Alimony support allows for the supported spouse to maintain a lifestyle as close as possible to what the couple had during their marriage; at least until that spouse is able to become self-supporting. Once a couple files for divorce, it is not uncommon for the supporting spouse to intentionally paint their economic circumstances as bleak as possible so that alimony payments are kept to a minimum. There are many factors the court looks to in determining alimony payments, including the actual income of the supporting spouse. However, in the case where the supporting spouse intentionally makes himself or herself earn less, the court can at times impute income to that spouse.
Often times, a spouse may show bad faith and the court may impute income. Some examples of bad faith are when an ex-spouse holds a high-paying, highly-skilled job, and then voluntarily quits in order to take a volunteer position or a lower-paying, low-skilled job. Another instance of bad faith is when an ex-spouse, without good reason, turns down a promotion, increased hours or overtime, as well as delaying the receipt of a bonus or commission. It is important to show the court that the ex-spouse has the ability to work or to earn more than he or she is currently earning. In these instances, the court may analyze the spouse’s income based on the New Jersey Occupational Wage Survey, on an experts report, or on other factors like past earnings and employability.
Contact the New Jersey Divorce Law Firm of Lyons & Associates Today
If you or someone you know has a question about alimony or any other aspect of the divorce process, contact one of the skilled attorneys at Lyons & Associates at 908-575-9777. You can also fill out our online intake form.