As you prepare for your divorce, you are thinking about the financial adjustments you will have to make in the future. You know the end of your marriage will affect your finances in many ways, and naturally, you are thinking about ways you can protect your long-term interests. This is a particularly pressing concern for individuals who are the lesser-earning spouse.
If you earn less money than your spouse, you probably know that it’s possible you could be eligible for spousal support, also called alimony. There are certain factors that will determine whether you are eligible for these payments. Of course, it is possible you and your spouse could resolve this issue with a fairly negotiated agreement. Either way, it is in your interests to know and understand your right to financial support after your divorce.
Do you have a claim?
Not everyone who wants alimony will get it. The intent of this type of support is to offset any economic inequity brought about by a divorce that a lesser-earning spouse may experience. If you want a New Jersey family court to award you this type of financial support, it must be clear that your divorce will leave you without your main source of income. Some of the factors that a judge may consider when deliberating this issue include the following:
- The ages of both spouses and the physical ability of each to earn money
- How long it may take you to find employment and earn an income with which you can support yourself
- How long your marriage lasted and the financial responsibilities of each spouse during the marriage
- The higher-earning spouse’s ability to support you and take care of his or her other financial responsibilities
- The type of lifestyle enjoyed by both spouses over the course of the marriage
- Whether you will need to go back to school and how long you need to become self-sufficient
There are situations in which a court may determine that rehabilitative spousal support is necessary, which means that the recipient will receive these payments for a specific length of time. Typically this would be a period that a court determines is long enough for you to become financially self-sufficient.
Whether you believe you will have to fight in court to get the financial support you need or you and your spouse will be able to peacefully negotiate an alimony agreement and financial settlement, it is always useful and beneficial to know your rights. You may want to first speak about this with an experienced attorney before you agree to any terms.