If you are on the verge of becoming involved in a divorce case, or if you already are in the midst of marriage dissolution proceedings, you must understand your essential legal rights. You also need to understand the essential elements of divorce law.
When it comes to commencing a divorce case, the parties file what are known as motions for temporary orders. Temporary orders address issues that include child custody, child visitation or parenting time, and child support. The issue of temporary alimony can also be brought before the court at the start of a divorce case.
At its essence, alimony is awarded in a limited number of cases when one of the parties to a divorce is unable to meet his or her financial needs without financial assistance from the other spouse, according to Cornell University School of Law. Maintenance can be awarded on a temporary basis during divorce proceedings. It can also be awarded for a period of time when a divorce case concludes.
New York Temporary Divorce Calculator
The state of New York has enacted a law that establishes strict guidelines about when and how much alimony can be awarded on a temporary basis during a divorce case. Indeed, parties to a New York divorce utilize what is known as the Temporary Spousal Maintenance Guidelines Calculator.
The calculator has general parameters that are designed to address a case in which temporary maintenance is sought and the parties have joint income of $175,000 or less. In cases in which the joint income of the parties exceeds $175,000, a set of 13 other factors come into play when considering temporary maintenance. These factors are enumerated specifically in New York state law:
- the age and the general health of the parties
- the necessity of one party to access or incur education or training expenses
- the present or future earning capacity of the parties
- the termination of a child support award during the pendency of the temporary maintenance award
- the wasteful dissipation of martial property
- the existence and duration of pre‐marital joint household or a pre-divorce separate household
- acts by one party against another that have inhibited or continue to inhibit a
party’s earning capacity or ability to obtain meaningful employment
- the availability and cost of medical insurance for the parties
- the care of children or stepchildren, disabled adult children or stepchildren, elderly parents or in-laws provided during the marriage
- the tax consequences to each party
- the standard of living of the parties established during the marriage
- the reduced or lost earning capacity of the payee as a result of having forgone or delayed education, training, employment or career opportunities during marriage
- any other factor which the court shall expressly find to be just and proper
Retain a New York Temporary Alimony Lawyer
The first step in retaining a New York temporary alimony lawyer is to schedule an initial consultation. Through an initial consultation with a New York temporary alimony lawyer, you will be able to obtain an evaluation of your case. You will be able to learn what your rights or obligations may be when it comes to temporary maintenance in your case.
During an initial consultation, you will also have the ability to obtain additional information about temporary maintenance, and you will be able to raise any questions you might have about your case. As a general rule, a New York temporary alimony lawyer does not charge a fee for an initial consultation.
New York state law permits the issuance of an order for temporary alimony in divorce cases. Alimony in New York is also called maintenance. If you are facing the prospect of a divorce, you may be interested in alimony. There a some basic elements of New York law pertaining to alimony that you need to understand. In addition, a New York temporary alimony lawyer can provide you detailed information about maintenance and other issues.
Temporary Maintenance Formula
Beginning on October 12, 2010, divorce cases filed in New York utilize a specific formula when it comes to temporary alimony or temporary maintenance. Prior to that date, temporary alimony was awarded based entirely on the discretion of the court. The fixed formula is used to ensure consistency and uniformity in calculating temporary alimony awards.
The foundation of the temporary alimony formula in New York is a consideration of the income of the spouses in the case. The first step in calculating temporary maintenance is to subtract 20 percent of the supported spouse’s income from 30 percent of the income of the paying spouse.
The total income of both parties to a divorce is then multiplied by 40 percent. The supported party’s income is then subtracted from this amount.
The court will then consider the amount determined from both calculations. The court will base a temporary maintenance award in a divorce case based on the lesser amount of these two calculations.
New York state law places on income cap to be utilized when calculating temporary alimony. The cap amount is $524,000. If the combined income of the parties exceeds this amount, the court will consider other factors when calculating temporary maintenance. These factors specifically are enumerated in the law.
There are instances in which a court can deviate from the guidelines. For example, if a spouse is in poor health, that may allow for a deviation from the guidelines established in New York.
Duration of Temporary Maintenance Order
A temporary maintenance order remains in full force and effect during the course of the divorce proceedings. They cease at the point in time that a final divorce decree is issued.
Merely because a person receives temporary maintenance during a divorce case does not mean that he or she will receive post-divorce alimony. The issue of post-divorce maintenance is taken up separately. In addition, a formula is not utilized by the court to determine post-divorce maintenance.
Temporary Maintenance Agreement
The parties to a divorce can negotiate an agreement for temporary maintenance between themselves. The court will still need to review and approve the agreement for temporary maintenance reached between divorcing spouses. The court will usually approve such an agreement, unless it sharply deviates from the proscriptions of the temporary maintenance guidelines included in New York law.
Retain a New York Temporary Alimony Lawyer
The first step in retaining a New York temporary alimony lawyer is scheduling an initial consultation with legal counsel. During an initial consultation, a New York temporary alimony lawyer will provide an evaluation of your case and explain your options. In addition, a lawyer will answer your questions. As a matter of general practice, a New York temporary alimony lawyer usually does not charge an attorney fee for a preliminary appointment.