Interviewer: Let’s discuss spousal support or alimony. What is the terminology in New Jersey and New York?
Tanya: In New Jersey, it is called more alimony or spousal support. In New York, it is called maintenance. It is just a name. It is all support from one spouse to another.
Interviewer: Maybe that is where the term high maintenance comes from.
Tanya: Very funny.
Interviewer: How does it work? Is it just the difference in the two parties’ incomes? Are there other factors in play?
Tanya: In New Jersey, there are statutory criteria based on the length of the marriage; the age of each party; each party’s ability to earn the standard of living acquired during the course of the marriage; the health of both parties, both emotional and physical; responsibility for the children; and equitable distribution.
For example, people have millions and millions of dollars, and they are going to get a chunk of change or a lot of money. That is going to throw off more money. Then, the alimony component may get diminished. There are tax consequences.
Another factor for the person asking for the maintenance is their ability to become re-educated and support themselves. Sometimes, there is a person who needs to go back to school or finish nursing school, tech school or whatever it is.
So for the couple of years it takes to finish that school, there might be a higher level of alimony. Then, when the school is completed and that person is employed, the alimony would go down. Those are all the subjective factors.