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SUPPORT OBLIGATIONS

ALIMONY

 

While child support is generally based on a statutory formula, there is no set formula for determining the amount or duration of alimony. Instead, alimony is determined by analyzing the 14 factors set forth in New Jersey statutes, such as each party’s actual income and each party’s ability to earn an income, the length of the marriage, the health of the parties, one party’s need for support and the other party’s ability to pay, and the marital standard of living.

 

New Jersey law provides for five types of alimony:

  • Rehabilitative: This form of alimony provides support for a spouse to go to school, get training, or enter employment after an absence from the workforce

  • Reimbursement: In some instances, reimbursement alimony may be appropriate when one spouse supported the other while he or she attended college or earned a professional degree

  • Limited durational: This is payable for a defined, limited period of time

  • Open durational: This type of alimony is usually reserved for marriages which last longer than 20 years and will remain in effect until the court decides to terminate the order or if both parties involved decide they wish to terminate it

    • Open durational alimony can be paid until the following circumstances:

      • The payor's retirement (at full Social Security retirement age)

      • The death of either spouse

      • The remarriage of the recipient

    • Open durational alimony may also terminate or be subject to modification due to substantial changes in circumstances such as:

      • Retirement

      • Disability

      • Job loss

      • Changes in income or

      • Cohabitation by the recipient

  • Pendente Lite support: This is temporary support payable during the pendency of the divorce.
     

Our attorneys at Lepp, Mayrides, & Eaton, LLC, will work hard to secure our clients with the most reasonable and adequate level of support to which they are entitled based on the statutory factors.

CHILD SUPPORT/MODIFICATION OF SUPPORT

 

In New Jersey, child support is determined by the Guidelines that are set forth in the New Jersey Rules of Court. These guidelines can be deviated from under certain circumstances, such as for college-aged children, or children with special needs.

 

When calculating the appropriate amount of child support to be paid in any given case, factors include:

  • Parties’ respective earned and unearned incomes

  • Spousal support payments

  • Childcare costs

  • Parenting time arrangements

  • The children’s share of the cost of medical insurance

  • Mandatory deductions such as union dues
     

This calculation can also be used to assist in determining the parties’ respective shares for contribution to the children’s unreimbursed medical expenses, childcare, and extraordinary expenses. Our attorneys at Lepp, Mayrides, & Eaton, LLC, are skilled in working with the child support guidelines to protect the best interests of our clients and their children.

MODIFICATIONS AND TERMINATIONS

While your divorce decree may have been prudent at the time of your divorce, it may not always reflect the realities of post-divorce life. You may at some point have to modify or terminate obligations under your divorce agreement. Informal agreements between you and your ex-spouse are not always enforceable and, in fact, can create significant problems later.

 

If you need to modify your divorce agreement, the experienced legal counsel at Lepp, Mayrides, & Eaton, LLC, understand your options, chances for success, and the best way to proceed.

 

Examples of reasons for modifications or terminations post-divorce include:

 

  • Termination of alimony due to:

    • Remarriage of the supported former spouse

    • When the payor spouse reaches an age when he or she is retired and is eligible to receive full Social Security benefits

    • When the supported spouse moves in with a new partner, depending on the circumstances

  • Relocation

  • Injury, job loss, or extraordinary health care needs