Is Your Case an Alimony Case?
Aside from child custody, nothing sparks more anxiety in a divorce matter than the prospect of alimony. Whether the expected recipient or anticipated payor, both sides want to know how much and for how long. While there is no exact formula, the following “cheat sheet”, can help give you an idea of whether alimony will be an issue in your divorce matter:
How long have you been married?
- Per statute (revised in 2014), marriages of less than twenty (20) years generally do not qualify for open durational (“permanent”) alimony which is paid until good faith retirement. Instead, the recipient of alimony can expect to receive support for a term of years, roughly half the length of the marriage, give or take, depending on the specific factual circumstances of the case.
Who was the breadwinner during the marriage?
- Generally, there needs to be a decent-sized discrepancy between the parties’ incomes for there to be an alimony award. As such, if you and your spouse historically made close to the same income, there will not likely be spousal support paid from one to the other.
What is your (or your spouse’s) earning potential?
- Just because your (or your spouse’s) income is low or non-existent does not end the inquiry. In most cases, where a supported spouse has the potential to earn an income (or a higher income than they are presently earning) based upon educational background and/or prior work experience, same will be factored into the alimony analysis. The Courts of New Jersey have the authority to impute income to a party who is found to be underemployed.
Who will shoulder the bulk of the childcare post-divorce?
- Did one party stay at home with the children while the other was in the workforce? Contributions to the household as a “homemaker” are considered in the alimony calculus as part of New Jersey’s conceptualization of marriage as a partnership. New Jersey case law considers a stay-at-home parent’s contributions to the marriage as equivalent to a monied spouse’s financial contributions. If one party will bear the brunt of childcare responsibilities post-divorce such that their ability to work is impacted, this will also be taken into consideration.
What was the marital lifestyle?
- Did you take lavish vacations and dine at expensive restaurants or did you clip coupons and live frugally? As each party is entitled, as far as possible, to continue to live at the marital lifestyle post-divorce, the way you spent money as an in-tact family will come into play.
Are there any special circumstances?
- If there is a disability or other unique circumstance which impacts a party’s ability to be self-supporting, same will also be considered by the Court in determining alimony.
As can be gleaned from the above, there are a lot of different factors which can impact the calculation of alimony in any given case. Contact the attorneys at Eveland & Foster, LLC to discuss your specific circumstances.
Choosing to divorce is rarely an easy decision to make, but escaping a bad situation can feel like a breath of fresh air. For many men and women, divorce provides a rare opportunity for a new beginning. If you want to get back into the dating scene during this next chapter of your life, you might catch yourself wondering: is dating during my divorce considered adultery?
This isn’t just a moral question. Because adultery can be used as grounds for divorce in the first place, you may be wondering how dating could affect your divorce settlement.
So if you’re dating while divorcing, here is some of the key information you should know before your divorce is finalized.
The definition of adultery
Technically speaking, going on dates is not an act of adultery. Family lawyers will tell you that adultery is only committed when sexual contact is made between a married individual and someone who is not their spouse. Just going to the movies or grabbing a bite to eat isn’t considered adultery, even if the participants have more than friendship on their minds.
How does adultery affect my divorce?
The way adultery will impact your divorce depends on your state’s laws, which is why it’s wise to hire family lawyers to guide you through this process. For instance, in no-fault divorce states like New Jersey, it is no longer necessary to prove that your spouse committed adultery or abandonment to file for divorce. And while some states do still use adultery as a partial basis for alimony, this is also becoming less common.
However, in some states, proof of adultery could have an impact on your divorce settlement. If you and your spouse have separated but not divorced, you may be in a legal gray area when it comes to adultery. Again, consult a family law firm to understand the risks, if any, to dating while divorcing.
So, should I avoid dating?
Most dating experts and family lawyers recommend waiting until your divorce is finalized. Unfortunately, some divorces can take years. During this time, you may feel like you’re ready to re-enter the dating world. The best course of action is talking to your divorce lawyer. Each divorce is different, and your state may have specific laws regarding separation prior to divorce.
Why people may date during their divorce
People date during a divorce for a variety of reasons. The most common reason is that it’s a welcome distraction during a stressful time. Gaining positive energy and contemplating future relationships is one of the many reasons people get divorced in the first place. Others may seek out dates for a sense of empowerment that they may not have had during the course of their marriage.
Between 40% to 50% of married people will get a divorce, and it’s not a surprise that some people will inevitably date during the divorce process. When you want to discuss your rights when you’re going through a divorce, contact divorce lawyers in your state to give you the advice you need during this trying time.
Eveland And Foster Law believes that no two family law cases are the same. That’s why we offer legal advice specific to your unique situation and zealously fight on behalf of our clients’ rights. If you’re looking for family lawyers, domestic violence lawyers, or divorce lawyers in New Jersey, then call or visit us online for more information.