One of the most common questions I receive as a New Jersey Divorce Attorney in Jersey City is, "How Much Will I Have to Pay in Alimony?" Seems like a simple question that will require a simple answer right? The answer is not simple and that is good and bad. It is good because all households are not created equal. The house budget, the house spending, the house saving, investing, credit card debt, Which City or County Do you Live In?, student loan debt, children and the age of the children, length of the marriage are just some of the major factors in determining how much alimony you may pay and for how long. Alimony is based on many factors and it is hard to determine what that amount is without all of the information gathered after discovery. An Example of two different alimony cases are Below:
One family has a total income of $200,000 no kids, student loans of $100,000, Credit Cards $15,000, $100,000 assets, Housing Costs $3200, Cars $1200. The breadwinner makes $150,000, spouse makes $50,000. Marriage 8 years. Avg Age 38. The Court Ordered Alimony in the Amount of $2250 per month 4.5 years
Next Case- Income $200,000 2 kids, no student loans, no cards, , $35,000 assets, housing $3800. Breadwinner $165,000, spouse makes $35,000. Marriage 12 years. Avg Age 42. Court Ordered $3500 for 9 years.
Each case is very different and each case needs the attention its deserves. Focusing on the variables, the moving parts, the fixed costs, assets, etc can make the alimony amount change drastically. When I take a divorce case, I try not to offer a number the Judge may order because it can be a very different number once I review all of the facts of the case. Simply saying I earn $350,000 and wife makes $100,000 is not enough for a realistic determination. For inexperienced lawyers, they may jump at the chance to offer you a low number. I will never do that.
Assets. Assets are a major reason for deviations of alimony numbers. The more assets, the more negotiation power you may have as you can possibly give more or an asset or assets in order to pay less or no alimony.
Debts. Marital debts in one spouse's name may also be a reason to change the alimony number as that one spouse may have to pay all of those debts back.
Children. The number and ages of the children may also affect the alimony amount and alimony term period.
The above are just some simple examples but the fact remains that alimony is in fact case sensitive. If you face an alimony case in New Jersey, contact my Jersey City office today on (201) 228-9815.