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Getting real about your finances post divorce

When you're married, you benefit from a lot of different financial advantages. Although a lesser earning spouse can often seek alimony or spousal support to try and maintain a similar standard of living enjoyed during marriage, the reality is that most spouses will probably take a serious financial hit following the finalization of their divorce.

New Jersey courts recognize that being married brought the financial advantages of cohabitation and other financial benefits. Being single costs more. You'll have to pay your own rent and your own expenses without sharing them between you and your spouse. As such, both you and your ex-spouse are likely to be living at a level below where you were at during marriage.

If the spouses have a very significant income disparity, this is when a court will attempt to make an alimony award that helps the less moneyed spouse continue living at a similar standard -- usually for long enough that he or she can become financially self-sufficient. However, courts will never award more than a reasonable amount that the moneyed spouse can actually afford. If you and your ex were maintaining a living standard that was above your actual income means, and you were incurring debt in order to maintain that standard, courts will not award alimony payments that the other spouse cannot afford.

Obviously, questions about alimony can be delicate during the process of negotiating a divorce settlement. As such, Little Falls residents may want to discuss their financial situations with an experienced divorce attorney to determine the most appropriate strategies to pursue regarding alimony arrangements during divorce proceedings.

Source: FindLaw, "How Does 'Standard of Living' Impact Spousal Support?," George Khoury, accessed Aug. 11, 2017

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