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Alimony During Separation

Alimony During Separation

Many people living in New Jersey, who may be deciding whether or not to initiate divorce proceedings against their spouse, might be wondering about issues that arise between separation and the time the divorce is final such as spousal support or alimony during separation. A common question of those considering divorce is, if you and your spouse are separated, are either of you entitled to alimony or spousal support before the issuance of a judgment of divorce? In the state of New Jersey, a court will, under certain conditions, award either party temporary financial spousal support before a divorce is finalized. The court will consider the standard of living that the parties were enjoying before their separation and can compel one party to pay a temporary financial support amount so that the less financially secure party can maintain a decent lifestyle throughout the divorce process. This type of financial spousal support is called pendente lite alimony, and it is awarded as a means to keep both parties at their “status quo” until they reach a property settlement and/or custody agreement or receive a Judgment of Divorce. When considering the amount of pendente lite alimony to award, the court will not consider the factors that are typically used to determine more permanent forms of alimony such as a party’s future ability to earn an income or the potential effects of the parties’ future division of property. Instead, to arrive at the temporary pendente lite alimony sum the court will look to the parties’ cost of living by evaluating the couple’s monthly utility bills, mortgage payments, and respective current incomes. Therefore, the pre-judgment alimony award will often be a very different amount than the alimony that is eventually awarded when the divorce is finalized. The pendente lite award will cease when the divorce is officially over and will be exchanged for a different type of alimony at that time, if the court deems it necessary. If you are separated or considering a divorce and think that you may be entitled to alimony or child support, it is imperative that you seek out the advice of an experienced attorney before moving forward. For more information about alimony, spousal support, divorce, or other family law matters in New Jersey visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com and NJCivilUnionLaw.com. This blog is for informational purposes and in no way intended to replace the advice of an attorney.

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