Divorce can be a painful process for both partners. When money gets pulled into the mix, things can get even more complicated. Although the legal process can be challenging to navigate, having an experienced New York City alimony attorney can help simplify the process. For example, many people are unaware that the terms alimony, spousal support and maintenance all mean the same thing in New York. The fact is, money cannot always be equally divided in a marriage. During a divorce, the spouse making less money may need monetary support from the other to maintain their standard of living. This is especially true if one partner did not work outside of the home during the marriage.
Maintenance or spousal support is designed to help a spouse that is unable to adequately support her- or himself during the transitional period of a divorce. As family dynamics have shifted in recent decades, courts have become more reluctant to order alimony payments. This can sometimes make it more difficult for spouses who have devoted their time to playing a supporting role in a marriage to get the financial support they deserve.
There are many different factors used to determine spousal support. Having a knowledgeable attorney in your corner can help ensure that your needs are properly represented in court. The legal team at Spodek Law Group has been handling spousal support cases just like yours for more than four decades. They have a thorough understanding of the nuances of New York family law and can help ensure that your interests are protected.
Calculating Child Support in New York City
In 2010, the state of New York revised many of its divorce laws. Among these revisions was new guidance on rules concerning temporary spousal support. The period during which temporary maintenance or support can be received is limited to the amount of time it takes to finalize divorce proceedings. The goal of temporary support is to ensure that the spouse with less income is able to work towards regaining their financial footing while the divorce proceedings are underway.
Spousal support is only awarded when the requestor’s income is less than 2/3 of their spouse’s income. Although there are two different formulas used to determine the amount of spousal support to be paid, the overall goal is to reduce the income gap between spouses.
Once the divorce has been finalized, there is a chance that the spouse with less income will continue to receive maintenance payments. In those cases, a judge will establish an end date for the payments. Some cases may necessitate spousal support payments until a spouse remarries or dies.
Unlike the calculation of temporary spousal support during the divorce process, long-term maintenance support payments are not calculated using a formula. Prior to establishing the amount of maintenance payments, a judge will consider the following:
Why Hire a New York City Alimony Attorney?
Spousal support decisions can be complicated. Whether you are seeking alimony or have been ordered to pay it, you need a lawyer that specializes in handling alimony cases. At Spodek Law group, we have seen it all. We understand that spousal support may not be awarded in all cases and can advocate on your behalf for a payment amount and length of time that work for you. With our highly skilled team working on your alimony case, you can focus your energy on getting your life back on track.
If you have been ordered to pay spousal support, we can advocate on your behalf to make sure the support payments are reasonable and do not create a financial hardship. We fight tirelessly for our clients and are committed to their satisfaction.
In the event that you end your marriage, an attorney can go to court with you to seek alimony from your former spouse. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of regulations in place in New York City surrounding alimony or maintenance after a marriage dissolves, which is why it’s best to hire an attorney who can offer assistance. The end result in an alimony case is often left to the discretion of the judge after receiving information presented by both parties. If there is no indication that alimony is needed or that the marriage dissolved because of a decision by both parties, then a judge might not order any kind of payments by one spouse to the other.
Alimony is a payment that is made to the party who is financially dependant on the other party. In most situations, the husband makes the support payment to the wife along with any child support payment if children are in the relationship as well. The goal of alimony is to ensure that the receiving spouse is financially stable for the time during the divorce and after the proceedings. After enough evidence has been established to indicate that alimony payments can be awarded, then the judge will work to determine the amount that is to be received by the spouse. There are forms that are often used to help with determining the exact amount. The judge will determine how long the alimony payments will be received. An option is awarding the amount in a lump sum while other options include temporary payments and those that are made periodically.
One of the first things that the judge will have to do is determine which spouse will receive the alimony payment. Alimony is usually established if there is a large gap in income amounts or if one spouse relies solely on the finances of the other while going to school or taking care of the family. If the wife makes more money, then the husband would receive the alimony payment, which is why men and women can receive payments instead of alimony only being awarded to women. The purpose of alimony is to ensure that the spouse can maintain the same way of life during the divorce process and shortly after the divorce is finalized. In most situations, the spouse receiving alimony payments will secure a job to have income and not rely on alimony payments.
A net income amount is determined by the court. All gross income is included in order to get the net income. There are statutes set forth by New York City laws that detail formulas to use when determining the alimony amount. This allows the court to come to a fair amount for the payor and the payee. After the amount is determined, the court will work to come up with a length of time for how long the alimony will be paid. There are a few elements that are taken into consideration when the length of time is established, such as whether there are children in the relationship, whether the spouse is physically or mentally able to seek employment, how long the couple was married, and other issues that the court might see in the relationship that aren’t presented by the couple or by the attorney for either side.
After alimony payments are awarded to the injured spouse, there are a few situations that could arise that would lead to the immediate end to the payments. One of these situations is the death of either the payor or the payee. If the payee gets married again or begins working and is able to be self-sufficient, then the payments would cease. If the payments stop for no clear reason or there is a backlog of payments, then an attorney can work to establish the payments once again and to ensure that the payee continues to receive alimony until a valid reason for termination is filed.
For an individual that finds him or herself in a situation where divorce is imminent, it is important to understand what to expect from the proceeding. One of the most controversial topics, because there is not a lot of statutory guidance on the topic and often the result is left to the court’s discretion, is spousal maintenance, otherwise known as alimony.
The purpose of an alimony or maintenance award is to help the receiving spouse become financially independent both during and after a divorce. Once a case for alimony has been established, the courts will then decide the amount to be awarded and its duration.There are several areas the courts will consider in this decision including who the payor will be, as well as what type of alimony it will be (i.e. temporary, periodic or lump sum).
First, the courts must determine which spouse, if any, will be obligated to pay support. Support is often awarded when there is a large gap in earned income, with the higher-earning spouse being required to pay alimony or maintenance (designed to ensure the lower-income earner is able to ‘maintain’ the same standard of living he or she became accustomed to during the marriage).
When determining the individual’s ability to pay spousal support and the amount to be awarded, the court will come up with a figure for net income. This usually involves calculating gross income from all sources including wages, public benefits, interest and dividends on investments,property rentals, and any other sources of income, less any mandatory deductions such as income taxes, Social Security, and health care. The result is the payor’s net income. The court will then use a formula, outlined in New York State Maintenance Statutes (Domestic Relations Law 236; Part B: Subsection 5-a) to come up with a figure for the maintenance award.
Second, once the court has determined who the payor is and the amount of maintenance to be awarded, it must decide on the duration of time the recipient is to be paid alimony or maintenance. Maintenance can be awarded for a temporary period of time, long-term, or in periodic or lump sum payments. Some of the factors the court considers in its determinations are 1.) whether the couple has children and the amount of child support to be paid (in some situations, the court may determine it would be too much of a financial burden for the payor to have to pay both child and spousal support and will elect to forego the alimony obligation), 2.) the ability of the recipient to earn or become self-supporting, 3.)length of the marriage, and 4.) any other factor the court finds to be just and proper. Again, the details of these parameters can be found in New York State Maintenance Statutes (Domestic Relations Law 236).
Additionally, there are specific situations in which the maintenance award will end automatically including the death of either party, the remarriage of the receiving party, a date specified in an agreement between the parties, or a date determined by the court. The court may also decide to deem the alimony either modifiable (under certain conditions) or non-modifiable (cannot be changed once established).
In conclusion, there are a multitude of factors and circumstances that go into determining the amount and duration of an alimony award and whether it is even awarded at all. Ultimately the fate of the parties is in the hands of the court, which makes it extremely important for a divorcing individual to know his or her rights. This often involves hiring appropriate legal counsel. There are many firms that will offer a free consultation, which, based on the life-changing importance of the court’s decision, every individual in this situation should utilize.