Nassau County Temporary Alimony
Divorce can be complicated, and sometimes the length of the proceedings can impact daily life, requiring an award of temporary alimony (maintenance) before the divorce is finalized. Though we think of lengthy divorce proceedings as being the province of the wealthy, in fact there are a lot of issues that can draw out proceedings for anyone such as child custody and child support considerations. If you are thinking about getting a divorce but are concerned about the amount of support you could receive or might have to pay, a good Nassau County temporary alimony lawyer can explain New York family law to you, including likely amounts for temporary alimony and ongoing maintenance support.
When a final settlement is decreed at the end of proceedings, a court may order one of the spouses to pay alimony to the other for a certain amount and duration. But there are times that divorce proceedings take so long that one of the spouses would suffer hardship if they had to wait for support until the end. If this is the case in your divorce, your lawyer can request that the Nassau County court order your spouse to pay temporary alimony while the divorce is still ongoing.
The court will not award temporary alimony without one of the parties making a motion. Normally, the court will make its decision only on the motion papers which should include a signed statement of net worth, tax returns, W-2, 1099 and any other relevant documents. The court will consider the length of the marriage when determining the duration of temporary alimony. If the spouses made an agreement regarding support, such as a prenuptial or even a postnuptial agreement, the judge may consider that when determining whether or not to award temporary support. See Anonymous v. Anonymous, 2016 NY Slip Op 2016 (N.Y. App. Div., 2016).Temporary Maintenance Calculation
Temporary alimony awards are determined using a formula found in the revised Domestic Relations Law 236B (5-a). Calculations are based on the gross income of each spouse; also, whether or not child support is paid is a factor. Income to be considered includes gross income as reported on a federal income tax return, investment income, worker’s compensation, disability benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, social security benefits, veterans benefits, pension and retirement benefits, fellowships and stipends, annuity payments, voluntarily reduced former sources of income, self-employment deductions and various other income including employment perks. Various deductions are allowed.
In calculating the temporary maintenance amount, there is an income cap of $175,000 on the payer’s income, though beginning January 31 2016, that is to increase every two years using a calculation that includes the consumer price index from the by the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Office of Court Administration determines the new income cap. If the income of the supporting spouse is greater than the income cap, the court will perform the statutory calculation but can also, in its discretion, take into consideration many factors to determine the amount of temporary maintenance.Factors a Court May Consider if Payer’s Income Exceeds the Income Cap
If the payer’s income exceeds the cap, your lawyer may ask the Nassau County court to take these factors into consideration when determining temporary alimony:
- the present or future earning capacity of the parties, including a history of limited participation in the workforce
- Whether one of the spouses has education or training expenses
- Change in child support during the time of the temporary maintenance award
- One of the parties wasting or transferring assets particularly in anticipation of the divorce
- Whether or not the parties were living together or separately before the divorce and for how long
- Actions one spouse has taken against the other that have adversely affected their earning capacity or ability to get a job. This includes but is not limited to domestic violence
- Cost of medical insurance
- Inhibition of earning capacity of one of the spouses, because they were taking care of family members which could include children, stepchildren, disabled adult children or stepchildren, elderly parents or elderly in-laws
- Tax consequences
- The standard of living of the spouses enjoyed while married
- Reduced or lost earning capacity of the payee as a result of delaying education, training, employment or career opportunities during the marriage
- Any other factor which the court finds to be just and proper.
There are many things even the most amicable couples may disagree on when they divorce, and proceedings can take a long time. Therefore you may need temporary support. However, temporary alimony and post-divorce alimony are areas where spouses often disagree. In order to ensure that your rights are protected throughout all aspects of your divorce proceeding, it is important to have experienced representation. The attorneys at Stephen Bilkis and Associates have years of experience successfully representing clients in who are seeking divorces or legal separations. In addition, we are also experienced in handling cases related to child custody, orders of protection, and domestic violence. Contact us at 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.