Can I Still Collect Money from My Ex if We Don’t Have Children?
A divorce is a very difficult and stressful event in your life. The divorce will be less complicated if you don’t share children with your ex because you don’t have to be concerned with complicated issues like child custody and child support. However, a divorce can still greatly affect your money situation. If your ex was the higher earning spouse, you could be entitled to spousal support or spousal maintenance. A divorce lawyer Garden City can help you receive the money you are entitled to.
What Is the Difference Between Temporary and Permanent Maintenance?
Temporary (or pendente lite) support is paid while the spouses are still married. The court awards spousal support based upon an immediate application, and allows a support proceeding to be initiated by a married person because spouses have a legal duty to support each other. The Court will make their initial determination based upon preliminary evidence, oftentimes prior to any business valuations. Often, the temporary, or pendente lite award is greater than the award to the non-monied spouse at the conclusion of the case. Permanent maintenance, on the other hand, is paid after a divorce. It is almost always for a specific time period, and rarely for life.
How Is Spousal Maintenance Calculated?
The court uses a formula to determine the amount of spousal maintenance you are entitled to after a divorce. A family lawyer Garden City NY can use this formula to give you an idea of what amount you should be fighting for. Courts consider the following factors in setting the amount and duration of maintenance:
- Your money and property and your ex’s: The court will consider your spouse’s income and yours if you have any. They will also consider property owned by both of you. If you have other financial resources or sources of income such as a trust fund or an inheritance, your spousal maintenance award will be much lower.
- The length of your marriage: The longer you are married, the higher your spousal maintenance award will be. If you lived with your spouse for several years before getting married, the judge will take this time into consideration.
- Your arrangement: If you didn’t work for most of your marriage because you were taking care of your spouse and your home, your spousal maintenance award will be higher. The same is true if you had a job where you earned significantly less than your spouse. Garden City divorce attorneys will present proof of your arrangement or income disparity in court to ensure a higher award that meets your needs.
- The age and health of you and your ex: The court will consider the age and health of you and your ex. If either of you is old or in poor health, the spousal maintenance may be higher.
- Your present and future earning capacity: The court will look at what you are currently making, if you are working. They will also consider the amount of money you can make in the future to support yourself. For example, if you got married young and put off college to care for your spouse and your home, your award will be larger because your chances of gainful employment are low. Your ability to become self-supporting in the future will affect the amount and duration of maintenance awarded.
- Your ex’s present and future earning capacity: The amount of money your spouse makes has a lot to do with your spousal maintenance award. In New York, there is an income cap of $192,000. However, in high income cases, the Court can be persuaded to make an award in excess of the cap, if a genuine need can be demonstrated.
- Domestic violence and spousal misconduct: If you were a victim of domestic violence or a similar type of spousal misconduct and this misconduct is making it hard for you to get a job or it has inhibited your earning potential, the judge will consider this when determining your spousal maintenance award.
- Opportunities that were delayed or overlooked for the marriage: If you didn’t go to college for the sake of putting the necessary time into your marriage, it will affect your reward. The same is true if you were offered a lucrative promotion and you turned it down because it would take too much time away from your marriage.
- Tax consequences: In the past, spousal maintenance was considered income which had to be listed on your federal and state tax return. The amount your ex pays was a tax deduction. The law changed in 2018, and all spousal support in any agreement made on or after January 1, 2018 is not taxable on a federally filed income tax return, but can still be taxable on the New York State returns, unless agreed otherwise.
- If you are getting divorced and you feel you are entitled to spousal support and/or spousal maintenance, the experienced attorneys at Fass & Greenberg can help. We specialize in divorce law in Garden City, NY and will work hard to ensure you receive the award you deserve. To schedule an appointment for a consultation with one of our divorce attorneys, give us a call today.