Bronx Spousal Support Modification Lawyer
One of the few things you can count on in life to be true is that things change. No matter how much analysis went into your initial spousal maintenance award when you were divorced, when financial circumstances change drastically, it may be necessary to request the court for a modification. A court will not do this lightly, so you must be prepared with documentation and reasoned arguments that support the change you request. To be sure the judge considers your case in the best light, you need an experienced Bronx spousal support modification lawyer. You will be living with the results of your hearing on alimony modification for a long time, so be sure you have the best representation possible.How a New York Court Calculates Spousal Support
Spousal maintenance laws in New York have changed in recent years, so if you weren’t divorced recently, you may find things have changed a bit. Let’s review how a New York court determines support now, as it may have some impact on your lawyer’s petition for spousal support modification. The idea of the changes was to make spousal maintenance awards more consistent and predictable to people in similar circumstances. These days, the judge will start with a calculation. There are actually two calculations laid out in the New York statues to help determine spousal support. One is for cases where child support is involved and one is for cases where it is not. However, both are based on the incomes of the spouses and some allowed deductions.
There is a cap on the payer spouse’s income which is as of this writing $178,000, but that is increased periodically to keep it in line with the consumer price index. If the payer spouse’s income is above $178,000, then the judge must take a number of other statutory factors into account. Even if the payer’s spouse is not above the cap, the judge can still consider other factors in order to come up with a just amount for spousal maintenance.How a New York Court Calculates Spousal Support Duration
Judges now may begin their deliberations about the duration of spousal support should continue with a calculation, but they are not required to do so. They are required, however, to consider other factors beyond the calculation. The formula is quite simple, and recommends that spousal support last a percentage of the time married.
- Up to 15 years of marriage – 15% to 30%
- 15 to 20 years of marriage – 30% to 40%
- Over 20 years – 35% to 50%
However, judges can still award permanent alimony without a set duration in some cases, normally when there was a long marriage and the recipient spouse is older.There Must Be Good Reason for Spousal Support Modification in the Bronx
Whether you are in the Bronx or anywhere in New York, there are two rules that govern the burden of proof your attorney must show to get spousal support modification. If you and your spouse agreed to the original spousal support award and the court just approved it, to change it later you must show “extreme hardship.”
The lesson here is if you are getting divorced and you and your spouse are coming up with a spousal support figure with which you both agree, you should be sure, because it will be hard to change it later.
However, if the court determined the amount of spousal support, the burden of proof is less. To win a spousal support modification under those circumstances, your Bronx lawyer for support modification need only show “the payee’s inability to be self-supporting…, a substantial change in circumstance…, financial hardship… or full or partial retirement of the payor if the retirement results in a substantial change in financial circumstances.”When Spousal Support Always Ends
Spousal support always ends when
- The recipient spouse remarries
- The recipient spouse moves in with a partner they hold out to be a spouse. The judge may have some discretion according to the situation.
- Either of the spouses dies
When it comes to spousal support modification, the judge has a great deal of latitude. Therefore, it matters what attorney you choose to represent you. Consult with an attorney Bronx attorney with a great deal of spousal modification lawyer experience. The attorneys at Stephen Bilkis and Associates have years of experience successfully representing clients New York Supreme Court and Family Court who are seeking spousal support or maintenance, or who are seeking modifications to support orders. 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, Queens, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.