When a divorcing couple in New York is ending their marriage on good terms, they are often under the misconception that they can finalize all the legal aspects of their divorce on their own. However, since most people are not familiar with the law surrounding marriage dissolution, they often end up neglecting critical details that could leave an amicable couple disputing after a divorce. The most common mistakes are made with regards to alimony and child support, which could leave parties at a financial disadvantage for a long time post-divorce.
When a couple is married in New York, that usually means that they are living in the same residence, making mortgage or rent payments on that place, and splitting income and expenditures in some fashion or the other. Yet, the funds that are used to pay these expenses usually come out of the same pool. When a couple divorces though, they are suddenly in a situation where the expenses are doubled, with two houses to run and maintain, but the incomes and assets are either the same or halved. For example, if one partner was working and the house was running on his or her income and then he or she divorces, that partner may then have to pay alimony to support two houses.
New York residents making alimony payments right now may not be aware that the government is effectively subsidizing their payments. For example, if they are paying $10,000 a month and in the 50 percent tax bracket with the receiving spouse in the 30 percent tax bracket it would play out like this-the paying couple is paying a net amount of $5,000 and the receiving spouse owes $3,000 in tax.
New York is perhaps one of the more progressive states in the nation, which is why it probably won't surprise them to hear that female breadwinners manned 40 percent of households in2014. However, it may come as that in the same year, of the 4,00,000 people receiving spousal maintenance post divorce, only 3 percent were men. This demonstrates that thousands of men are probably eligible to receive support, but don't.
When a couple divorces in New York, regardless of whether they have children or not, one of the most contentious issues in the divorce revolves around finances and support. If a couple has a prenuptial agreement or has come to an agreement about it post divorce, that is helpful; however, parties often end up dragging one another through courts to get what they deserve to maintain their standard of living and for what they gave up for the other party to succeed.
Alimony, or maintenance, laws are quite complicated and difficult to understand, given that two different laws apply-one law to divorces commenced before January 25, 2016, and another to divorces commenced post this date. This is because a bill passed in New York changes the landscape of maintenance, removing some factors the court should not consider and including others that it should.
New York State couples who are divorcing will have a litany of issues that must be settled, not the least of which is alimony. Alternatively referred to as spousal support, this is a difficult matter in many instances as there can be disagreements as to whether a spouse pays, how much will be paid and other factors. While it is not customary for a former spouse to have to pay a massive percentage of their assets to the other spouse, there are still concerns that must be addressed when a couple gets a divorce and the amount paid and received is determined.
Married individuals throughout the Mohawk Valley can own property jointly with their spouses or separately as separate property. How property is classified during a divorce can influence which party receives the property or determine whether the asset must be divided and split. When one party to a divorce possesses more wealth or assets or has a higher earning capacity than the other, then a court may award the less wealthy party alimony to help ease their post-divorce financial burden.
When entering marriages, some individuals vow to their partners that they will stay together until 'death do us part.' This traditional vow has been used by many New York couples, including some who have chosen to end their marriages through divorce. However, even divorce and death can be insufficient to end some obligations that are created between formerly married people.
Not every Oneida County divorce will result in an award of spousal support. Some individual cases may be more likely to result in the award of alimony from one former partner to the other than other cases, but these determinations are made on a case-by-case basis. Readers who are facing dissolution and who would like to understand if their case may result in alimony awards are encouraged to speak to their family law attorneys.