Alimony & Spousal Support Lawyer – Bergen County, Rockland County
For legal advice regarding spousal support before, during and after your New York or New Jersey divorce, contact the experienced alimony lawyers at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman. Awards of alimony, also called spousal support or maintenance, will depend on the specific facts of the case.
Understanding the process can help you prepare for and adapt to spousal maintenance. NY & NJ divorce lawyer Paul Goldhamer can help guide you to a sound decision in regard to spousal support or maintenance. We give you the facts you need in order to understand your responsibilities. We also aggressively safeguard your interests when alimony becomes a hard-fought issue in contested or high net worth divorce.
What is spousal support?
When two lives legally become one with marriage, divorce does not immediately separate every aspect – the laws in New York and New Jersey recognize the need for former spouses to support each other, to ensure neither was unfairly disadvantaged at the expense of the other. For example, if one spouse put his or her career on hold during marriage to raise the children while the other spouse advanced up the corporate ladder, at divorce the working spouse may need to pay support so that both can maintain a substantially similar standard of living to what they knew while married.
In New York & New Jersey, there are different kinds of alimony, including:
- Permanent Maintenance: Support intended to help a spouse pay for basic living expenses. Once awarded, it will remain in effect indefinitely unless a change in circumstances leads to a post-divorce modification. Permanent alimony is becoming less common throughout New York, New Jersey and the entire country, but it is still available for long-term marriages or when the circumstances warrant life-long support.
- Limited Duration Maintenance: Also known as temporary alimony, this can be ordered before the divorce is final. The divorce decree will set an expiration date and the duration will generally be proportional to the length of the marriage, the relative incomes of the parties, whether one spouse is the primary caretaker of children, and similar factors.
- Rehabilitative Maintenance: This type of payment is intended to afford a spouse the support they need to refresh or develop job skills or to obtain an education to secure a job that will negate the need for alimony to continue. The goal of rehabilitative alimony is for the recipient spouse to have time to become self-sufficient.
- Restitution or Reimbursement Maintenance: This may be ordered to allow one spouse to repay the other for support given during the marriage while pursuing an education or enhancing vocational skills. This type of alimony is not available in New York. It is available in New Jersey, but rarely pursued.
The Rockland County & Bergen County family law attorneys at KGG can help walk you through the factors at issue in your case to determine what type of support arrangement is warranted. We work with other parties to reach a resolution in your best interest, but we will not hesitate to fight for your rights when necessary.
How spousal support is determined in NY and NJ
In the recent past, New York and New Jersey courts both relied on a series of factors to determine how to award spousal support. New Jersey family court judges still base spousal support awards on these factors, while New York courts now start with a spousal support calculator and then make adjustments based on the couple’s circumstances.
These are just a few of the factors the courts take into consideration:
- Length of the marriage
- Age and health of the individuals
- Standard of living enjoyed during the marriage
- Amount of marital property owned by the couple
- Each individual’s current and future earning capabilities
- Where the children reside
- Whether either spouse needs to undertake further education to become self-supporting
New York spousal support calculator
The New York family courts begin the spousal support analysis with a standard calculator. It begins with the parties’ incomes, makes adjustments for child care, and allows for adjustments based on factors like those listed above. Take a look at a sample of the NY spousal maintenance calculator.
Can a spousal support lawyer help me modify spousal maintenance?
The factors that impact spousal support can and will change. A substantial change in employment, family circumstances, or other area of life could mean that you are either paying too much alimony, or receiving too little spousal support.
Life changes can necessitate the need for modification to remain fair to both parties. If your circumstances, or the circumstances of your former spouse, have changed significantly, it is in your best interest to let Paul Goldhamer and the KGG team evaluate your case.
Consult with a spousal support lawyer in NY or NJ
A divorce is one of the most stressful events a person can go through, and disputes over finances only heighten the stress. The attorneys of Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman are here to help families in Rockland County, NY and Bergen County, NJ get through these tough times. Call today to schedule a consultation to find out how we can assist you.
Additional Alimony Resources:
- New York Courts, Temporary Spousal Maintenance Guidelines Calculator, http://www.nycourts.gov/divorce/calculator.pdf
- Justia, NJ Rev Stat § 2A:34-23 (2014) Alimony, maintenance, https://law.justia.com/codes/new-jersey/2014/title-2a/section-2a-34-23
- New York Courts, What’s New in Matrimonial Legislation, Court Rules, and Forms, http://www.nycourts.gov/divorce/legislationandcourtrules.shtml
As an alimony spousal support lawyer can explain, alimony is a legal concept that refers to the financial support provided by one spouse to the other during or after a divorce or separation. It is designed to address the economic disparity that may arise when one spouse earns significantly more than the other or when one spouse has been financially dependent on the other during the marriage. The following is a brief overview. For more details, contact Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C.
What is the purpose of alimony?
The primary purpose of alimony is to ensure that both spouses can maintain a reasonably comparable standard of living following the end of the marriage. It seeks to address any economic disadvantages faced by the recipient spouse, often due to sacrificing career opportunities or contributing to the household while the other spouse was the primary earner.
What are some of the factors the court will consider?
When deciding the amount and duration of alimony, courts typically consider several factors. Common factors include the length of the marriage, the income and earning potential of each spouse, the age and health of the parties, the standard of living during the marriage, and the contributions made by each spouse to the marriage, including childcare and homemaking.
What are the different types of alimony?
Different types of alimony may be awarded based on the specific circumstances of the case. These may include:
- Temporary alimony: Awarded during the divorce proceedings to provide financial support to the dependent spouse until the final divorce decree is issued.
- Rehabilitative alimony: Awarded to assist the recipient spouse in acquiring education or job skills necessary for financial self-sufficiency.
- Permanent alimony: Granted in long-term marriages or when the recipient spouse is unable to become self-supporting due to age, disability, or other factors.
- Lump-sum alimony: In some cases, the court may order a one-time payment or a series of payments as a form of alimony.
Can alimony be modified or terminated?
Alimony and spousal support awards are not necessarily permanent and may be subject to modification or termination under certain circumstances. Common reasons for modification or termination include a substantial change in either spouse’s financial circumstances, remarriage of the recipient spouse, or the death of either party. The specific criteria and procedures for modifying or terminating alimony vary by the terms of the original court order. Your alimony spousal support lawyer will be able to determine how to proceed in your particular situation.
Are there tax burdens with alimony?
Until recently, alimony payments were tax-deductible for the paying spouse and considered taxable income for the recipient spouse. However, as of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 in the United States, this tax treatment changed for divorces or separation agreements executed after December 31, 2018. It is important to consult with a tax professional or attorney to understand the current tax implications of alimony in your situation.
Contact a Divorce Law Firm for Legal Help
If you are getting a divorce and think alimony will be involved, make sure you have a skilled alimony and spousal support lawyer advocating for you. Call Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. to schedule a free consultation.