Alimony and child support are calculated and decided differently from one another. Alimony is the amount of support which you personally will receive or which you may have to pay for the support of your spouse. Child support is the amount of support which is allocated to the children and their needs.
A. Alimony: The length of time your receive alimony and amount of the alimony likely will be an issue in your case. Alimony may be permanent (until death or remarriage) or for a fixed term of years depending upon the facts of your case. Generally alimony will be based on:
- The Actual Need and Ability of the Parties to Pay
- The Duration of the Marriage
- The Age, Physical and Emotional Health of the Parties
- The Standard of Living Established in the Marriage and the Likelihood That Each Party Can Maintain a Reasonably Comparable Standard of Living
- The Earning Capacities, Educational Levels, Vocational Skills, and Employability of the Parties
- The Length of Absence From the Job Market and Custodial Responsibilities For Children of the Party Seeking Maintenance
- The Time and Expense Necessary to Acquire Sufficient Education or Training to Enable the Party Seeking Maintenance to Find Appropriate Employment, the Availability of the Training and Employment, and the Opportunity for Future Acquisitions of Capital Assets and Income
- The History of the Financial or Non-Financial Contributions to the Marriage by Each Party Including Contributions to the Care and Education of the Children and Interruption of Personal Careers or Educational Opportunities
- The Equitable Distribution of Property Ordered and Any Payouts on Equitable Distribution, Directly or Indirectly, Out of Current Income, to the Extent This Consideration is Reasonable, Just and Fair
- Any Other Factors Which the Court May Deem Relevant.
B. Child Support: New Jersey has Child Support Guidelines which, in the majority of cases will determine the amount of child support. Your attorney will explain to you how alimony and child support differ in their legal implications and tax ramifications; your attorney will explain these differences to you as your case progresses.