The end of a marriage through divorce can be both traumatic and rewarding. Individuals may choose to end their relationships with their spouses when they no longer function together as a cohesive unit and may mourn the loss of their future together. However, after a divorce is complete, many individuals enjoy starting their lives again and moving into the future outside of their marriages.

One element that can complicate a post-divorce life is a lack of money. When a financially dependent spouse sees their marriage end, they may fear that they will not be able to earn enough money to make ends meet. In these situations, alimony may be an important tool to financially carry them through.

What is alimony?

Alimony is the payment of money from one former spouse to the other. It can last for different lengths of time and can be awarded for different purposes. Individuals can ask their divorce courts to award them alimony, or they can agree to alimony terms with their exes in divorce related contracts.

Who gets alimony?

Either spouse to a marriage can seek alimony. It is not only for husbands or wives. In New Jersey, non-married separating couples can agree to palimony, which is like alimony but does not require marriage. Alimony is primarily dependent on need, and if the parties to a divorce can care for their own financial needs without it, it may not be awarded.

What factors are considered during alimony hearings?

Courts can look at many factors when they are asked to decide if alimony is necessary. They may evaluate the lengths of the marriages before them, and if the parties both work. If a party does not have a job, a court may investigate their earning potential and what they may be able to earn if they re-entered the job market. If a person does not have the training or education to find work, a court may look at how much it would cost for them to acquire those skills.

One factor that may change a court’s alimony evaluation is the health of the requesting party. For example, if a person suffering from a disability goes through a divorce and has no prospects of finding work after their marriage is over, a court may be more inclined to provide them with alimony due to their work-related limitations. Alimony is decided on a case-by-case basis and readers should not rely on this post as advice. Their divorce attorneys can offer them guidance tailored to their own cases.

Choosing to pursue alimony is a decision parties to divorce must make. While it may not apply to all divorce cases, it can be a critical component for securing financial stability in one’s post-divorce life. More information on alimony, divorce, and other family law topics can be sought from Northern New Jersey lawyers who work in the divorce field.