The person that told you that 13 was an unlucky number was wrong – because in the recent case of Gnall v. Gnall, the court said that in order to award someone permanent alimony, the court had to consider the 13 objective standards already defined by the legislature in N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(b). (And we are excluding the 14th factor which is the catchall – any other factor the court wants to rely upon.)
The Judge is the one who makes an award of alimony (unless the parties can reach an agreement). There should not be any mathematical “formula” that the court is relying upon. This is referring to the one-third calculation most attorneys and Judges apparently use when calculating the amount of alimony to agree upon in a settlement agreement. The court ‘MUST” consider the factors – it is not an option. These factors include the actual need of the parties and the ability to pay. The duration of the marriage or civil union is just one of the factors – it carries no more weight than any of the other factors.
If you have any questions about permanent alimony in New Jersey, schedule a consult with one of our divorce specialists.