Bronx Permanent Alimony
Alimony is certainly one of the most contentious issues of a divorce, and permanent alimony even more so. Today in the Bronx and throughout New York, alimony is usually not meant to be permanent but to end once the payee spouse can become self-sufficient. However, there are exceptions where it is only fair that one of the spouses is paid permanent alimony. If you are getting a divorce and are seeking permanent alimony, or if you are a spouse who opposes it, you need to consult with an experienced Bronx permanent alimony lawyer. Your lawyer can explain to you the amount of alimony a judge may award and the duration. They can also put your best case before the judge, who still has some latitude despite a recent change in law meant to create greater consistency in alimony awards.
If you are getting divorced in the Bronx, the judge may begin their deliberations on the length of the alimony award with a noncompulsory advisory schedule provided by New York statute. This advisory schedule is based solely on the length of the marriage and uses percentage of the time married as a starting point for determining length of alimony. But the schedule is only a first step in the process of determining alimony duration. Here is the advisory schedule:
- Marriage lasting up to 15 years: alimony duration is15% to 30% of time married
- Marriage lasting 15 to 20 years: 30% to 40%
- Marriage lasting over 20 years: 35% to 50%
As we have already seen, this is just a starting point and a noncompulsory one at that. New York law provides a detailed list of factors a judge may consider in addition to this, and a judge can consider anything else they feel is relevant to a just result. This is all the more reason you need a Bronx lawyer who understands permanent alimony and other alimony issues.
When a judge decides to order alimony without a set duration – permanent alimony – it almost always is because of one or more of these pragmatic reasons:
- Age: If someone is over the age of 65 or in that neighborhood, it’s highly unlikely if they have been inactive in the workforce that they will start a new career or go back to school in order to qualify for one. This is an age when most people are retiring. Advanced age alone is enough to warrant an order of permanent alimony. If you are the payee spouse, you will want to be sure that your Bronx permanent alimony lawyer demonstrates to the judge your contributions to the marriage, such as entertaining your spouse’s business clients, maintaining a smoothly running household and caring for your children and perhaps other relatives who required care.
- Poor Health: If one of the spouses has a chronic illness and is unable to work or extremely restricted regarding work, a judge may award permanent alimony. Sometimes a payee spouse is not really ill, but is disabled. In that situation, it may be possible for the person to retrain in some other kind of work they can perform with their disability, but in other cases, that just may not be practical or likely.
- Incapable of supporting themselves: Clearly the prior factors could also make this one true, but there may be other reasons someone cannot support themselves. The court does not want to see one of the parties left destitute in any case. However, the court will consider income from a source other than a job, such as whether or not marital property received in the property division is income producing such as some kinds of real estate and stock portfolios.
There is no assumption today that alimony will be awarded, and it is only awarded about 10% of the time. Usually, alimony is awarded to women, but that is no longer a given. To negotiate the process, whether you are the payee or the payer spouse, you will need a good Bronx Lawyer who understands permanent alimony. The attorneys at Stephen Bilkis and Associates have years of experience successfully representing clients seeking alimony at the New York Supreme Court and Family Court. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your concerns related to your family law case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.