Divorces exist to separate the lives of two people that were brought and built together. This can be a complex process, as many married couples intertwine their lives in several ways. This may be financially or if the couple has children together. It is for these reasons that a spouse may be required by the court to make support payments for a designated period of time after the divorce. These payments can be made for a spouse or for a child. This is done through spousal support and child support. These financially assist the respective parties so that they may live as they did before the divorce.
When a couple is together for a long time, they often combine their finances and assets. If they go through a divorce, these must be divided between the two of them. This can create a difficult situation as sometimes, there is only one spouse in the house with an income while the other is the caretaker of their home. This may leave the dependent spouse without an income of their own to sustain themselves after a divorce. Without this, they are left in an unfair financial situation and are unable to build a new life of their own.
In these situations, the independent spouse may be required to owe the dependent spouse spousal support. Also known as alimony, these payments help the dependent spouse stay on their feet and have the opportunity to become independent without struggling. In New Jersey, there are different types of alimony that may be appointed depending on the former spouses’ relationship. This can include open durational alimony, limited duration alimony, rehabilitative alimony, and reimbursement alimony.
When a couple has children together, they must determine child support payments in court. This child’s custodial parent is required to provide them a stable life. This consists of shelter, clothes, food, an education, and more. These expenses can often become overwhelming for one parent to take care of on their own. This is why both parents must financially assist their child after a divorce. The non-custodial parent pays child support to the custodial parent to balance out the child’s cost of living between the two of them. This ensures the child is provided with the same standard of living they had before the divorce.
Parents must financially support their child until they reach the age of emancipation. Generally, the age of emancipation is 19 years old in New Jersey. While this is true, the age can change depending on the child’s needs. Courts may sometimes extend support payments if a child is unable to support themselves yet. To end support payments, a parent must petition the court and prove their child can, in fact, financially support themselves. If the court agrees, the payments can end.
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