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Consideration of Trust Income in NJ Alimony Calculations

Consideration of Trust Income in NJ Alimony Calculations

When a Trust is created the intent of the individual creating the Trust, the Grantor, should dictate the manner in which the Trust operates through the actions of the Trustee who administrates the Trust. When a family court is considering an award of alimony to either party, there are many considerations which must be made, one being the marital lifestyle and another being the assets available to either party to support themselves. In the event that the Trustee makes distributions to the beneficiary, in this example, a party to the divorce, in the Trustee’s sole discretion and without the influence of the beneficiary, the Trust is less likely to be considered an asset of the spouse in the calculation of alimony. In a recent case, Tannen v. Tannen, the Trustee used trust funds to pay many marital expenses including the children’s private school tuition, the cost of a housekeeper, real estate taxes and home renovations. In spite of the use of Trust funds for marital expenses, the Grantor’s intent was clearly that the Trustee have discretion to make those, and any other, payments on behalf of the beneficiary spouse rather than to make those obligations in support of the beneficiary spouse. In the event a Trust is created to provide a steady income stream for the support of a party to a divorce, such Trust income would certainly be considered by the court in making a determination of alimony. A divorce has serious financial consequences for both parties and should not be taken lightly. If you are considering a divorce, you should have an experienced matrimonial attorney at your side to guide you through the matter and protect your best interests. For more information on divorce, alimony/spousal support, child support, custody, parenting time, post-judgment modification or same sex dissolution in New Jersey visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com.

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