Long Island Divorce Attorneys Fight for Fair Alimony
Aggressive representation for obligors and recipients
One of the most uncertain elements of a divorce is its impact on your financial future. Primary earners always worry that they’ll have to pay too much in alimony, while dependent spouses fear they won’t have enough to live on. At Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C., we understand your apprehension, and we work aggressively to negotiate or litigate a fair schedule of alimony, both in the amount and its duration. Divorce is not meant to enrich one spouse unjustly at the expense of the other. We stand up for your rights to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Setting realistic goals for spousal maintenance in New York State
The goal of alimony is to help a dependent spouse maintain a lifestyle similar to that enjoyed during the marriage. That does not necessarily mean that a dependent spouse is to remain dependent forever, but the court has enormous discretion when ordering support. We help our clients get fair treatment in alimony deliberations that include:
- Pendente lite maintenance — This is a temporary support order for payments during the divorce process. The court may also issue temporary orders for child support and child custody.
- Durational alimony — Spousal support for a set period of time allows the recipient spouse to take steps towards becoming self-sufficient. This may include further education or job training.
- Non-durational alimony — Lifetime alimony is rare these days. The courts generally reserve such an order for older spouses who have never worked outside the home or have been out of the work force for a very long time, or for disabled or ill spouses who are unable to work.
Alimony in New York terminates automatically when either spouse dies or the recipient spouse remarries. The court has the discretion to terminate alimony when a recipient spouse enters into a cohabitating relationship, but only if the obligor seeks a post-divorce modification.
Arguing factors that check the court’s discretion
Unlike child support, where the court operates with a precise formula, alimony allows broad discretion. A court can deny alimony completely or order payments for life. One way to limit the court’s discretion (completely!) is to negotiate alimony as part of a marital settlement agreement. If the issue never goes to trial, the court can’t shock you with its ruling. However, contentious alimony disputes often do need to be heard in court. Then it’s up to your attorney to argue strongly on your behalf.
The law says the court must consider several factors, such as:
- Each spouse’s income and property
- Length of the marriage
- Age and health of the spouses
- Projected future income
- Financial sacrifices a spouse made during the marriage
- A spouse’s obligation as custodial parent
But the list of factors is potentially infinite because the law allows the court to consider anything it deems relevant to the decision. This makes an experienced and aggressive attorney critical to your success. At Salamone & Associates, our attorneys highlight factors that weigh in your favor and back them up with evidentiary facts and testimony from reliable witnesses. We make sure the court is fully informed of any and all circumstances that support the alimony decision you seek.
How 2019 tax law changes affect both parties in alimony arrangements
A major change in the tax law can significantly alter the financial position of New Yorkers whose divorce is finalized after December 31, 2018. For decades, maintenance payments were tax-deductible for obligor spouses. This encouraged higher-earning husbands and wives to be more generous with alimony obligations because they could deduct those funds from their taxable income. Taxes would be charged based on the lower-earning recipient’s tax bracket. The reversal of what’s been called the “divorce subsidy” might seem like a boon for individuals who no longer have to pay tax on the spousal support they collect, but the new law actually hurts each side and transfers an estimated $7 billion to the government. Paying spouses will be more reluctant to agree to alimony demands now that those funds will be taxed, and recipients will have to devote extra time and expense to securing a support rate that might be far less than their former partner would have agreed to under the old law. Consulting with a knowledgeable divorce attorney will give you a clear picture of how this revised law affects you.
Contact our skilled alimony lawyers for assistance in New York and on Long Island
Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C. is well known for fighting to obtain fair alimony orders. To get the determined protection you need, call us at 1.631.479.3839 or contact our office online. Protect your financial future. Schedule your free consultation now!