iandoli & edens, llc

There have been many articles and blogs recently about how alimony is going to change under the new tax law (known as the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act).  We thought it might be time to do a quick recap of what alimony is.  Often professionals, including family law attorneys, forget that the terms that we use every day are not so familiar to others.  So here is your crash course.

Alimony in its simplest terms is the payment of support from the paying spouse to the receiving spouse.  If there is a significant disparity in income between the two parties then alimony is likely.  Many misconceptions about alimony exist.  For example, that alimony is always paid by the husband to the wife.  Or that if one party had an extra-marital affair that the other party does not have to pay alimony.  Or if you have a job of your own you won’t receive alimony.  None of these are true.  The most important thing to remember is your alimony award is specific to your case.  Alimony under N.J.S.2A:34-23, the New Jersey Alimony Statue, is based upon 13 individually identified factors plus anything else the Court may deem relevant.  The identified factors are:

  • The actual need and ability of the parties to pay.
  • The duration of the marriage or civil union.
  • The age, physical and emotional health of the parties.
  • The standard of living established in the marriage or civil union and the likelihood that each party can maintain a reasonably comparable standard of living, with neither party having a greater entitlement to that standard of living than the other.
  • The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties.
  • The length of absence from the job market of the party seeking maintenance.
  • The parental responsibilities for the children.
  • 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 or civil union 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.
  • The income available to either party through investment of any assets held by that party.
  • The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award, including the designation of all or a portion of the payment as a non-taxable payment.
  • The nature, amount, and length of pendente lite support (temporary support with the divorce is pending) paid, if any.

Determining what these factors mean to our client’s cases is a big part of how we spend our time. If you have any questions regarding alimony and how it relates to your case we are available to discuss your concerns with you, please call our firm at 908-879-9499.