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​​​​Wilson  Family  Law  LLC 

​​​       OFFICE: 973-520-4275          FAX:973-756-4075

Alimony

Special notice: Alimony tax deduction laws are changing – in effect 01 JAN 2019

​The new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) eliminates the tax-deductible aspect for alimony payments on any divorce agreements decided on AFTER December 31, 2018. Before the new guidelines, alimony payments could be deducted by the payer payor for federal income tax purposes, and recipients of alimony had to report the payments as income to be taxed. For alimony obligations pre-2019, this is still the case. However, as of January 1, 2019, payments of alimony will not be tax deductible, nor will the recipients be required to list alimony payments as income to be taxed. Modifications made after this date will also follow these rules unless the modification clearly states otherwise., if the change specifically uses guidelines set by the TCJA. In other words, any settlement agreements or modifications decided after 2018 will follow these new tax guidelines. If you do not favor these changes, it is imperative that you and your spouse educate yourselves to determine how it will affect your divorce and what is the best route for you going forward.


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Alimony is the payment of support to a former spouse.  New Jersey alimony is governed by N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23.  This statute was amended in 2014 and is still often referred to as the “new” alimony statute. 


Under New Jersey law, the court may award one or more of the following types of alimony, either alone or in combination:

  1. Open durational alimony (formerly called “permanent alimony”);
  2. Rehabilitative alimony;
  3. Limited duration alimony; and/or
  4. Reimbursement alimony.


When determining whether and how to award alimony, the Court must consider the following fourteen factors:

  1. The actual need and ability of the parties to pay;
  2. The duration of the marriage or civil union;
  3. The age, physical and emotional health of the parties;
  4. 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 that the other;
  5. The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills and employability of the parties;
  6. The length of absence from the job market of the party seeking maintenance;
  7. The parental responsibilities for the children;
  8. 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;
  9. 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;
  10. 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;
  11.  The income available to either party through investment of any assets held by that party;
  12. 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;
  13. The nature, amount and length of pendent lite support paid, if any; and
  14. Any other factors which the court may deem relevant.


The “new” statute requires the court to give the factors equal weight unless the court has reason to weigh one factor more heavily than another, in which case the court must make specific written findings of fact and conclusions of law in that regard. 

Generally, alimony terminates when the recipient remarries, either party dies, or on a specific date set by the court or by the parties in an agreement.  Also, the court can terminate or suspend alimony if the payee cohabits with another person. 

When negotiating a settlement agreement, parties can determine the modifiability of their alimony depending on their circumstances.  Either or both parties can waive their interest in receiving alimony, or they can agree that the alimony amount and/or length cannot be modified under any circumstances.

Alimony can be paid directly to the recipient or paid through the Probation Department and is included as income to the recipient, and is tax deductible (not included as income) for the payor. 

Alimony is included as income to the recipient and is deducted from the payor’s income when calculating child support.

Alimony is very fact-sensitive and is different in every case.  Wilson Family Law LLC can answer the questions you have about alimony as it applies in your case.



​​Wilson Family Law LLC

667 Shunpike Road, Suite 5

Chatham, NJ  07928

Office: 973-520-4275   Mobile: 973-202-2823  ​Fax: 973-756-4075

email: cindy@wilsonfamilylawllc.com

Website: wilsonfamillylawllc.com


​Copyright 2018. Wilson Family Law LLC. All rights reserved. ​The content of this website is for general information purposes only. It is not intended to give legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. For this reason, you should not send any confidential information until an attorney-client relationship is formally established.