When one spouse in a marriage earns significantly more than the other partner, and the marriage has lasted more than a few years, the partner who earns more money may be ordered to pay alimony for a period of time after the marriage ends. Alimony may not be required in every divorce case. However, if you have not been in the workforce for some time, if you have stayed home to raise children, or if you have made sacrifices in your own career to support your spouse’s education or career ambitions, you may have the right to seek alimony. Alimony is designed to ensure that a lower-earning partner or non-working partner can continue to enjoy a similar standard of living that they enjoyed before the marriage. Alimony may be temporary or permanent, depending on your age, the length of your marriage, and your health.
The Elliot Green Law Offices are a divorce lawyers in Brooklyn, New York who can help you understand whether you might be entitled to receive alimony after your divorce. Our firm can review your financial situation so that you can plan ahead. Protect your rights. Before filing for divorce, understand what you may be entitled to receive and understand what your responsibilities might be.
What Factors Are Considered When Determining Alimony Awards in New York?
What factors must be taken into account when determining whether alimony should be awarded? And if alimony is to be awarded, what factors will be considered by the courts when determining alimony amounts? According to the New York City Bar, the courts will consider the standard of living you and your partner enjoyed during your marriage, the property and assets that each party brought into the marriage as well as the assets and property each party is likely to take from the marriage, and whether the higher-earning spouse has sufficient income to provide for the lower-income spouse. According to the New York City Bar, 20 factors are considered when determining alimony amounts. These factors are:
- The income and property each party owns as well as shared marital property and assets. Property, assets, and income can impact alimony awards.
- How long both parties were married. Longer marriages will likely result in larger alimony awards, especially if one partner can prove he or she made sacrifices for the other partner during the marriage.
- Age and health of each party in the marriage. If one partner is disabled, older, or in poorer health, then the likelihood this partner will receive alimony may be higher.
- Each party’s ability to continue to earn money in the future. Factors can include age, ability to return to school, disability, and health.
- Does the non-working spouse or lower-earning spouse need to receive training to get a job and become self-supporting, and how long will this take? Alimony may be awarded only during the period of time that the spouse is earning his or her degree.
- If the couple lived together before the marriage, the court may consider cohabitation time when calculating alimony awards.
- Actions of one party against the other, such as abuse, that could have impacted earning capacity and ability to work. If one person was in the hospital, for example, this could impact his or her ability to work.
- Can the lower-earning spouse become self-supporting with time?
- If one party in the marriage gave up education, training, or job opportunities to support the other partner or to raise children, then that partner may be entitled to receive alimony.
- Does one partner need to continue to raise children and will this impact his or her earning capacity?
- Does one partner need to care for other family members and will this impact his or her earning capacity?
- How long one partner has been out of work will also factor into potential alimony awards.
- Does one partner have additional expenses that they must pay to support the children?
- New tax laws need to be considered when making decisions about what alimony payment is fair and reasonable. Alimony payers are no longer entitled to deduct alimony payments from their taxable income.
- Can alimony be used to offset imbalances in the division of assets and property? If one partner will maintain control of a family business, for example, that partner may be required to pay alimony to offset these benefits.
- The contributions of both parties in the marriage. Not all contributions are financial. If one partner stayed home to raise children, this should be considered.
- Did one partner dissipate assets or money. In cases of infidelity, any money spent on a new girlfriend or boyfriend could be seen as dissipation of assets.
- Did one partner sell assets or property without informing the other partner? Alimony may be used to compensate the partner who lost as a result of this.
- If one partner will lose access to health insurance, alimony payments might be used to help the lower-earning spouse pay for health insurance and health care.
- The court will also consider any other relevant factors that should be considered.
Many factors will be considered when determining what a fair alimony amount will be. If you are getting divorced and think you might be entitled to alimony, consider speaking to the Elliot Green Law Offices, Brooklyn, New York divorce lawyers today. Our firm may be able to help you.
Former Spouse Refuses to Pay Alimony in Brooklyn, New York?
If your spouse has been ordered to pay alimony, but refuses to pay, you may have options under the law when it comes to collecting the alimony you may be entitled to receive. When the courts order alimony, generally the court will specify the amount that must be paid, how often it must be paid, and for how long it must be paid. Sometimes alimony is paid in lump sums, and at other times it is paid on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis. The alimony arrangement you choose will depend on your divorce settlement. If you are having issues collecting alimony or have questions about how alimony might play a role in your divorce, consider speaking to the Elliot Green Law Offices, divorce lawyers in Brooklyn, New York.