LegalSpeak: Tennessee v. New Jersey State Laws on Alimony

Alimony Read more from
Chapter Family Law

T ennessee law provides for the following factors:

  • (1) The relative earning capacity, obligations, needs, and financial resources of each party, including income from pension, profit sharing or retirement plans and all other sources;

  • (2) The relative education and training of each party, the ability and opportunity of each party to secure such education and training, and the necessity of a party to secure further education and training to improve such party’s earning capacity to a reasonable level;

  • (3) The duration of the marriage;

  • (4) The age and mental condition of each party;

  • (5) The physical condition of each party; including, but not limited to, physical disability or incapacity due to a chronic debilitating disease;

  • (6) The extent to which it would be undesirable for a party to seek employment outside the home because such party will be custodian of a minor child of the marriage;

  • (7) The separate assets of each party, both real and personal, tangible and intangible;

  • (8) The provisions made with regard to the marital property as defined in § 36-4-121;

  • (9) The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage;

  • (10) The extent to which each party has made such tangible and intangible contributions to the marriage as monetary and homemaker contributions, and tangible and intangible contributions by a party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other party;

  • (11) The relative fault of the parties in cases where the court, in its discretion, deems it appropriate to do so; and

  • (12) Such other factors, including the tax consequences to each party, as are necessary to consider the equities between the parties.

New Jersey, NJSA 2A:34–23(b)(1)-(13) considers many of the same 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 in the marriage and the likelihood that each party can maintain a reasonably comparable standard of living;

  • (5) The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties;

  • (6) The length of absence from the job market of the party seeking maintenance;

  • (7) The parental responsibilities for the children;

  • (8) The time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment …;

  • (9) The history of the financial or non-financial contributions to the marriage by each party …;

  • (10) The equitable distribution of property ordered and any payments on equitable distribution, directly or indirectly, out of current income, to the extent this consideration is reasonable, just and fair;

  • (11) The income available to either party through investment[s] …;

  • (12) The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award …; and

  • (13) Any other factors which the court may deem just.


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