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Rockland & Westchester County Divorce Lawyer > Rockland County Spousal Support Lawyer

Rockland County Spousal Support Lawyer

While a couple is married, the spouses are obligated by law to provide financial support to one another. In the case of a divorce, then, it is not uncommon for one former spouse to continue supporting the other, at least until the recipient can get on their feet. If the parties agree on a support arrangement, great. If they don’t agree, however, they’ll have to fight it out in court and let the judge decide whether to order spousal support, which party will pay support and which will get it, how much they’ll get, and how long they’ll receive support. As a founding member of the American Academy of Certified Financial Litigators, New York family law attorney Robert S. Sunshine has gone through specialized training regarding the financial issues in divorce and how they are resolved through hearings and trials. If you are going through a divorce in the Lower Hudson Valley in Downstate New York, the Law Office of Robert S. Sunshine, P.C. can provide you with high-quality legal advice and representation to resolve a contested alimony dispute. Contact our experienced Rockland County spousal support lawyer today.

How Is Spousal Support Figured in New York?

Technically, spousal support in New York refers to the money one spouse pays to the other while they are married. The process for getting court-ordered spousal support involves filing a petition for spousal support with the Rockland County Family Court and serving those papers on the other spouse. The Family Court will hold a hearing presided over by a Judge or Support Magistrate who will make a decision based on the financial situation of both spouses and the arguments they make to the court. The Law Office of Robert S. Sunshine, P.C. can help you prepare and file a petition or response and represent your interests in Family Court if you are seeking or challenging a push for spousal support while married.

For a couple who is divorcing, one ex-spouse might be seeking support from the other ex-spouse. This type of support is called maintenance in New York, formerly known as alimony. The issue of maintenance is decided in the divorce case which is heard in the Rockland Supreme and County Court. Courts use a mathematical formula to come up with an amount that is presumed to be appropriate based on the length of the marriage and whether any child support payments are being made by one party to the other. The different formulas that may be used include:

  • 20% of the payor’s income minus 25% of the recipient’s income
  • 30% of the payor’s income minus 20% of the recipient’s income

The duration of maintenance payments is based on the following formulas:

  • 15-30% of the duration of the marriage for a marriage that lasted up to 15 years
  • 30-40% of the duration of the marriage for a marriage that lasted between 15 and 20 years
  • 35-50% of the duration of the marriage for a marriage that lasted longer than 20 years

Do I Need a Lawyer to Help Me With Spousal Support?

Although these formulas seem fairly easy to figure out, there are many reasons why you would want an experienced lawyer skilled in divorce financial matters to help you. For one, figuring out each party’s income can be more complex than just looking at a W-2 tax statement. Either party could be self-employed, own an interest in a business, own stock in a corporation, be purposely unemployed or underemployed, or have many other complex financial situations to address. An attorney who is versed in divorce financial matters can help ensure both parties are producing complete and accurate financial information. Also, the formula amount is only presumed to be correct, and one party could argue that the amount is inappropriate or unjust. In that case, or if one’s income is over $184,000, then the court resorts to looking at a long list of factors to decide what a proper amount of maintenance would be. Rockland County divorce attorney Robert S. Sunshine is a skilled and experienced litigator who can build and present a strong case to the court based on the relevant factors in your case. According to Domestic Relations Law 236B, these factors can include:

  • The age and health of the parties

  • 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

  • The termination of a child support award during the pendency of the temporary maintenance award when the calculation of temporary maintenance was based upon child support being awarded and which resulted in a maintenance award lower than it would have been had child support not been awarded

  • The wasteful dissipation of marital property, including transfers or encumbrances made in contemplation of a matrimonial action without fair consideration

  • The existence and duration of a pre‐marital joint household or a pre‐divorce separate household

  • Acts by one party against another that have inhibited or continue to inhibit a party’s earning capacity or ability to obtain meaningful employment. Such acts include but are not limited to acts of domestic violence as provided in section four hundred fifty‐nine‐a of the social services law;

  • The availability and cost of medical insurance for the parties

  • The care of children or stepchildren, disabled adult children or stepchildren, elderly parents or in‐laws provided during the marriage that inhibits a party’s earning capacity

  • The tax consequences to each party

  • The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage

  • The reduced or lost earning capacity of the payee as a result of having forgone or delayed education, training, employment or career opportunities during the marriage

  • The equitable distribution of marital property and the income or imputed income on the assets so distributed

  • The contributions and services of the payee as a spouse, parent, wage earner and homemaker and to the career or career potential of the other party

  • Any other factor which the court shall expressly find to be just and proper

New York family law attorney Robert S. Sunshine is a Founding Member of the American Academy of Certified Financial Litigators, an educational institution that offers specialized training in the financial aspects of divorce litigation. The Law Office of Robert S. Sunshine, P.C. can represent your interests and advocate for you effectively regarding the issue of maintenance in your New York divorce.

Contact The Law Office of Robert S. Sunshine, P.C. Today

For help with issues of maintenance and alimony in your New York divorce, trust the expertise of a certified financial litigator at The Law Office of Robert S. Sunshine, P.C. to protect your rights and help you get the result you desire. Contact our experienced Rockland County spousal support lawyer today.

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