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New York Spousal support is monthly payments a person sends to their ex-spouse to assist them in financially recovering from the divorce. Spousal support, also called maintenance or alimony, is awarded on a temporary or permanent basis. All laws regarding spousal support are outlined under the state’s domestic relation’s law 236.
Temporary Spousal Support in New York
Temporary spousal support in New York is only awarded during divorce proceedings. It is awarded for a short period of time, typically the number of months it takes to receive a divorce. This may be six months or longer.
Permanent Spousal Support in New York
Permanent spousal support in New York is only awarded after the divorce is finalized. The alimony is for life. It is a specific amount of money. It may decrease or increase if one of the ex-spouses file for a change in spousal support. The only time spousal support stops if the ex-spouse receiving alimony remarries or dies. It also stops if the ex-spouse making payments dies.
Calculating Spousal Support in New York
New York divorce judges pick one of two computation methods to determine who much an ex-spouse will receive in spousal support. Both computation methods depend on whether they are child and who is raising them. In the first computation method, the ex-spouse receiving spousal support is the custodial parent. This means the children are living with them. The spouse paying alimony will also pay child support.
The second computation method involves one or two situations. The no children were born into the marriage. The second is the ex-spouse paying alimony is the custodial parent. This means the children live with them.
Therefore, one ex-spouse may receive a different spousal support payment than another ex-spouse in the same situation. Another thing that will determine the amount of money paid in spousal support are factors.
Factors that Decrease or Increase Spousal Support in New York
Prior to the calculations, a divorce court judge will use:
• The standard of living the couple established during the marriage
• Whether a spouse does not have enough income or property to provide for their spouse’s reasonable expenses
• Whether the spouse needing spousal support has enough income and property to support themselves
In addition to these factors, a divorce court judge can look at about 20 factors to determine how much spousal support is needed. These factors include, but are not limited to:
• The amount of years the couple were married
• If the couple lived together prior to marriage or if they lived together after they decided to get a divorce. The judge may consider the time they were married longer than the number of years married.
• The amount of income and property each spouse has. This includes any marital property. Marital property is assets, property and income generated during a marriage.
• The age of each spouse
• The health of each spouse
• If the couple has any children
• If the spouse receiving alimony must take care of other family members. These family members may be an adult child or elderly parent.
• If the spouse receiving spousal support will need to go to college or receive career training to become self-sufficient
• The tax consequences for each spouse
• If there will be loss of health insurance benefits after the marriage ends
Contact a New York Spousal Support Attorney for Help
Spousal support is the amount of money a spouse may need after the marriage. Whether you are the one seeking spousal support or wanting to decrease your payments, contact us. We are here for you. We will explain all spousal support legal jargon and tell you how we will to proceed.
New York Spousal Maintenance Lawyer
Spousal support is paid by the spouse who earns the most amount of income to the spouse who earns the least income either during divorce proceedings or after the divorce has been finalized. It is also referred to as alimony.
Different Types of Spousal Maintenance
The terms spousal maintenance and spousal support should not be confused with one another. Spousal maintenance is paid during or after divorce, but spousal support is given while a couple is still married.
Temporary maintenance is paid by one spouse to another as divorce proceedings are underway and before they are finalized. This is usually awarded in cases where one spouse has no other source of income and needs immediate cash for their maintenance.
Factors Affecting Spousal Maintenance
• The duration of the marriage will determine the amount of spousal support. The longer the marriage lasted, the more alimony is awarded.
• The age of the parties involved. If the party being awarded spousal support is older and has health issues, then they will get a larger alimony amount.
• Earning capacity is critical because it outlines the current and future earning ability of the spouse. If a spouse earns a significant amount of money and has the potential to earn a lot of money in the future, then they will not be awarded as much as if their financial status is low. If a spouse has the capacity to earn in the future, their spousal maintenance might only be awarded for a given period of time sufficient for them to be financially independent.
• Current income and property. One main issue in determination of alimony is property owned by each spouse individually. The method used to split the property determines the spousal maintenance amount.
• Any loss that has been incurred by a spouse as a result of the marriage will be factored into alimony calculation. If a marriage agreement required a spouse to stay at home to take care of the children in lieu of pursuing a career, then this will increase the alimony amount.
• Child custody arrangements. If the spouse with lower earning ability will get physical custody of their children not only will the other spouse have to pay for child support, they will have to give more alimony.
• If there is an equitable distribution of property owned by the two spouses, then spousal maintenance will be reduced.
• Death of one or all spouses. If the spouse receiving alimony dies, then the other spouse doesn’t have to pay the alimony anymore. If the spouse paying alimony dies, then the spouse who receives alimony will no longer get their payments.
What the Law Says About Spousal Maintenance
The law provides a formula for calculation of alimony. This can be found online if you are interested in doing the calculation or understanding how it works.
According to The Laws of New York, you have to report your full alimony amount to the law for tax returnspurposes.
How a Lawyer Can Help
A lawyer will help ensure that alimony payments are fair to both parties. If you feel your spouse is demanding too much spousal maintenance during divorce proceedings, then you need to get in touch with a lawyer who can help lower the amount.
If you already have an alimony settlement and would like to know how it affects your tax returns, then a lawyer is in a better place to explain this information to you.
Additionally, a lawyer can help with alimony calculations.
New York Spousal Support Modifications Lawyers
A spousal support, or maintenance, order is not definitive. Under the right circumstances, it can be amended, or terminated all together. Over time, you may experience a life-change that will ultimately affect your ability to pay spousal support. Such a change may constitute a legal modification to the spousal support order. If your circumstances have changed, and you have a spousal support order that needs modifying, then promptly consult an attorney who is uniquely qualified to handle your case.
The New York court tends to frown upon frivolous modification petitions. With that being said, it is important that you understand that modifications will not be granted simply because the petitioning spouse feels as though the original spousal support order is not fair. The burden of proof lies with the petitioning spouse. The New York court must be shown that the spouse has indeed experienced life-changes or suffered extreme hardship. The court is staunch about what it considers grounds for spousal maintenance modification. The following life-changing eventsmay be considered by the court in determining a spousal support order modification:
• The payer suffers a job loss;
• The payer enters the retirement phase;
• The receiver secures a significant increase in salary;
• The receiver suffers extreme health problems (long-term illness).
Clearly, a job loss will prevent the payer from making consistent and timely spousal maintenance payments. Although the payer may petition the court to take this event into consideration, the court will also investigate whether or not the job loss was the payer’s fault, or not. Plus, the court will investigate the payer’s actions just to make certain that the payer is not intentionally becoming unemployed or underemployed in an attempt to evade paying the spousal support payments.
During retirement, the payer’s present income will not be maintained. In fact, the payer’s lifestyle will probably significantly change. Such a change will prompt the payer to petition the court to decrease the dollar amount of the spousal support payments.
Now that the receiver has attained a healthy job promotion, perhaps those maintenance payments are no longer needed. Since the receiver is now self-sufficient, the payer may petition the court to terminate the spousal support order, or to decrease the dollar amount at the very least.
The receiver has been stricken with a long-term or terminal illness. Clearly, the payer’s present lifestyle will suffer a blow. Income will not be generated because the receiver is too ill to maintain a job. As a result, the receiver will ask the court to modify the spousal support order by increasing the support payments.
Although there are many reasons to seek a modification, there are only a few that will result in an automatic annulment of a spousal support order. The death of either spouse will terminate the original spousal support order. The spousal support order will cease to exist when the termination date specified by the court has been reached. The remarriage of the receiving spouse will also lead to its cancellation. And, in cases whereby the receiving spouse is actually cohabitating with someone else (gender neutral), meaning they are living together like spouses and not just spending the night several times a week, the spousal support order will automatically be voided.
Whether you are the paying spouse or the receiving spouse, you still need the expertise of an attorney to help you navigate this arena. Petitioning the court for the modification of a spousal support order can be challenging. However, if you are the paying spouse, then an attorney will ensure that your present financial situation is accurately reported to the court. It is important for the court to be made aware of the financial demands in your life. If you are the receiving spouse, then an attorney will make certain that your spouse is not hiding any unreported income. Either way, you need an attorney who will listen to you, and then proceed to get you what you want.
Spousal support can be a valuable asset to have after a divorce if you are eligible and able to get the assistance of a New York spousal support lawyer. By reaching out to one of these lawyers, you will have someone who understands these laws and can serve you in court and out of it. They will be available to help you when you have questions and will happily serve you any time that you require guidance regarding family law matters in the state of New York.
You will need to follow these strategies if you want to formulate a solid arrangement that will pay you money that you deserve.
#1: Keep things as non-adversarial as possible
The golden rule when it comes to any kind of family court matter is to keep things businesslike, while forming compromises every step of the way. Family law creates the messiest situations in court due to the fact that emotional levels are so high. Emotional levels have great potential to be high in spousal support cases, which is why the first step to take is finding understandings with your soon-to-be ex.
If the two of you are able to, you should consider counseling in order to develop some semblance of closure in your relationship. Even if counseling is not an option, you need to have conversations so that emotional ties do not find their way into legal proceedings. This way, you will be open and able to negotiate and keep lawyers present for mediation, as opposed to running up expensive bills arguing every last detail in front of a judge.
#2: Consult with a lawyer that can help you create a plan
When you are seeking spousal support, it is important to hire a lawyer who can make you aware of your rights. In the state of New York, the judge may grant spousal support to someone who had a certain expectation of lifestyle, particularly if they put their own professionalism or income potential to the side during the marriage. For instance, if one spouse stayed home to take care of the kids, they might petition a judge for spousal support until they are able to find employment.
There are long-term spell support petitions and short term spousal support petitions, so the most important thing to do is find an attorney that can help you employ the best strategy.
#3: Understand the laws and requirements of the state of New York
When filing a petition for spousal support in New York, the judge will first go through criteria like the length of your marriage, your current state of health, grounds for divorce and other matters that come into play with spousal support cases. Children will also come into play with these matters, so be sure that you are also working on custody and visitation arrangements. When you understand some of these laws for yourself, you will be better able to retain a lawyer who can fill in the gaps for you and answer any other questions.
Going through this process can be really cumbersome — especially if this is the first time that you have undergone one of these cases. You will be able to have advocacy that can help you in your life when undergoing this kind of legal case, so take the time to apply the tips in this story.
New York Spousal Support Modifications Lawyer
You need to go through all of the details any time you are looking to split your money, time and assets following a divorce. Because divorce is so difficult to go through, you need to make sure that lawyers are available for you when you need them for important matters, such as spousal support. If you require spousal support from a lawyer that can serve you, it’ll be just what you need to get your life back to normal standards.
Divorce doesn’t have to be something that breaks you — particularly if you take the time to bring on good legal representation to protect your rights. Think about these strategies so that you are in good hands when undergoing your divorce.
Make Sure That You Have Sound Reasoning For Spousal Support Modifications
Spousal support modification cases require lawyers on both ends. For example, you might be a spousal support recipient who is seeking an increased amount because you feel that the prior court judgment did not account for the entire financial picture. Conversely, you also need a legal professional if you are paying spouse support and feel that your spouse no longer need it due to life changes.
Either way, be specific in your reasoning when you decide to file a brand-new petition. Every matter will be hashed out in court and you will be responsible for training the issue in a manner that is convincing and accurate.
Hire A Lawyer That Can Argue Your Case Reasonably
Any lawyer that you bring on for this case should be experienced and recommended. Contact people you know that have been through divorce in order to get some recommendations on family law firms in New York. You need to speak to these lawyers in advance to get a true feeling of their capability so that you have what you need when it comes to standing before the judge and expressing the terms of your case.
Having an advocate by your side is all the difference in the world with these cases.
Always Negotiate And Keep A Line of Communication Open
It is always to your advantage to maintain some semblance of a relationship with your ex spouse so that you can talk about legal matters in a civil manner. The fewer compromises you are able to make outside of court, the more you will have to handle these matters inside of court. This makes your case more time-consuming and expensive, which is avoidable if you are able to go into mediation or out-of-court settlements before hand.
Any time that you contact a law firm, be sure that they provide mediation as part of their services. Mediation is helpful at many different times during the divorce process and any other aspect of family law.
By starting out with the tips presented, we should have little problem getting what you need out of spousal support modification. These modifications become necessary from time to time, so having the assistance of a law firm can be very productive for you. Todd Spodek and the law firm that he owns will give you the opportunity to receive legal assistance in this regard. Take the time to assess your legal needs, hire a legal professional and do whatever is necessary to forge common ground in modifying your spousal support arrangement.