Carolann M. Aschoff, P.C.

Spousal support -- What are one's rights?


Knowledge is power -- a saying true in all aspects is life.  It is also true when it comes to getting spousal support or alimony during divorce. When people know their rights and where to go to get help, the process may become a lot easier and faster.

New Jersey laws allows for a spouse who did not earn a salary, or too little to support him or herself financially, to apply for financial help in the form of alimony in order to meet their monthly financial needs. To get spousal support awarded, a number of aspects will be considered. Generally, one will have to:

  • give evidence that the other person earned a lot more throughout the marriage
  • show that the chances of finding work that will pay enough to provide for one's needs are little
  • that one's standard of living will decrease drastically without alimony

In most cases, it is the judge who decides if a spouse qualifies for financial support, so the importance of proving the need for it to the court is important. At the same time, it may be beneficial if the higher earning partner realizes that there are tax benefits to paying a monthly maintenance to an ex-spouse. Importantly, one must also realize that the court order made is not necessarily a permanent arrangement.

New Jersey laws allows for a spousal support agreement to be reviewed upon request of either party, or even the court may determine that a review is required. Getting remarried, or moving in with another person and sharing living costs are two commonly-cited reasons for seeking to modify an existing alimony order. A family law attorney can help pursue a resolution that is in the best interests of the client.

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