Category Archives: Alimony
How to stop alimony in New Jersey
If you are paying alimony in New Jersey and you want to stop paying it, you have to file a motion with the court. You just can’t stop paying. That can get you in a lot of trouble and may even lead to arrest. Some people say that a motion to stop your alimony in New Jersey is impossible. This is just not true. Are these motions easy? Of course not but don’t let anyone scare you against looking into this option. Motions to stop alimony payments in New Jersey can be won. They just have to be done the right way.
If you are looking to stop your New Jersey alimony payments, call our team of tough, smart lawyers today at 1-855-9-JEFLAW to discuss your case. Our consultations are free.
Reducing NJ Alimony Due to Unemployment
This economy has made it very difficult for many to find jobs so if you get laid off, it may take quite a while to get a new job to replace your income so that you can continue make your alimony payments. You would think the the system would be lenient given the state of our economy over the last few years but no, many people have been arrested and thrown in jail for failure to pay alimony. You can avoid all of this by taking action right way.
The first thing to do is to contact a lawyer and advise him or her that you are unemployed and are paying alimony. From there, there attorney will want to see your settlement agreement. The terms are very important as it may have contemplated what happens to your New Jersey alimony obligation if you become unemployed even if doesn’t say that specifically. From there, the exact strategy will depend on the unique set of facts for each case. However, this may include sending a letter to the other side to advise them of the problem. Sometimes these cases can be negotiated without court involvement. This result in very little expense to the client.
If a motion must be filed, it has to be well thought out and carefully planned if you want it to be successful. Again, this means meeting with a lawyer right away. Your lawyer will have to walk you through exactly what you have to do to help him/her put together a successful motion. Most motions that lose are not carefully planned.
Defending an Alimony Motion in New Jersey
If you are receiving alimony and your former spouse has filed a motion to reduce or terminate alimony, our team of tough, smart lawyers can help you defend the motion to keep your alimony payments intact. Alimony motions must follow strict procedural rules. If any of these rules are not followed, our lawyers will work to defeat the motion on procedural grounds. There are also a number of things that have to be proven in order to even have a shot at reducing an alimony award. We will go through all of their claims and tear them apart to defeat the motion on substantive grounds. As you can see, our NJ alimony lawyers attack alimony reduction or termination motions aggressively on all fronts.
If you have to respond to an alimony motion in New Jersey, call our law team today at 1-855-9JEFLAW. Our initial consultations are free.
Cohabitation Proof NJ
In New Jersey, proving cohabitation is one of the key ways that the supporting spouse can reduce or eliminate his or her alimony obligation. There are a number of ways to prove cohabitation but the most common is to hire a private investigator. The investigator will prove cohabitation by documenting that the two parties are sleeping in the same house over a period of time as well as spending a lot of time together. However, not every private investigator really knows what they are doing. Thus, you should not just hire one and have him or her start surveillance. You could wind up wasting a lot of money. Instead, you should first consult with a New Jersey alimony reduction lawyer to discuss a strategy. The lawyer can then help you choose an investigator and the guide him or her as to what to do and how to document it.
There are other ways to prove cohabitation in addition to or in lieu of surveillance by a private investigator. Again, before you do anything, call an experienced alimony reduction attorney first, like the attorneys at the Law Firm of Jef Henninger, Esq. Doing anything on your own could lead to problems.
Increase Alimony in New Jersey
In some New Jersey divorce cases, the person receiving alimony had to accept less alimony than they otherwise would have received because there just wasn’t enough money to go around. Some time after the divorce, the supporting spouse may experience an increase in income. As a result, the supported spouse will likely have a good claim to then file a motion to increase alimony. Any type of alimony motion must be done carefully. Our team of tough, smart family law attorneys can help you file a motion to increase alimony in any New Jersey court. Our initial consultations are free, so call our team of NJ alimony lawyers today to discuss your case.
How to lower alimony payments in NJ
In some cases, the former spouse paying alimony in New Jersey does not want to terminate alimony but is seeking to lower their alimony payments. The reasons for this may be a loss of job or increase in expenses. Another reason may be an increase in the support spouse’s income. Regardless of the reason, the motion has to be carefully crafted as these motions are not easy. Just because you may have talked to other people that were not successful, you should not think that these cases are impossible.
Our team of tough, smart lawyers have been very successful in helping clients lower their alimony payments. Call us today to discuss your case to see how we can help you lower your New Jersey alimony obligation for no cost since our consultations are free.
How to terminate alimony in New Jersey
There are a number of ways to terminate alimony in New Jersey. A partial list of ways to terminate alimony include:
-loss of income
-increase of income for the supported spouse
-vacating the property settlement agreement
-remarriage of the supported spouse
You can be sure that your former spouse will do everything he or she can to fight against any motion to terminate your NJ alimony obligation. That is why you need a team of tough, smart lawyers on your side that will file a hard hitting motion on your half. You just can’t file a motion and hope for the best. These motions have to be prepared carefully sometimes even months in advance. Before you do anything, call our NJ alimony termination lawyers at 1-855-9-JEFLAW to discuss your case for free.
Winning Your New Jersey child support case
No matter what side of the case you are on, you clearly want to win your child support case in New Jersey. The best way to win the case is to hire an attorney and have him or her do everything for you. Of course there have been people that have handled their case on their own with success but there are also countless others that wish that they could have done things the right way from the start. See, you don’t get any special treatment because you don’t know the rules. In fact, many things may work against you. Often times the person deciding your case, such as a judge or hearing officer, may be completely wrong about your case and/or the law that applies. Since you don’t know the law, you can correct this person. For a lawyer to later attempt to correct this problem could cost you far more than it would have cost you to hire a lawyer to do it right the first time.
Regardless, the key to winning your case is to be organized. Too many people lose important paperwork such as court orders, tax returns, pay stubs, property settlement agreements, etc. You need to keep all of these documents organized and in a safe place.
Another way to help win your case is to act now and not wait. I see a lot of people on both sides of the case waiting years to file a motion. I’ve also never really heard a good excuse as to why they waited. If you think that you are owed money from the other person one way or another, you need to move now. Filing a motion to request money back from years ago rarely turns out well. You may run into problems proving your claim because the records needed have been lost. You may also lose simply because you failed to move for relief in a timely fashion. I have helped numerous clients avoid having to pay support from several years back by arguing that this delay has prejudiced my client.
My final tip is to type your motion instead of writing it out and to be as coherent as possible. Stick to the facts. Don’t bash the other side. State what you want, why you want it and what evidence you have that proves your claim. Be sure to attach that proof with your motion.
Of course, we will do all of this for you. Call us at 1-855-9-JEFLAW to discuss your child support case to see how we can help you win.
A common question that comes up on both side of the child support issue is what is included in the child support guidelines figure? Sometimes this is set by an agreement while other times it is set by court order. Regardless, the New Jersey Court Rules contains a section that details exactly what is included. The relevant section of the rules indicates that the New Jersey child support awards include the child’s share of expenses for housing, food, clothing, transportation, entertainment, un-reimbursed health care up to and including $250 per child per year, and miscellaneous items.” It then further details these categories as follows:
Housing – carrying costs (i.e. mortgage, loans, taxes, insurance, repairs, maintenance) rent, furniture, law products, fixtures, decorations, etc.
Food – All food and non-alcoholic beverages purchased which includes restaurants and school meals. Since children should not be drinking and smoking, this does not include alcohol and cigarettes.
Clothing – clothing, uniforms, shoes diapers, repairs, cleaning, laundry, and jewelry. However, sports items such as cleats are not included.
Transportation – All motor vehicle costs such as initial cost, lease payments, finance charges, gas, oil, insurance, maintenance and repairs. In addition, mass transit, parking fees, driver’s license and registration fees, towing and tolls. However, this is all for the parent. It does not include the same expenses where the child will be the primary driver.
Unreimbursed Health Care Up to and Including $250 Per Child Per Year – This is basically co-pays.
Entertainment – Sporting and social events, music lessons and other instructions, cell phones, music, pets, hobbies, toys, video games, etc.
Miscellaneous Items – Personal care products such as hair produces, shaving cream, make up, etc, books, magazines, school supplies, etc.
Expenses included in the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines
This list is important because sometimes parents either claim that they don’t have to pay something because its included in the child support or the other parent claims that they are owed more money even though they are receiving child support. Before you pay anything or assume the other parent doesn’t owe you anything, call our team of tough, smart NJ child support lawyers today at 1-855-9-JEFLAW to discuss your case.
Permanent alimony is awarded after a lengthy marriage for unlimited duration in recognition of prolonged economic dependence and sustained contribution to a marital enterprise. All other factors being equal, the defining distinction” between permanent and limited duration alimony is the duration of the marriage. Id. at 483. Thus, limited duration alimony is available to dependent spouses who contributed to a relatively short-term marriage, and who have “the skills and education necessary to return to the work force.” Gordon v. Rozenwald, 380 N.J. Super. 55, 65-66 (App. Div. 2005).
Long Term Alimony in NJ
Permanent alimony is actually a bit of a misnomer. It should be called long-term alimony as almost no alimony obligation is really permanent. Assuming no other issues would trigger a modification or termination, retirement will often end a permanent alimony obligation. The only problem is that there is no specific age at which one can retire and therefore end an alimony obligation. Instead, one must file a motion. Of course, there may be a rare case where alimony does continue post-retirement.
Limited duration alimony accommodates the marital partnership principle by “recogniz[ing] in certain marriages that a permanent alimony order—or no alimony award at all—is an injustice, and [that] the law must provide sufficient flexibility to enter orders fulfilling not only the statutory directives but the fundamental purposes of alimony.” Louis, Limited Duration Alimony. This flexibility mandates an appropriate judicial analysis of the statutory factors when contemplating an award of more than reimbursement or rehabilitative alimony, the former being awarded to recognize past forbearances and the latter to meet fixed future needs. Limited duration alimony is to be awarded in recognition of a dependent spouse’s contributions to a relatively short-term marriage that nevertheless demonstrated the attributes of a “marital partnership”. In determining whether to award limited duration alimony, a trial judge must consider the same statutory factors considered in any application for permanent alimony, tempered only by the limited duration of the marriage. All other statutory factors being in equipoise, the duration of the marriage marks the defining distinction between whether permanent or limited duration alimony is warranted and awarded.
Thus, limited duration alimony is probably the most frequently awarded alimony obligations in New Jersey. While there are not clear guidelines as to when there is no alimony obligation, a limited duration alimony obligation or a permanent alimony obligation, your lawyer should be able to give you a range of possibilities for your case.
Reimbursement alimony in New Jersey is rare. It has previously been characterized as not truly support but an equitable creation designed to eliminate injustice. See Mahoney, 91 N.J. at 500-01, 503 & n. 5 Reimbursement alimony is intended to compensate a spouse who has made financial sacrifices resulting in a reduced standard of living by enabling the other spouse to forego gainful employment while securing an advanced degree or professional license to enhance the parties’ future standard of living. Id. at 500-01; N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(e).
Reimbursement alimony is thus limited to “monetary contributions made with the mutual and shared expectation that both parties to the marriage will derive increased income and material benefits.” Mahoney, supra, 91 N.J. at 502-03 See also Reiss v. Reiss, 200 N.J.Super. 122, 125 (Ch.Div.1984), aff’d, 205 N.J.Super. 41 (App.Div.1985) (questioning whether reimbursement alimony is truly alimony as it based primarily on past contributions rather than future needs). As in the case of rehabilitative alimony, reimbursement alimony may be awarded separately or in combination with any other form of alimony. N.J.S.A. 24:34-23(f).
NJ Reimbursement Alimony
If the other spouse is making a claim for reimbursement alimony in your divorce case, call the leading Alimony Lawyers in NJ today to discuss your case.
Rehabilitative alimony permits a short-term award from one party in a divorce case to enable the former spouse to complete the preparation necessary for economic self-sufficiency after the divorce. ,” Hill v. Hill, 91 N.J. 506, 509 (1982); Milner v. Milner, 288 N.J.Super. 209, 213-14 (App.Div.1996). Thus, it ceases when the dependent spouse is in a position of self-support. Hughes v. Hughes, 311 N.J.Super. 15, 31 (App.Div. 1998).
Rehabilitative alimony thus represents an appropriate remedy where, for example, a spouse who gave up or postponed his or her own education to support the household requires a lump sum or a short-term award to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Mahoney, supra, 91 N.J. at 504, 453 A.2d 527. However, its purpose is to “enhance and improve the earning capacity of the economically dependant spouse.” Frank Louis, Limited Duration Alimony, 11 N.J. Fam. Law. 133, 135 (1991). Thus, even where a spouse didn’t give up an education, it can still be used where the spouse will pursue an education. This is because the focus of rehabilitative alimony is upon the ability of a dependant spouse to engage in gainful employment, combined with the length of the marriage, the age of the parties, Heinl, supra, 287 N.J.Super. at 346-48 and the spouse’s ability to regain a place in the workplace, Cerminara v. Cerminara, 286 N.J.Super. 448, 460 (App.Div.), certif. denied, 144 N.J. 376 (1996).
If you would like to discuss your chances of getting rehabilitative alimony in your New Jersey divorce case, call our rehabilitative alimony lawyers today to discuss your case.
Calculating alimony in New Jersey is more art than science. While there is a rule of thumb that is used around New Jersey, the proper way to calculate alimony is to follow the factors below.
(1) The actual need and ability of the parties to pay;
(2) The duration of the marriage;
(3) The age, physical and emotional health of the parties;
(4) The standard of living established in the marriage and the likelihood that each party can maintain a reasonably comparable standard of living;
(5) The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties;
(6) The length of absence from the job market of the party seeking maintenance;
(7) The parental responsibilities for the children;
(8) The time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment …;
(9) The history of the financial or non-financial contributions to the marriage by each party …;
(10) The equitable distribution of property ordered and any payments on equitable distribution, directly or indirectly, out of current income, to the extent this consideration is reasonable, just and fair;
(11) The income available to either party through investment[s] …;
(12) The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award …; and
(13) Any other factors which the court may deem relevant.
In the average case, most of these factors will not be considered. However, if alimony is a hotly contested issue, some of these factors can be used to help your lawyer argue for the alimony obligation you are seeking.
To learn more about this from our experienced team of NJ alimony lawyers, please call 1-855-9JEFLAW today!
In New Jersey, the award of alimony to a divorcing spouse is provided for by statute: “after judgment of divorce or maintenance … the court may make such order as to the alimony or maintenance of the parties… as the circumstances of the parties and the nature of the case shall render fit, reasonable and just”. N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23. What that means in English is that payments must be made to from one spouse to another after the divorce. The prevailing principle in fixing an alimony award, as detailed in Lepis v. Lepis, 83 N.J. 139 (1980), was recently reiterated by the New Jersey Supreme Court: “the goal of a proper alimony award is to assist the supported spouse in achieving a lifestyle that is reasonably comparable to the one enjoyed while living with the supporting spouse during the marriage.” Crews v. Crews, 164 N.J. 11, 16 (2000); Innes v. Innes, 117 N.J. 496, 503, 569 A.2d 770 (1990) (citing Mahoney v. Mahoney, 91 N.J. 488, 501-02 (1982)). “The supporting spouse’s obligation is set at a level that will maintain that standard.” Innes, supra, 117 N.J. at 503, 569 A.2d 770 (citing Lepis, 83 N.J. at 150, 416 A.2d 45); Heinl v. Heinl, 287 N.J.Super. 337, 344 (App. Div.1996) (same). See also Crews, supra, 164 N.J. at 16, 24 (same).
Thus, when discussing alimony in a New Jersey divorce case, the primary debate will focus on the incomes of each party as well as the martial lifestyle.