Bronx Alimony Lawyer
Alimony in the state of New York, including the Bronx, may be awarded to either the husband or the wife in a divorce. The court uses a calculation based on the couple’s respective incomes, and then may consider a number of additional factors in order to arrive at a fair result. Alimony is referred to as “spousal maintenance” in the New York statutes. It is rarely meant to be permanent these days, but rather is intended to help the recipient spouse with the financing and the time to become self-sufficient in a career-oriented job, protect them from financial hardship and help maintain the standard of living established during the marriage. If you are seeking alimony or concerned you will have to pay it, you should immediately consult with an experienced Bronx alimony lawyer. It is not that easy to modify alimony once it is awarded, so you want to be sure you have a good attorney who will protect your interests.
There are three statutory requirements for spousal maintenance (alimony).
- It’s between current or former spouses
- It’s pursuant to a written agreement or court order. If one spouse just informally pays the other money, that does not count as alimony
- It must be paid in money by cash, check, money order, wire transfer or any other means by which to transfer cash. Payment in goods or services may not be considered alimony.
Although there are variations, there are three basic kinds of alimony. Your Bronx lawyer can explain more alimony details.
- Durational alimony is alimony that has an end, a fixed duration. It is what a court will normally award at the end of a divorce proceeding.
- Nondurational or permanent alimony is increasingly unusual, but may still be awarded if the couple were married a long time, the recipient spouse is old, sick or incapable of supporting themselves.
- Temporary alimony is granted after the divorce petition is filed in order to prevent the recipient spouse from suffering hardship if the divorce proceeding is lengthy. When the divorce is finalized, the court will issue a final alimony order assuming the recipient spouse is still in need of alimony.
Bronx judges have a great deal of leeway in determining alimony, but their first filter is to compare the incomes of the two parties with a statutory calculation. There is one calculation for when child support is paid and another calculation for when it is not. The formula puts a cap on the payer spouse’s income which is currently $178,000; that changes every couple years to keep up with the consumer price index. If the payer spouse’s income is greater than $178,000, the judge will consider a variety of additional factors in order to determine alimony. If it is less than $178,000, the judge could just award the amount derived by the calculation, but the judge is free to consider the statutory factors just mentioned or in fact to consider anything if it will contribute to a result that is “just and proper.” If the judge does award an amount different from that calculated, they must put in on the court record or in a written statement. It is up to your Bronx alimony lawyer to paint a full picture and make sure the judge considers all relevant factors fully.
Just some of the other factors a judge may consider include health, age, income, property, length of the marriage, earning capacity, need for the payee spouse to get additional education to become self-sufficient, reduced earning capacity because the payee spouse delayed their opportunities, tax consequences and loss of benefits such as health insurance. Your Bronx lawyer will detail the alimony factors that relate to your circumstances to increase your likelihood of achieving the best result.Alimony Duration
To determine how long alimony should be paid, the judge will consider the factors just mentioned and more. However, before doing so, the judge may, if they so choose, use an advisory schedule that suggests alimony duration based on a percentage of time the couple were married.
- 0 to 15 years: 15% - 30% of the time married
- 15 to 20 years: 30% - 40% of the time married
- More than 20 years: 35% - 50% of the time married
Be aware that alimony will be terminated when one of the two people dies, when the recipient spouse remarries and when the recipient spouse cohabitates with a partner they hold out to be a spouse.Bronx Alimony Lawyer
Whether you are seeking alimony or concerned you may have to pay alimony, you need a good alimony lawyer from the Bronx to represent you. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience successfully representing clients in the New York Supreme Court and the Family Court who are seeking spousal support or maintenance. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.