Out of all the aspects of a divorce,
spousal support – sometimes called just alimony or even spousal maintenance –
has long been regarded as one of the most frustrating and complicated.
In New York especially, where some people were paying more each month
to their ex-spouses than they were earning, alimony has been a serious
problem. A bill has recently swept into use that seeks to change all of
that for the better.
The bill seeks to clarify spousal support across the board, regardless
of the value of your shared estate when divorcing. People from all walks
of life in the state should benefit from the following changes:
Formulaic duration: Judges can now use a set formula when determining how long alimony payments
should last, rather than just their discretion. Simplified, the new system
states clearly that maintenance will last a lesser amount of time the
shorter a marriage exists.
Enhanced earning potential: In the past, an ex-spouse would collect a percentage of the total lifetime
value of an advanced degree or certification, regardless if the person
who earned that degree held a related job or not. This meant that you
could get a doctorate for your field but decide to change careers, and
still pay large amounts to your ex for the rest of your life. This has
all but been eliminated in the new law.
Child support: Spousal support and child support payments used to be largely separate
entities in divorce proceedings. Now they and their financial impacts
are considered together. To some extent, if you are paying child support,
you can now expect to pay less spousal support, or vice versa.
Income cap: Temporary maintenance and post-divorce alimony will be based on a formula
regarding incomes up to $175,000, down from the previous, much-higher
amount of $543,000. This could greatly broaden the spectrum of people
affected by the changes, as obtaining half a million dollars a year is
a feat in and of itself these days.
Help Understanding the Changes
Yes, the bill was drafted to simplify and clarify existing divorce regulations
but, no, it might still be understandably complicated for most people.
In some ways, intricacies and fine details are the nature of laws. If
you are going through a divorce but can’t quite figure out what
to do next or how your spousal support payments should be arranged, you
do not need to hesitate to get the help you need.
At The Law Office of Ava G. Gutfriend, our Bronx divorce attorney can support
you during this complex and crucial time in your life. Our goal is to
get you on your feet and down a path of comfortable solutions, all so
you can look forward to your life ahead of you, rather than feeling like
you are trapped in the past.
Contact us today for more information.