If you have lost your job, you may be wondering about your alimony payments. Read on to learn more about alimony payments in the event of unemployment.
How is alimony determined?
To make a decision about alimony, a New Jersey judge will examine the following factors:
- The length of the marriage
- The age and health of each party
- The earning capacity of each party
- The needs of the spouse who is dependent
- The independent party’s ability to provide support for the dependent party
- Whether the dependent party has had a significant absence from the job market
- The equitable distribution of property
- Each spouse’s parental responsibility for any children they may have
- The standard of living that the couple established during the course of the marriage
- Whether there is any income available from investments
- Whether there are any tax implications from spousal support payments
Can I stop paying alimony if I’ve lost my job?
Your income plays a large role in the amount of alimony you must pay. So, if there is a large change in your income, you may need to request a modification. When determining whether to award a modification, the court may ask the following questions:
- Has the individual been out of work for at least 90 days prior to seeking the alimony modification?
- What was the reason for the loss of employment?
- What has the individual done in the meantime to find a replacement position or alternative means of income?
- Is the individual able to physically and mentally obtain and retain employment?
- Did the individual receive and severance payment from their previous employer?
What are the consequences of refusing to pay alimony?
It is important to understand that you cannot stop making payments without a formal order from the court. If you do stop making payments without a legal agreement, you can face the following consequences:
- Garnishing your wages and putting them towards alimony.
- Issuing heavy fines, sanctions, or even jail time
- Placing a lien on your property, so when you sell that property, a portion of the money will go towards missed alimony payments.
- The judge may order that you pay interest on any missed alimony payments.
- A judge may draft a “writ of execution,” directing your bank to deduct money from your account and transfer it to your ex’s bank account.
If you need to request an alimony modification, contact our firm to discuss your options with a skilled attorney.
Contact our experienced New Jersey firm
If you require strong legal representation for matters related to divorce or family law, Haber Silver Simpson & Russoniello is here to help. We proudly represent clients in Morris County and throughout the state of New Jersey. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.