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Divorce in NJ: Financial Factors to Consider When Getting Divorced

Financial factors are very crucial for you to review as you begin the divorce process. You are most likely aware that divorces can be expensive, but do you know how much yours will cost you?

You may be surprised to find out that the average cost of a divorce is about $15,500. However, the costs vary depending on dozens of different factors. A simple divorce can cost you as little as $3,000. While a complex divorce can cost $100,000 or more.

Below you will find some helpful information about the financial obstacles that you may face during your divorce.

The Cost Of Child Support 

Do you and your spouse have children? If so, it is likely that one of you will be making monthly child support payments. In New Jersey child support is calculated pursuant to the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. If you are deemed the custodial parent of your child, you may be able to receive child support from your former spouse. The factors that go into the guidelines are the parents’ income, ages/number of children, health insurance costs and the number of overnights each parents spends with the children. There might be modifications made if the child has special recurring needs or if government benefits are received.

 The Cost Of Alimony 

Alimony is payment made by your spouse to you, or payment you make to your spouse. In New Jersey there is no official formula or guidelines to determine length or amount of alimony. The courts in New Jersey determine the amount and length of alimony by applying the thirteen (13) factors stated N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23 (b) which was amended on September 14, 2014. However, some attorneys and judges unofficially calculate the amount of alimony by subtracting the two parties’ gross income and then awarding the party who makes less income one third (1/3) of the difference of the two incomes. For example, if a husband earns $150,000.00 and a wife earns $75,000.00, the difference of the two incomes is $75,000.00. The wife would be awarded one third (1/3) of the difference of $75,000.00 which equals approximately $24,750.00 per year. Further, one unofficial way of calculating the length of alimony is to award one year of alimony for every two years of marriage. The only guidance given by the amended alimony statute to determine the length of the alimony obligation is the above mentioned 13 factors and the rule that in any marriage under twenty years, alimony cannot exceed the length of the marriage barring exceptional circumstances.  This does not mean that the term of alimony will equal the term of the marriage.  It only means that the term of alimony cannot exceed the term of marriage. Also, the amended alimony statute states that if the parties were married for twenty years or more, a party could be awarded open durational alimony.

The Cost Of Court And Filing For Divorce 

You or your spouse may have to pay a fee in order to file for divorce. In New Jersey the court cost to file a divorce complaint is $300.00. The court cost in New Jersey to file the first responsive pleading in a divorce action is $175.00 and the court cost to file a motion is $50.00.

As you can see, there are many factors that determine the cost of your divorce. If you have any questions about the costs of a divorce in NJ, call the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen at (201) 845-7400 today for a free initial consultation.

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