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A New Jersey divorce action commences with the filing of a complaint for divorce with the court and paying the filing fee. The complaint will contain the relief you are seeking such as alimony, child custody, child support, and equitable distribution of marital property. The Court will file the complaint and return it to the filing party, who becomes the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff must then serve their spouse with the divorce complaint within the prescribed time period for the process to move forward.
Whether a child was born of a marriage or not, their parents are obligated to support them. Child support issues for married parents divorcing are handled under the FM dissolution docket, while support issues for unmarried parents are handled under the FD non-dissolution docket. The calculation is based on many factors.
New Jersey does not have any formula for calculating alimony. Courts may order different types of alimony including permanent alimony, rehabilitative alimony, limited duration alimony or reimbursement alimony to either party. Some of the factors Courts consider in calculating alimony include:
- The actual need and ability of the parties to pay;
- The duration of the marriage or civil union;
- The age, physical and emotional health of the parties;
- The standard of living established in the marriage or civil union and the likelihood that each party can maintain a reasonably comparable standard of living;
- The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties;
- The length of absence from the job market of the party seeking maintenance;
- The parental responsibilities for the children;
- The time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment, the availability of the training and employment, and the opportunity for future acquisitions of capital assets and income;
- The history of the financial or non-financial contributions to the marriage or civil union by each party including contributions to the care and education of the children and interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities;
- The equitable distribution of property ordered and any payouts on equitable distribution, directly or indirectly, out of current income, to the extent this consideration is reasonable, just and fair;
- The income available to either party through investment of any assets held by that party;
- The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award, including the designation of all or a portion of the payment as a non-taxable payment; and
- Any other factors which the court may deem relevant.