Queens Rehabilitative Alimony
When people marry here in Queens, they often take on roles that contribute to the marriage in different ways. Sometimes both will work toward building the career of one spouse while the other takes care of home and family, possibly working outside the home part time if at all. When people enter into these arrangements, it’s often with the expectation that the relationship will last a lifetime. When it doesn’t, and the couple decide to divorce, they may find that one spouse has a career with solid earning power while the other cannot make ends meet given their education level and limited work experience. If you find yourself in this situation, consult with an experienced Queens rehabilitative alimony lawyer whether you are the payer or the payee spouse.How New York Judges Determine Alimony
Before we talk about rehabilitative alimony, let’s talk about how judges generally decide who gets alimony, how much and for how long. The courts in Queens and all of New York are operating under family law that has been reformed in recent years. Reforms in laws affecting alimony are meant to produce more consistent results so people have a good idea of the outcome. The judge must start with a calculation when determining the amount of alimony. There are actually two calculations, one for a situation where child support is paid and one where it is not. The calculations use the income of each spouse and give them both deductions. However, the income of the payer spouse is capped at an amount that is adjusted periodically to increase with the consumer price index. At the time of this writing, the cap is $178,000. If the payer spouse’s income is higher than the cap, the court will certainly consider a list of factors included in the New York statutes. But even if the payer spouse’s income is not higher, a judge may still consider these factors, and it is up to your attorney to make sure everything in your favor is put before the court. In any case, if a judge finds the result of a calculation would be “unjust or inappropriate,” they can alter the amount of alimony, which gives them a very wide latitude. However, if a judge awards an amount that is outside the amount of the statutory calculation, they must describe their reasoning in a written decision or on the court record.
As for the duration of alimony, judges may also begin their deliberations with a calculation set forth in an advisory schedule, but this schedule is not mandatory unlike the calculations that help determine the amount of alimony. In fact, even if a judge opts to use the duration advisory schedule, they must still consider other statutory factors. The advisory schedule is based on the length of the marriage. It advises that alimony should be paid for 15% to 30% of the amount of time married if you were married up to 15 years. If you were married 15 to 20 years, the recommendation is 30% to 40%. If you were married over 20 years, the recommendation is 35% to 50% of that time.Rehabilitative Alimony
The factors judges may consider after doing statutory calculations to determine amount and duration of alimony are extensive, but they include
- 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
- reduced or lost earning capacity of the payee as a result of having forgone or delayed education, training, employment or career opportunities during
In other words, the judge can take into account the different earning power of each of the parties, the fact that one has given up building a career in order to contribute to the marriage in other ways, and that catching up cannot be done overnight. The stay-at-home spouse may need to go back to school in order to join the work force at a level that meets their career goals. Under this kind of a situation, a judge can award alimony until the payee spouse graduates or has time to find a job and get started in their career. The judge may order the payer spouse to pay rehabilitative alimony until the payee spouse can become self-sufficient. Consult with a Queens attorney experienced in rehabilitative alimony about your options and what you may expect from the judge.How Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements Can Affect Rehabilitative Alimony
If a husband and wife make a formal agreement regarding alimony either before or during their marriage, a judge will normally consider that binding unless one of the parties’ attorneys can show the agreement is illegal, often due to fraud, or if it is extremely inequitable.Queens Rehabilitative Alimony Lawyer
When you get a divorce, it often means financial changes for both parties. If you are asking for alimony, it is important that you get what you get what you need for education, training and time to become self-sufficient for the rest of your life. To be sure you receive the rehabilitative alimony you deserve, be sure to get a Queens attorney experienced in rehabilitative alimony matters. 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 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.