Heymann & Fletcher
February 05, 2024

Understanding Alimony in NJ

Practice Area: Family Law | Tag: Alimony

Dealing with a divorce is tough enough without the confusion of how alimony—or spousal support—works. In New Jersey, recent shifts in laws have made alimony in NJ a bit more predictable for those wondering about their financial obligations after a divorce.  


How Does Alimony Work in NJ?  

Those curious about how they'll make ends meet post-divorce might wonder, "How does alimony work in NJ?"  Alimony is a monetary obligation one spouse may have to contribute to the other following a divorce to sustain the recipient's standard of living—as nearly as possible—to that which was enjoyed during the marriage.  

NJ courts consider factors like the needs and abilities of the parties involved, the length of the marriage, the parties' age and health, parental responsibilities for children, as well as the couple's standard of living, each party's financial contribution to the marriage, and the earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties.  


How is Alimony Calculated in NJ? 

Alimony in NJ is not automatic nor based on a set percentage; instead, it's a result of the careful weighing of circumstances, which means outcomes can be substantially different from case to case. The type and duration of alimony—whether it is open durational, rehabilitative, limited duration, or reimbursement—are also determined on a case-by-case basis as per N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23.  

Talk to an expert today to get the real numbers for your specific case. 


How Much Alimony Will I Get in NJ? 

Asking "How much alimony will I get in NJ?" or "How much is alimony in NJ?" means looking at your own circumstances. Each case is different, and the court's decision on alimony depends on your specific financial details. It's calculated based on 14 statutory factors as per N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(b), which consider the parties':  

  • Needs 
  • Ability to pay  
  • The marriage duration 
  • Age  
  • Health  
  • Standard of living established during the marriage 

The goal is to enable both parties to maintain a comparable standard of living post-divorce, avoiding overpayment while providing needed support to the lower-earning or unemployed spouse. Talk to a lawyer today to get into the numbers and learn about your options. 


How to Avoid Paying Alimony in NJ? 

Many are asking, "How to avoid paying alimony in NJ?" It's important to know that avoiding alimony completely might not be possible, but the duration of alimony payments has changed. Now, payments are often tied to the length of marriage. In most cases, the alimony term is 60-70% of the length of the marriage, not the full length. 


Is Alimony Taxable in NJ? 

In relation to taxation and alimony in NJ, it's crucial to know that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 introduced significant changes effective January 1, 2019. For divorces finalized after this date, alimony is no longer tax-deductible for the payer, and the recipient is not required to report it as taxable income.  

This contrasts sharply with the previous law, where alimony payments were tax-deductible and recipients included the payments as taxable income. Therefore, individuals must consider this paradigm shift when negotiating alimony during divorce proceedings in New Jersey, as it may impact their financial planning and tax liabilities. 


So, while we've seen significant changes in NJ alimony laws, it's clear that a deep understanding of the process and possibly some legal advice can help ensure that the outcome of your divorce is as fair and manageable as possible. These changes may also bring a sense of predictability and fairness to the process, making it easier for both parties to move forward.  


With proper knowledge and guidance, navigating through the complexities of divorce in New Jersey can be less daunting and more empowering. Therefore, it is essential for individuals going through divorce proceedings in NJ to educate themselves on alimony and child support laws to make informed decisions. 

Contact the experts at Heymann & Fletcher and get all your alimony questions answered!