Child support attorney in Brooklyn explains the process of alimony
Numerous studies have shown that between 40 and 50 percent of married couples will eventually get divorced, according to the American Psychological Association. The divorce rate for second and third marriages is even higher.
If you and your spouse have decided to separate and get divorced, now is the time to retain the services of an experienced Brooklyn family attorney to help you arrange child support and alimony.
If you do not handle these important and complex issues properly, it can leave you financially distressed and result in pain and legal issues down the road.
Overview of Child Support
Child support is financial support provided for a child by their non-custodial parent. Many people assume child support only refers to cash payments paid to the custodial parent to raise the child. In fact, child support can also include:
- Health insurance for the child.
- Childcare and any medical costs not covered by insurance.
Under New York law, courts have specific guidelines for calculating child support:
- The court calculates the parents’ combined income, including things such as pensions, compensation benefits, and unemployment payments.
- Certain payments such as tax, social security, and Medicare are deducted.
- The amount is multiplied by a percentage depending on how many children are present:
- For one child: 17 percent
- For two children: 25 percent
- For three children: 29 percent
- For four children: 31 percent
- For five or more children: at least 35 percent.
- Finally, the court divides the amount between the two parents and the proportion the non-custodial parent contributes towards the combined income is the same as the proportion of child support they pay.
Overview of Alimony
Alimony is also known as “spousal maintenance.” It is a regular payment paid by one spouse to the other upon divorce. The amount of alimony is generally decided by court order and usually in the course of divorce proceedings.
New York divorce law recognizes that spouses both make significant but often different contributions to their family life; contributions which are not always financial. The purpose of alimony, therefore, is to ensure both spouses can maintain their standard of living, and to prevent the separation prejudicing the lower-earning spouse.
Either spouse can be ordered to pay alimony following a divorce. There is no inherent advantage or disadvantage based on gender. The court will consider many factors when deciding how much alimony should be payable, for example:
- The incomes of both spouses.
- Their future earning capacity.
- The length of the marriage.
- The parties’ health and ages.
- Whether a spouse is in education or needs to incur education costs in the future.
- Whether the parties can financially support themselves or become self-supporting.
- Whether having children has limited a spouse’s earning capacity.
- How property in the marriage is being divided.
- Whether a spouse has made non-financial contributions to the family, such as domestic work and homemaking.
- Whether any issues of domestic violence have hindered a spouse’s earning capacity (for example, by once spouse forcing the other not to work).
Unlike the calculation of child support, alimony allows much more discretion to be calculated according to the individual circumstances of the case.
Contact a Skilled and Experienced Brooklyn Child Support and Alimony Lawyer Today
If you are going through a divorce and are struggling to reach an agreement on child support and alimony-related issues, it is essential that you have a skilled and knowledgeable family lawyer on your side to help guide you through the complex and difficult divorce proceedings that routinely take place in Brooklyn courts.
The attorneys with the Bukh Law Firm are here to help. Our Brooklyn law firm combines personalized service, vast experience and strong advocacy in and out of court to identify the arrangements that will work for you and your family. We have helped hundreds of people in both NY and NJ with child support and alimony-related issues. We have a deep understanding of the applicable laws associated with child support and alimony and will do all we can to ensure an amicable agreement is reached.
Our team of legal professionals are fully capable in helping you with the following legal issues: child support, spousal maintenance (i.e. alimony), joint custody or physical custody, child visitation rights, issues related to parenting time, grandparent visitation, and seeking custody modifications. Contact our office today to schedule an in-person meeting with a member of our legal team.