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When married couples decide to divorce, there are many factors that need to be considered. One of these factors is spousal maintenance, which is also commonly known as alimony. Unlike child support payments, there are no statutory guidelines regulating how spousal support is calculated. This allows a vast amount of room for discretion. Spodek Law Group has experience in handling both sides. If you want to obtain a maintenance award or if you are seeking to protect your income, our attorneys have the skills and knowledge in handling these types of cases.
The purpose of spousal maintenance is to ensure that both individuals are supported during the divorce process and once the divorce has ended. If you have an apartment for rent nyc, then it means making sure the apartment is maintained. The spouse with the highest amount of income is usually ordered to pay the lower-income spouse a designated monthly amount. Maintenance is ordered to ensure the same standard of living is available to the supported spouse. In many cases, it allows the supported spouse to acquire the necessary skills and training that may be required for the supported spouse to become self-sufficient. If both parties are able to support themselves, then spousal maintenance may not be required. Depending on your specific case, temporary or permanent spousal support may be granted.
“Pendente Lite” Maintenance is temporary alimony, and it is usually ordered in the beginning stages of the divorce. Temporary alimony is often issued by a judge for a specified period of time. Temporary alimony is usually terminated once the desired goal has been achieved or the supported party remarries. Permanent alimony is usually ordered in long-term marriages where one spouse has financially supported the other for an extended period of time. The court takes a variety of factors into consideration when determining whether or not to order alimony.
Some of these factors include:
1) How long the parties were married – An individual who has been married for a long time is more likely to obtain spousal support as oppose to a individual that has only been married for a couple of years.
2) The income of both individuals – The spouse with the higher income will likely have to pay spousal support to the lower-income spouse if the lower-income spouse can not generate enough income to support the couple’s current standard of living.
3) The ability of whether or not the receiving spouse can become self-sufficient – If the lower-income spouse is not capable of becoming self-sufficient, it is possible that that judge may order permanent spousal support.
4) Whether or not children from the marriage reside in the home – Child support payments, the number of children who reside in the home, and the age of the children can have an effect on how much spousal support the judge decides to order.
5) Any contributions that were made on behalf of the receiving spouse – Contributions made during the marriage to assist the high-income spouse may also be considered.
6) The earning potential of each party – Future earning potential may also be considered in spousal maintenance. For example, a medical school student that is expected to graduate in the next couple of months could be ordered to pay spousal support based on a medical residency salary.
7) The education of each individual – Income is not always the deciding factor when the high-income spouse has the potential to earn more money due to a college or trade degree.
8) How the couple lived when married – The courts will usually try to uphold the same standard of lifestyle that the supported party and children had prior to the divorce.
9) Loss in health insurance benefits – The cost of health insurance could possibly increase the amount of spousal support.
10) The potential tax consequences of each spouse – Future and current tax obligations are usually considered and calculated as a necessary expense.
11) A transfer of property by either spouse – Transferring property to relatives prior to or during a divorce proceeding can negatively affect the spouse that initiated the transfer.
In 2010, the state of New York implemented no-fault divorces. A no-fault divorce means that neither party has to prove any type of wrongdoing to file for a divorce. One provision of the new law dictates the parameters for temporary alimony. The guidelines for establishing temporary spousal maintenance is based on the spouse’s income, and a formula is used to determine the amount. In order for the courts to award temporary spousal support, there has to be a significant difference in income that exist between spouses. The spouse that is seeking maintenance must report income of less than two-thirds of their spouse.
The goal of our firm is to help clients through the divorce process and assist our clients in obtaining the best financial outcome. We work hard at obtaining the best possible maintenance award. For higher-income spouses, we work diligently to limit the amount of spousal support ordered by the courts.
Occasionally, one spouse will try to hide assets in an effort to pay less for spousal support. This usually happens by giving money or property to a family member or transferring money out of the country. Our law firm will work with private investigators who are experts in financial forensics, in an attempt to retrieve all assets that are not being disclosed. We will often hire experts in cases where the spouse has informed our office of assets that were illegally moved.
Our law firm has developed a reputation for determining future earnings for professional licenses that were acquired during a marriage. Spouses who provided financial support for the other spouse while attending school are entitled to receive a percentage of future earnings. Contact our office today to discover what you may be entitled to for future maintenance or in a financial settlement.
If you are currently dealing with or expecting spousal support during a divorce, you may contact us at (212) 300-5196 or (888) 977-6335 to schedule a free consultation. We are happy to answer any questions and offer an assessment of what may be expected during the divorce. We work with clients all throughout the state of New York including but not limited to Manhattan, Bronx, long island, and Queens.
Nobody expects to get divorced when they first get married. The point of marriage is to spend the rest of your lives together. But sometimes relationships don’t last forever. People grow apart, or the circumstances change. Individuals who are facing an imminent divorce should have an understanding of what should be expected from the process.
There are a number of controversial issues that must be negotiated during the divorce process. You have to divide all your assets and decide who is responsible for different debts. You also have to decide on a child custody arrangement if you have children. Child custody and child support can be some of the most hotly contested parts of a divorce negotiation. Another very controversial part, though, is spousal support.
Spousal support, otherwise known as alimony, can be very varied. The laws differ slightly from state to state. Most states don’t have strict statutory circumstances laid out. Instead, the amount of spousal support is left up to the judge’s discretion. It’s the judge’s job to consider a variety of contributing factors such as your income, your spouse’s income, whether you have children, and whether maintenance payments are necessary for one spouse’s financial stability.
The goal of alimony is to assist with financial independence. In many households, one spouse is the chief breadwinner while the other either stays at home or earns significantly less. Divorce in these situations can be tricky for the partner with a lower income, as they may not have the means to cover the cost of living by themselves.
In an ideal divorce agreement, both spouses are able to lead fulfilling lives independently of each other. If one spouse has no income or way to generate income, they cannot live their life with financial independence. For this reason, the judge may mandate that their ex-spouse give them support payments to help them cover the cost of living.
This can become particularly important if one spouse is a stay-at-home parent with young children, while the other spouse is the main breadwinner for the family. The stay-at-home parent will almost always have the majority of physical custody, since they’ve taken on most of the child-rearing responsibilities in the marriage.
If the stay-at-home spouse wishes to continue raising their children, they need financial support. They cannot get this if they live independently, unless they get a job. Getting a job means spending more time away from the children, which in turn means sacrificing a certain level of their care.
In these cases, it’s very common for a judge to order both spousal support and child support. Child support payments are meant to cover the cost of each child in a marriage. They’re the way that a non-custodial parent fulfills their financial obligation to their child. Spousal support payments cover the spouse’s basic cost of living.
The determination of spousal support payments is a typical part of a divorce negotiation. You and your spouse may be able to come to an agreement as part of a settlement. However, if you’re not able to reach an agreement, you’ll need to bring the case before a judge.
The judge will first determine whether there’s any obligation for support to be paid. Typically, support payments are awarded when one spouse makes significantly more than the other. The higher-earning spouse will need to pay the lower-earning spouse enough money for them to maintain their standard of living.
One of the first things the judge will do is calculate net income figures for both spouses. This means combining all gross income sources such as earned wages, earned interest on investments, rent payments for physical properties, and public benefits. After the gross total is found, deductions like healthcare and income taxes will be removed. The remaining total is the net amount of money you have access to each year.
In New York, state statutes outline a formula for the court to use. This allows an exact amount for the maintenance to be calculated.
The next thing to determine is how long the maintenance payments must continue. Some spousal payments are awarded temporarily. This most often occurs when the divorce has not yet been finalized, so the lower-income spouse can live independently during the proceedings. Long-term payments are a common stipulation of a finalized divorce. You might also have an agreement to pay periodically or in a lump sum.
If circumstances change, a judge may adjust the spousal payments. Significant changes include a child moving out of the house, a higher-income spouse losing a job, or a lower-income spouse gaining new income.