BROOKLYN, New York. If you are getting divorced, there are several issues that can arise that tend to lead to disagreement. One of those is child custody, but another one is alimony. What is alimony? Alimony payments are awarded to ensure that a lower-earning spouse has sufficient funds to remain financially secure and independent following a divorce. Yet, what factors are considered in alimony awards?
A judge may consider several factors when determining how long to award alimony, and how much alimony to award. According to the New York City Bar, the judge may consider several factors. Some of these include:
- Income of both parties. If there is a great difference in the income of both parties, the lower-earning partner may be entitled to receive alimony.
- How long you and your ex were married. A longer marriage might mean a longer or greater alimony award.
- Health and age of both parties. If you are older when you are getting divorced, and are entitled to receive alimony, your award may be larger or longer in duration.
- Future earning ability. Are you younger? Do you have a college degree? Skills you have could affect your alimony award.
- Prenuptial agreements. Even if you have signed a prenuptial agreement, it may be wise to speak to a qualified divorce lawyer like the Elliot Green Law Offices in Brooklyn, New York. There are many factors that can render a prenuptial agreement unenforceable.
- Abuse or dissipation of assets. If you ex gambled away money in your shared bank account or if physical abuse has affected your ability to get work or heal, you may be entitled to receive alimony payments.
- Educational needs of the lower-earning spouse. If you need to return to school to get a well-paying job, the judge may award alimony to support you as you pursue your education.
- Childcare. If you stayed home or gave up career opportunities to care for the children, alimony may be able to support you. It can be tough to re-join the workforce if you have a gap in your education or resume. Alimony can make up for this.
- Health care. If you will lose your health coverage as a result of the divorce, alimony can help cover your health care costs.
- Tax considerations. According to the New York Times, couples who finalize their divorce starting on January 1, 2019 won’t be able to deduct alimony payments. If you are considering getting divorced this year and think alimony might be required, it may be in your best interest to get divorced sooner rather than later. The alimony tax deduction can save the paying partner quite a bit of money and can result in a better divorce settlement for both parties.
If you are going through a divorce and have questions about alimony, it is important to seek help from a qualified divorce lawyer like the Elliot Green Law Offices in Brooklyn, New York. Unlike child support payments, alimony is not subject to strict formulas. A divorce lawyer can review your finances and help you determine what alimony award may be fair given your specific circumstances.
Elliot Green Law Offices
32 Court Street, Suite 404
Brooklyn, NY 11201