Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
Hello,Thank you for allowing us to assist you with this problem.
If all other factors are equal and you are not in harm by remaining married until she finishes school, then from a purely financial viewpoint it would be better for you to wait until after she has gained employment. If you file for a divorce not she could intentionally try to underemploy herself and with a 10 year old child that would have a negative affect on you when it comes to child support payments and also on the issue of alimony However, if you have been married for 10 years then you may wish to consider filing for the divorce anyway to avoid the risk of Permanent Alimony. Case law in New Jersey states that marriages between 10 and 12 years are of intermediate length and courts have awarded permanent support, and marriages of over 20 years are considered long term marriages which almost always mean permanent support. So if you are at or over 10 years and under 13 years, your risk of having to pay permanent alimony will be awarded increases.
There is no way to give you a dollar amount. In general, New Jersey case law states that the court must consider the marital lifestyle, the supporting spouse's ability to pay, and the dependent spouse's ability to contribute to his/her own support.The alimony statute, N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(b) states that the court must consider the following thirteen factors:1. The actual need and ability of the parties to pay.2. The duration of the marriage.3. The age, physical and emotional health of the parties.4. The standard of living established during the marriage and the likelihood that each party can maintain a reasonable comparable standard of living.5. The parties' earning capability, education and employability.6. The length of absence from the job market.7. Parental responsibilities for the children.8. The time and expense needed to acquire education or training to enable a depended spouse to obtain appropriate employment.9. The financial and non-financial contributions of each spouse to the marriage.10. Equitable distribution.11. Income available and non-financial contributions of each spouse to the marriage.12. The tax consequences of alimony.13. Any other factor which the court deems relevant.In summary, the main purpose of alimony is to permit the dependent spouse to live the same lifestyle after divorce that she lived during the marriage.
The issue is the unlike rehabilitative alimony which will terminate say after 3 or 5 years, with permanent support you will continue to pay the same amount to your exwife until either she remarries or dies.