When a marriage ends, the financial status of one or both parties often decreases. In certain cases, the court may award spousal support to one of the ex-spouses to help with certain expenses.
Unlike child support, which is a requirement in the majority of divorces involving children, spousal support is not a guaranteed thing. Even if the judge awards it, it may only be on a temporary basis.
Factors considered when determining support
According to the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey, other terms for spousal support include alimony or maintenance. The court may award support, or the couple may agree on their own. This alimony is separate from the division of other property and uses certain factors to determine if it is necessary.
Support decisions take into account the ex-spouse’s ability to pay, the length of the marriage and the ages and health of the two parties. Other factors include the established standard of living, if one party left a career to raise children, the education levels and earning capacities of each party, history of financial and non-financial contributions and tax consequences of alimony award.
Types of spousal support
If a judge awards support to one of the parties, FindLaw outlines it may fall in one of four categories:
- Open durational: The amount and duration of alimony payments may last up to a lifetime.
- Rehabilitative: The support only lasts while the recipient gains education or job training.
- Limited duration: The payment duration relates to the length of the marriage and usually applies to short-term unions.
- Reimbursement: This is a specific amount that pays the other spouse back for tuition or family care.
A person is not eligible to receive support when there has been a conviction of one of the state’s crimes such as manslaughter or aggravated assault.