Update to New York's Spousal Support Law
Being ordered by the court to pay your ex-spouse alimony month after month can be frustrating in the best of situations. Your marriage has ended and yet you can feel anchored by the past. What makes matters worse for so many divorced New Yorkers is the fact that spousal support laws in the state are notoriously convoluted.
Thanks to a recent bill, most of those problems should be alleviated. The bill is targeting spousal support regulations and aims to simplify them through several means, including a formulaic approach to problems that used to rely entirely on a judge’s discretion. Taking a closer look at the before and after of a few components of alimony can help clear things up.
- Support upon support: Before the bill, alimony would act independently from child support, resulting in instances where people would be giving most of their paychecks to their exes just because they did not get primary custody. Now, alimony will be measured against and balanced by child support; in most cases, this should mean financial relief for payers that felt as if their exes were double-dipping into their coffers.
- Keep what you earn: Prior to the changes, if you had an advanced educational degree (like a Masters) or certification that helped you win a great job or bigger paycheck, your ex would automatically collect a portion of those extra earnings. Now, enhanced earning potential largely excludes advanced degrees, keeping hard-earned money in your pockets.
- “Fun” while it lasted: In the past, a judge had to choose how long spousal maintenance would last, or it would persist until the receiver remarried or passed away. In many situations, this meant indefinite payments to exes who had no motivation to secure employment or income for themselves. Now, a mathematical formula is in place that essentially shortens or lengthens the duration of spousal maintenance depending on the duration of the marriage. For example, a marriage that lasted two years might call for as little as seven months of alimony payments.
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As useful as these changes should be for most people, if history is any indication of the future’s events, the average person may still have trouble understanding their rights during a divorce. Laws and litigation are not exactly straightforward unless you have a thorough understanding of how they work. Instead of trying to wrap your head around them, why not let our Long Island divorce attorneys from Hedayati Law Group P.C. handle the situation for you instead? We have 100+ years of combined experience we can use to get your case right on track and in pursuit of the results you desire. Get your free consultation from our team today!