Judges look at a number of factors when considering support payments. When it comes to spousal support or alimony and child support payments, both New Jersey payors and payees should know what those factors are moving forward in a divorce process. Usually, a family court judge will look at both earned and passive income to come to a support payment decision.

Earned income can include a salary for a job, perks or bonuses received in regard to a job, or partnership distributions. On the other hand, passive income might include investment dividends. A judge will likely look at a potential payor’s most recent tax filing, but also might look deeper when ascertaining alimony and child support payments. That’s not where it could end, since a judge could also look at what a payor could be earning, depending upon the individual’s credentials.

There are ways to mitigate the financial aspects for the payor and part of that has to do with the timing of a divorce. It might be wise on the part of the payor to delay a divorce when he or she thinks the income stream may not be strong. The division of assets also figures into a divorce settlement, so being generous may lower alimony expectations. A modification provision could also be included in a settlement indicating that the alimony obligation be re-evaluated at some point.

A New Jersey attorney is in the perfect position to advise a client about alimony and child support payments. Whether a client is a payor or a payee, a lawyer may be able to offer invaluable information. Having some knowledge about state and federal laws may make coming to a settlement easier.