If you would like to receive alimony payments as part of your divorce settlement, then you need to understand that it is a subjective matter where the court has a lot of power to make decisions without legal guidance.
NJ.com explains there are no hard rules the court must follow when issuing alimony, and it does not have a formula to calculate how much it should award as it does with child support. Instead, the court uses 14 factors to determine if you should receive alimony and how much you should receive.
Considering the situations of both of you
Need is always paramount when it comes to spousal support because the court wants to see a true reason why it should consider ordering payments. It could come from a lack of training or education, inability to secure employment, health issues or child care responsibilities.
The court will also consider the standard of living during the marriage and how that compares to the standard after the divorce.
It is important to note that the court will not look upon alimony as a way for you to support yourself. It has a full expectation that you will try to provide for yourself financially to the best of your abilities.
Calculating payments and determine the timeframe
The most common method to calculate payments is to use a percentage of the difference between the incomes you and your spouse earn. The court has a lot of discretion and may not follow this method, especially in high earning situations.
The length of time your award lasts depends on the length of your marriage in most cases, but alimony will have an end date when either of you reaches full retirement age or dies. It also can end prior to the date set by the court if you remarry.