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In Divorce And Other Family Law Matters

Nassau County Spousal Maintenance Attorney

When determining the amount of spousal maintenance to be paid by one spouse to the other for purposes of a legal separation or divorce, counsel makes inquiry into the standard of living of the couple and focuses on the household monthly expenses, the income of both parties, statutory law and case law. In other words, the calculation is not merely a result of applying a statutory formula, as it may be with child support. It has been, instead, a balancing of factors.

Since the “no-fault” law took effect with its companion statutes in October 2010, there now exists in New York a temporary maintenance statute; this statute adds additional factors to be considered and calls into question whether the new statute will be strictly adhered to by the courts during financial emergency applications in divorce actions or will ultimately create a new standard for calculating permanent spousal maintenance awards.

Spousal support or maintenance may be agreed upon or may be court-ordered for a specific period of time or for the lifetime of the other party. In most cases, maintenance payments will come to an end when the other party remarries, at the death of either party, or when cohabitation of the spouse receiving maintenance with another partner has the appearance of a marriage.

In any legal issue regarding spousal support, it is extremely important that your rights are protected by a Nassau County divorce lawyer who has worked within the system and has extensive experience helping clients bring such matters to a resolution. Some spouses negotiate their own agreements with legal counsel, or through divorce mediation or collaborative divorce processes. Where one party may be making unfair demands and refuse to negotiate the matter, court intervention may become the only option. In such cases, you want to ensure that you have experienced representation to protect your rights throughout the process.

Looking At Additional Factors For Determining Spousal Maintenance

The court will evaluate a number of factors when making a decision about spousal support or maintenance. These include the duration of the marriage, as well as the current health and age of each party. The current income and the property owned by each must also be assessed, including those assets that were awarded to one or the other party in an equitable distribution ordered by the court. The present ability of either party to earn a living must be considered. Further, where one party sacrificed further employment or educational opportunities to care for the children during the marriage, the court may deem that individual deserving of spousal maintenance.

The tax consequences to each party will also be evaluated. The court must also be informed of the health insurance arrangements for the family. In circumstances where one spouse alleges that the other gambled money away or recklessly dissipated marital funds or property, or when one party transferred ownership of a property or asset as a strategy before commencing the divorce action, the court will examine and consider all such factors when fixing an award of maintenance. Determining that there is a need to find hidden assets or income presents special concerns and problems when preparing your matter for court review but may be necessary in complex cases.

The court will carefully evaluate all such factors when determining the amount of spousal maintenance to be awarded, if any. In some cases, both parties have sufficient income and assets so that the court may not award any type of support. It is important that you have your rights protected by an experienced attorney when divorce is unavoidable.

Contact Nassau County spousal maintenance lawyer Jane K. Cristal if you have concerns about such support issues. A comprehensive analysis of your specific case will be done to assess your facts and circumstances with regard to spousal support or maintenance rights.