When a marriage ends, each party is often concerned about how to move forward financially. Even if both parties are working, that does not mean that their salaries are equal and that each of them will have the same chance at a secure financial future. This is why New Jersey law provides for spousal support to be awarded under certain circumstances.
New Jersey law says that spousal support (also called alimony) is provided when there is a financial disparity between the parties. It is not just for the spouse who stayed home with the children, but it is also for the one who does not make as much money as the other. The goal is to give each of you the opportunity to enjoy as close to the same lifestyle after the divorce as during the marriage.
Since there are no strict calculations as there are for child support, any number of factors can be considered when determining whether spousal support is appropriate and how much is needed. All of your income and expenses will need to be examined to see how much support you might need or how much you can pay. Once an amount is determined, you can either choose to come to an agreement with your soon-to-be ex-spouse or take the matter to court for the judge to decide.
Regardless of whether you are the one needing spousal support or facing the possibility of paying it, you should not attempt to resolve the matter without first talking to an attorney. This is just one of the financial issues that you will be faced with as you attempt to move forward with the divorce process. If you are negotiating your settlement, spousal support can be included in the agreement, and as long as it does not violate public policy or current New Jersey law, the amount that you agree to should be approved by the court.