can be utilized to determine the need for spousal support. A reasonable budget no greater than the marital lifestyle should be utilized to determine the need for alimony (see factor number four above). From that budget, the net income of the party who is seeking alimony will need to be subtracted. If the party is not working, income can be imputed based upon their education and ability. After subtracting the party’s own income (or imputed income) from their respective budget, the remaining shortfall is the need for alimony. You must also remember that alimony is typically taxable to the person receiving it when considering the net amount of dollars necessary to meet their budget.
Be aware that the need for alimony is not the only factor in determining alimony.
William J. Rudnik. is a family law attorney at Gebhardt & Kiefer, P.C. where he successfully represents clients in Family Law court in matters involving divorce, property division and more.Back To Top
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