Alimony is one of the most emotional issues a divorcing couple has to deal with because it ties you to your now former spouse even after the divorce is finalized. The issue becomes even more heated when the person receiving the alimony payments is the same person who initiated the divorce. Add in the fact that, if your income winds up being higher than your former spouse, you will really want to figure out how much getting a divorce will wind up costing you. Let’s take a look at what you can expect to pay in alimony following a divorce.
The Length of the Marriage
The length of the marriage will be one of the biggest deciding factors in how much money you will wind up having to pay in alimony to your former spouse. If the marriage has only been in place for a couple of years, don’t expect to pay a whole lot of alimony unless there is a valid prenuptial agreement already in place. The same can be said if both spouses earn somewhat equal incomes and the marriage did not last more than a couple of years. When alimony is awarded, you should not expect the number of years it is paid to exceed the length of the marriage.
Variable Income Affects Alimony
If you work a job that has a changing income each year, it will affect how much alimony you have to pay your former spouse. For example, if you are a contractor that builds homes or a freelance web designer, what you make one year might not be the same the next year. If this is the case, the court will use a five-year average of your income to determine what amount of alimony you will need to pay.
Are There Young Children?
Are your children young? If so, the court will take this into account when determining alimony. If the children are very young, the court will take a 40-hour per week minimum wage job and adjust the income accordingly. Why? It doesn’t make sense for a parent to go out and work this job only to turn around and use their entire salary to pay for childcare when the children are too young to be in school daily.
Does Your Former Spouse Have a Job?
If your former spouse stopped working when you got married, the court might require that you pay them alimony in order to learn a new skill or go back to school for an advanced degree. Even if the marriage only lasted for a couple of years, if your former spouse quit their job to run the household, you will likely be required to pay rehabilitative alimony.
Did You Lose Your Job?
Did you happen to get laid off from your job? Have you had a difficult year building houses or designing websites? If there has been a significant change in your income you can petition the court to have the alimony amount changed to a number that is better manageable for you at this time.
Contact a Moorestown Family Law Attorney for a Consultation About Your Divorce in New Jersey Today
If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with another matter such as child custody, child support, or division of assets, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The NJ family law attorneys at The Law Office of Stephen R. Piper, LLC represent clients throughout the state, including Cherry Hill, Evesham Township, Haddonfield, and Mount Laurel. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at 856-333-3586 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.