Bronx Rehabilitative Alimony

Rehabilitative alimony is when a court in the Bronx or elsewhere in New York orders alimony (called spousal maintenance in the statutes) so the payee spouse can get education or training that will enable them to become self-sufficient. It is a form of durational alimony. Married people do not always pursue careers in the same way they might if they were single. Sometimes one of the spouses will take on the primary caretaker role, and take care of the children and the home while the other spouse builds a career. Even if they both worked in their fields when they were married, industries change, and a person’s skills can become outdated if they are inactive in their field. If such a couple divorces, the caretaker spouse may be unprepared to join the work force without updating their skills or furthering their education. If you are divorcing and believe you need financial support in order to get the education or training you need to reenter the workforce or improve your skills, or if you are the payer spouse, consult with a good Bronx rehabilitative alimony attorney. Your attorney can advise you on the amount and duration of rehabilitative alimony needed under your particular circumstances, negotiate with your spouse’s attorney, and if you end up in a contested divorce, present your case to the judge.

Amount and of Rehabilitative Alimony

When determining alimony in New York, the Bronx judge must first use a statutory calculation that compares the incomes of the two parties. There are two formulas depending on whether or not child support will be paid. After the parties take deductions, the judge applies the formula and must cap the income of the payer spouse at a statutory amount that is periodically raised, but is $178,000 at the time of this writing.

Should the payer spouse’s income exceed $178,000, the judge will then consider a host of other factors laid out by statute. If the payer spouse’s income does not exceed $178,000, the judge can use the result of the formula, or, if using the result of the formula would be unfair given the couple’s circumstances, the judge may consider the same list of statutory factors from New York Domestic Relations Law § 236B.

Some of the factors for determining both amount and duration are directly relevant to the award of rehabilitative alimony, and your Bronx lawyer for rehabilitative alimony should bring these to the judge’s attention. They are

  • the present or future earning capacity of the parties, including a history of limited participation in the workforce
  • the need of one party to incur education or training expenses
  • the care of children or stepchildren, disabled adult children or stepchildren, elderly parents or in-laws provided during the marriage that inhibits a party's earning capacity
  • the reduced or lost earning capacity of the payee as a result of having forgone or delayed education, training, employment or career opportunities during the marriage

And then the statute throws in another factor that gives the court wide leeway in awarding alimony. The judge may consider “any other factor which the court shall expressly find to be just and proper.”

It is up to your Bronx lawyer to be sure the judge understands the factors relevant to rehabilitative alimony in your case. So although the determination of amount of alimony starts out with a formula, the judge then considers the whole picture, including the contributions both spouses made to the marriage. It is up to the Bronx rehabilitative alimony attorney for the recipient spouse to paint a picture for the court and describe how that spouse supported the marriage at the cost of their own career and earning capacity. It is only fair that such a spouse be given financial support in order to stand on their own going forward. When a judge orders an amount other than that of the statutory calculation, they will detail the reasons either in the court record or in a written decision.

Length of Rehabilitative Alimony

Like any durational alimony, rehabilitative alimony is for a set duration. If the payee spouse is going back to school for a four year degree in order to get a career-oriented job, the rehabilitative alimony may be set for that time period, possibly with a little bit of cushion so the person can find a job.

A judge can begin their determination of the length of alimony by using a noncompulsory statutory advisory schedule that recommends that length be based upon a percentage of the time the people were married. The percentage goes up the longer the people were married. But then the judge must consider other factors including the same factors that are considered for alimony amount that are listed above. That means the judge will consider the need for the recipient spouse to further their education or training and the length of time necessary to accomplish that. Once again, your Bronx attorney should bring the judge’s attention to factors that concern rehabilitative alimony.

Impact of Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements on Rehabilitative Alimony

Should the parties execute a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that covers the amount and duration of alimony, then the court will normally respect the agreement, unless one of the parties challenges it on legal grounds. If the agreement is very unfair, there is also a chance that your attorney may be able to get it overturned.

Bronx Rehabilitative Alimony Lawyer

Divorce is hard, but if you do not have the education or skills to reenter the workforce in a career-oriented position, it can be devastating. Be sure you get a Bronx lawyer experienced in rehabilitative alimony if that is your situation. The attorneys at Stephen Bilkis and Associates have years of experience successfully representing clients at the New York Supreme Court and 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 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.

  
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