Alimony is often among the most critical divorce-related issues, as alimony can give financially dependent spouses the security to retain their standard of living and move on with their lives. If you reached an alimony agreement in your initial divorce proceedings and your former spouse is refusing to make regular alimony payments, there is a very good chance that you are now considering your legal options. Please continue reading and speak with our New Jersey family law attorneys to learn more about alimony enforcement in New Jersey and how our firm can assist you. Here are some of the questions you may have:
How do New Jersey courts determine alimony?
In any application for alimony, the trial judge must consider and make specific findings on the evidence as to the statutory factors set forth in N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(b). The factors are as follows:
- 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, with neither party having a greater entitlement to that standard of living than the other;
- 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;
- The nature, amount, and length of pendente lite support paid, if any; and
- Any other factors which the court may deem relevant.
What should I do if my former spouse refuses to pay alimony?
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for individuals to refuse to make alimony payments. If your former spouse has neglected to make one or more alimony payments, it may be best to simply speak with him or her to correct the issue. However, if your former spouse still refuses to make alimony payments in accordance with your alimony agreement, then you should strongly consider hiring an experienced New Jersey family law attorney who can file a motion for alimony enforcement with the New Jersey Court system. The Court may take various actions to ensure your former spouse resumes making alimony payments, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Fixing the amount of arrearages and entering a judgment upon which interest accrues;
- Requiring payment of arrearages on a periodic basis;
- Suspension of an occupational license or driver’s license consistent with law;
- Economic sanctions;
- Participation by the party in violation of the order in an approved community service program;
- Issuance of a warrant to be executed upon the further violation of the judgment or order; and
- Any other appropriate equitable remedy.
Contact our experienced New Jersey firm
We provide individuals with the compassionate legal representation they deserve. For experienced legal counsel regarding the enforcement of alimony obligations, you know where to turn–contact Aronsohn, Weiner, Salerno & Kaufman today to schedule a consultation.