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Understanding the Terms of Your Spousal Support

Brad Micklin- Understanding the Terms of Your Spousal Support

During your divorce, your divorce lawyer for men in New Jersey informed you that you would be required to pay spousal support to your ex-wife. Now that your obligation has begun, you may have questions about what this means, how long it will last, and how it ends. You’ve come to the right place; this post answers these questions and others.

It’s vitally important to understand all the terms of your divorce so you don’t face legal consequences for ignoring your obligations. Here’s the information you need to better understand your spousal support order.

Spousal Support Basics

Also known as spousal maintenance or alimony, spousal support is money paid by one spouse to support the other spouse during and following a divorce. Spousal support awarded in the divorce can be temporary, lasting for a limited time, or permanent and intended to continue into the future.

Different from child support, alimony is paid by the “supporting spouse” to the “dependent spouse.” The general rule is that a spouse is dependent when he or she earns less money than the other spouse. The court may consider current and future earning capacities, the age of the parties, and their standard of living during the marriage when deciding on a spousal support amount.

Types of Spousal Support

Many people assume all alimony continues indefinitely, but this isn’t usually the case. There are several types of alimony:

  • Reimbursement alimony: With this type of alimony, the paying party reimburses the other for the financial contributions he or she provided to the paying party’s career advancement or education.
  • Rehabilitative alimony: Alimony payments under this form of alimony last only as long as needed to get the receiving party back into the workforce.
  • Limited duration alimony: This type of alimony is set for a specific term or period, such as a number of months or years.
  • Permanent alimony: This form of alimony lasts as long as the receiving party needs it, often until remarriage or death.

Don’t make assumptions about spousal support until you speak with a men’s rights lawyer in NJ. If you’ve not yet finalized your divorce, you may end up agreeing to an arrangement that doesn’t benefit you. With the help of a NJ divorce lawyer, you may be able to keep your divorce out of court by discussing spousal support options in mediation.

Seeking A Modification During Financial Hardship

Your spousal support order can always be adjusted if you can demonstrate a significant financial change. This may be the involuntary loss of a job, an inability to work due to a medical condition, or your ex experiencing a substantial increase in income. The first step is to file a motion to decrease alimony. Once this is done, you’ll submit documents that detail your financial information: income, expenses, assets, and debts. Your ex spouse will have to do the same along with the response to your request. While you may be able to file these forms yourself, I strongly recommend you speak with a New Jersey family law attorney to make sure you have the best chance at success in court.

It Won’t Last Forever

Even “permanent” spousal support comes to an end in a few different ways. If you’re feeling discouraged about having to pay spousal support, remember that there will come a day when your obligation will expire. Even though paying spousal support can be frustrating, it’s a small price to pay for your happiness.

Do you need help understanding your options when negotiating spousal support? Contact our New Jersey divorce attorneys.

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