Child Support and Alimony
In our more than 25 years of family law, at Strich Law Firm, we have encountered every child support situation possible. In general terms, the payor wants to minimize their obligation and the payee wants to maximize the child support amount that they are receiving. New Jersey has fortunately developed child support guidelines that take out some of the guesswork and opportunities for conflict out of the equation. However, there are definitely exceptions to the rule. For example, in cases in which there are children from another marriage or relationship. Also, New Jersey law has special provisions regarding child support into college years. In our practice, we try to emphasize what makes the most sense for all parties involved, especially so that the children's interests are taken into account. If you have questions about child support, contact an attorney well-versed in New Jersey child support laws.
New Jersey Child Support Factors
For the most part, New Jersey child support guidelines account for many factors common to most families. For example, the child support guidelines account for child care expenses, healthcare expenses, overnights spent with the child, unreimbursed medical expenses and alimony. At Strich Law Firm, our attorneys have the experience and skills to analyze each family's unique situation. We assist clients in making child support decisions that address the current situation and also what may happen in the future as well.
An example of a common issue that attorneys encounter when determining the child support obligation occurs when one or both parents are self-employed. If one parent is self-employed, it is often difficult to determine their actual income, versus the income that they claim on their tax returns. What should the annualized income be versus what is reported on that parent's income tax return? How should bonuses be handled? Often income is not "black and white," such as overtime, commission and bonus income situations. If a party is underemployed, income may be imputed.
If you are concerned about establishing the right amount of child support for you and your children, contact our experienced family law attorneys today.
New Jersey Spousal Support and Alimony
In the State of New Jersey there are currently four types of alimony:
- Limited duration alimony;
- Permanent alimony;
- Rehabilitative alimony
- Reimbursement alimony;
Permanent alimony is paid from the date of divorce until the death of either party or the remarriage of the receiving spouse, although there are always other factors for the award of permanent alimony that depend on the particular case.
Limited duration alimony is for a limited time period and is less likely to be modified.
Rehabilitative alimony is a short term award of alimony to enable the former spouse to make the preparation necessary for economic self-sufficiency and ceases when the dependant spouse is in a position of self support. Rehabilitative alimony is appropriate when one spouse gave up or postponed their education to parent or otherwise support the household and requires a lump sum or a short term award to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Rehabilitative alimony is not appropriate where the supported spouse is unable to return to the job market or has already attained economic self-sufficiency.
Although there is no formula for determining spousal support , case law has provided some guidance as to factors to be considered in making alimony determinations. These factors include:
- The actual needs and the ability of a party to pay;
- The length of the marriage;
- The age and health condition of each of the parties;
- The standard of living established while married;
- The earning capacities of the parties, as well as the education level, job training, and skills;
- The length of absence from the job market of the party seeking maintenance;
- The parental role of each party;
- The time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to become self-supporting;
- The participation each spouse had the acquisition of marital assets;
- The property award;
- Any income producing assets;
- The consequences to both parties;
- Any other factors which the court may deem relevant. (New Jersey Statutes - Title 2 A - Chapters: 34-23)
Although these are the factors listed by Statute, the four most significant factors that a Court takes into account are:
- The actual need of the dependant spouse;
- The ability of the supporting spouse to pay;
- The standard of living established in the marriage; and
- The duration of the marriage.
If you have questions about New Jersey spousal support and alimony matters, contact an experienced divorce lawyer at Strich Law Firm, PC, for assistance now.
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