Manhattan Spousal Support Lawyer
Our Reputable New York Spousal Support Attorney Can Help
The decision to seek a divorce is an extremely difficult one, but it’s also only the first step. Achieving a divorce that meets the legal definition in New York requires completing quite a few processes successfully. One of those items is determining whether spousal support payments are due to one spouse from the other. This awarding of spousal support can be a contentious process. Our New York spousal support lawyer is ready to help you receive the best possible outcome.
The state of New York has guidelines for determining the appropriate amount of a spousal support, often referred to as “alimony,” to award. The formula relies on the financial documentation that both parties provide to the court.
Our reliable spousal support attorney in Manhattan will help you craft an agreement that works as well as possible initially. Should your soon to be ex-spouse later breach that contract, we are ready to work tirelessly to make sure everyone follows the agreement. The Levoritz Law Firm will stand by your side. Call us at (718) 942-4004 for a consultation.
How New York Spousal Support Law Works
It can be frustrating to learn that a judge awarded your spouse a support payment from you. However, it is important to understand that this payment is not intended to serve as a punishment for you. As long as no domestic violence occurred in the marriage, the courts take only the financial situation of both parties into account in determining spousal support payments. The payment does not indicate an assignment of blame for the divorce.
If you are the recipient of a spousal support award, it will result from negotiations between you and your spouse to reach an agreement on the amount and arrangements for payment of your support. If an agreement cannot be reached with negotiation, you may need to rely on the court to provide you relief. When you need a strong advocate on your side experienced in litigation, work with a spousal support attorney at The Levoritz Law Firm.
Do The Courts Make Mistakes In Awarding Spousal Support?
Even when the court believes it’s applying the rules properly, its decision about spousal support payments is not always correct. It is possible that your spouse is not being truthful about all the information submitted to the court, or that the court misinterpreted something.
Our experienced legal team will investigate the case thoroughly on your behalf, ensuring that you’re receiving the best possible treatment. Whether you’re due to receive spousal support or to make spousal support payments, we can help.
Legal Terminology For Spousal Support
When discussing a spousal support payment in court, you may hear terms like spousal maintenance, spousal support, and alimony. Although it is possible to hear people use these terms interchangeably, they actually refer to different items in New York.
- Spousal Support: Spousal support is a payment the court awards to one spouse while the marriage is still in place. This is a common occurrence. The spouses may be separated and preparing to divorce during the awarding of spousal support. However, it can occur any time one spouse is not meeting a financial obligation to the other spouse.
- Spousal Maintenance: In New York, a court may award a spousal maintenance payment after the divorce becomes official. A spousal support payment made before the divorce could be ordered to continue after the divorce is finalized, becoming a spousal maintenance payment.
- Alimony: New York does not use “alimony” as an official term for these types of payments, although many states do. However, because alimony is such a common word, some attorneys in New York may also use this term to speak in terms familiar to their clients.
When you hire our highly skilled team of Manhattan attorneys, we will be available to answer any questions you have about the legal aspects of the divorce process or about confusing terminology. We are committed to keeping you informed about all aspects of the case.
Making Child Support And Spousal Support Or Child Support And Spousal Maintenance Payments Together
A common situation in a divorce occurs when one spouse must make both child support and spousal support payments, or, after a divorce, makes both child support and child maintenance payments. Courts consider these two payments separately when determining the proper amounts to require. However, the spousal support and the spousal maintenance payments can affect child support payments.
HOW SPOUSAL SUPPORT, OR “ALIMONY,” PAYMENTS AFFECT TAXES
With the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the IRS no longer allows alimony or maintenance payments to be deducted unless the divorce or separation agreement was finalized prior to January 1, 2019. For divorce or separation agreements signed on or after that date, spousal support and spousal maintenance payments are not deductible. This also applies to divorce or separation agreements already in place that were modified on or after that date, if the changes were to the terms of the spousal support or maintenance payments. Additionally, spousal support and maintenance payments are not considered taxable income at the federal level for receiving spouses for agreements executed on or after January 1, 2019.
However, New York decided not to make those changes for state tax purposes. The state treats spousal support and maintenance payments as income for the spouse receiving the payments. When filing New York State taxes, the spouse making the spousal support or maintenance payments can reduce his or her taxable income by the amount being paid as well.
This shift of income affects the amount of child support payment that the custodial spouse will receive, based on the state’s child support payment formula. Our team is well-versed in calculating these formulas. We will make sure you are not overpaying to your ex-spouse for both spousal maintenance and child support. If you are a recipient of payments, our spousal support lawyers will work to negotiate, or litigate, if necessary, the amount of support or maintenance that will best serve your needs and situation.
We Treat Our Clients With The Respect They Deserve
At The Levoritz Law Firm, we follow the lead of our founder, Yoni Levoritz, who takes an active role in all our cases. He is always willing to take on the most complex cases, providing clients with the professional representation they should have. We take the time to learn about your personal situation, helping us represent you successfully.
Attorney Levoritz appreciates the opportunity to stand up for the rights of fathers in divorce. As an alimony and child support lawyer, he knows that parents often need professional representation to protect their rights.
We will fight for your interests with the professionalism you deserve.
WE UNDERSTAND THE STRESS YOU FEEL
Our Manhattan spousal support lawyers always focus on the needs of our clients. We understand that going through a divorce is one of the hardest things people will do in their lives. We want to alleviate the stress of our clients through our professionalism and compassionate representation. Call us at (718) 942-4004 today for a case review.GET HELP TODAY
Setting Up a Marital Agreement
SPOUSAL SUPPORT AGREEMENTS ARE ONE OF SEVERAL TYPES OF AGREEMENTS YOU CAN ENTER
Although a spousal support agreement during a divorce and a spousal maintenance agreement after a divorce are common types of agreement related to marriage, other types of legal agreements can also occur. At The Levoritz Law Firm, our experienced team can help with any type of agreement related to marriage, ensuring it follows the law.
By hiring our family law attorneys before your marriage or early on in your marriage, we can draft relevant agreements that address whatever situation may occur. We understand that these are delicate conversations between you and your partner, and we can help everyone involved understand the importance of these documents and what they should contain.
Understanding Prenuptial Agreements
No one wants to think about divorce at the time they get married but preparing for any eventuality can provide significant peace of mind for you and your partner. Our skilled prenuptial lawyers know how to draw up this type of contract to protect the interests of the two parties, both as a couple and as individuals.
Count on us to navigate what should be contained in this agreement. We will be thorough and prepare for any eventuality. We will make sure the prenup agreement addresses all New York state laws. Should a divorce occur down the road, any division of assets will go more smoothly and quickly than in a typical divorce. In addition, we will draft the prenup to consider arrangements for spousal and child support that anticipate a wide range of contingencies. We will ensure that the children and both spouses have their interests protected. We will put the children’s needs first, then consider how best to prepare for an equitable division of assets, along with provisions for spousal support and spousal maintenance.
Understanding Marital Agreements
A couple may enter into a marital agreement either before or during the marriage. This type of contract is similar to a prenuptial agreement, although it doesn’t have to occur before the marriage. Our attorneys can help you and your spouse create a marital contract that reflects your current situation financially and with regard to your children. The marital agreement deals with the steps to take in case of divorce or in case of the death of one spouse.
We know how to create a legally binding marital agreement that fully takes into account your unique situation. We treat both parties with the respect they deserve, ensuring the creation of this agreement is as helpful as possible.
Understanding Spousal Maintenance Agreements
A spousal maintenance agreement spells out the legal obligation of one spouse to make payments to the other spouse after a divorce. Spousal support payments typically are made during a divorce. Even in cases where you and your ex-spouse have a verbal agreement about spousal maintenance payments, you should hire our spousal maintenance attorneys to create a legally binding agreement. This ensures that if a breach of contract occurs later, you have a legal recourse.
Our skilled contract litigation attorneys are ready to help you draft an agreement that delivers the best possible outcome for you, your spouse, and your children. If a divorce should happen down the road, and we represent you, you will have not only the protection of a well-drafted spousal maintenance agreement, but also have attorneys on your side skilled in contract litigation. If your ex-spouse takes action in breach of your agreement, that breach of contract may require taking your case to court. If that happens, you can count on our extensive trial experience to represent and protect your interests well.
Once the legal agreement is in place, you will have legal recourse if your ex-spouse suddenly stops paying the spousal maintenance amount. Certainly, an occasional missed payment could be a simple oversight. However, when you are depending on this payment, you may need to take immediate action against this breach of contract.
We understand that you cannot wait to see if your ex-spouse is refusing to make payments or simply had an oversight. Our contract litigation attorneys are ready to present the facts of your case to the court so that you receive the payments you are due per your spousal maintenance agreement. We understand that this can be a highly stressful situation, especially when money is tight.
You can count on us to move the process along as quickly as possible. We will leverage our understanding of New York family law to pressure your spouse to adhere to the spousal maintenance agreement.
We take pride in our strong contract litigation skills. We will use our past experience with similar cases to help you receive the best possible outcome. While you can rely on our experience, we also understand that each case is different. We will tailor our litigation strategy to match your circumstances.
Negotiating a Spousal Support and Spousal Maintenance Agreement
When seeking a spousal support or spousal maintenance award in a divorce in New York, the court will make the final determination. However, it is possible for you and your spouse to come to an agreement about alimony payments and other aspects of the divorce. Courts prefer for divorcing spouses and their attorneys to develop a fair agreement on their own that the court can accept.
You will appreciate our zealous approach in negotiations. Even though we are tenacious when representing you, we are not disrespectful to the opposing side.
Constructing A Fair Agreement
The trustworthy team at The Levoritz Law Firm knows the importance of the negotiation phase in a divorce. We will prepare for negotiations thoroughly, covering all the potential scenarios, to help you have the best chance at a desirable settlement.
Whether we are negotiating directly with your spouse, who chooses not to hire a divorce lawyer, or with the legal representative of your spouse, we will prepare the same. We will work toward a fair support and maintenance agreement that gives you the financial well-being you need.
Requesting Changes To Spousal Maintenance Amounts
After completing negotiations for spousal maintenance, you may believe the agreement is as fair as possible. And it may continue to serve your needs for a few years.
Suddenly, though, you experience a significant change in your life. Perhaps as the ex-spouse who is making the payments, you may lose a job or suffer an injury that leaves you unable to work. Or perhaps your ex-spouse who needed the spousal maintenance payments after the divorce now has a better paying job, meaning a reduction in payments would seem appropriate.
You have the right to petition the court to request a change to the spousal maintenance payments. The court will only consider the petition if a significant change occurred in at least one of the spouse’s lives. Our team can help you create and file this petition, showing exactly why a reconsideration of the initial agreement should occur.
How do I get spousal support in NY?
Those seeking a spousal support payment in Manhattan or elsewhere in the state will need to file a petition in New York Family Court. According to the New York State Unified Court System, the judge will weigh the financial situation of both parties, determining whether to issue a spousal support judgment, as well as the amount. Our team of alimony lawyers will help you round up the required documentation, while also negotiating on your behalf.
How long does spousal support last in NY?
The judge in the divorce case will consider a number of items before determining the length of time spousal support and spousal maintenance payments should last, according to New York State Senate Statute Section 236, including:
- Length of marriage
- Health situation for both spouses
- Income and property ownership for both spouses
- Ability of one spouse to become self-supporting
- Future income potential for both spouses.
What happens when my spouse fails to pay spousal support or spousal maintenance?
If the spouse who owes alimony stops payment, he or she moves into arrears. The spouse owed spousal support or spousal maintenance payments can seek them through small claims court or through a wage garnishment. Our reliable team of alimony lawyers in Manhattan will help you track down the payments your spouse owes you.
Do you have to make income tax payments on spousal support?
Yes. The spouse receiving the spousal support payments must count the money as taxable income. This is also true of spousal maintenance payments. However, if the divorce or separation agreement was signed on January 1, 2019 or later, the payments are not considered taxable income at the federal level. Additionally, the spouse who is making payments may deduct this money from his or her income for New York State taxes, but not for federal taxes unless the divorce or separation agreement was finalized before 2019.
Can you receive alimony payments without being married?
Most commonly, New York courts only award alimony, or spousal maintenance, when a legal marriage occurred before the divorce. Because the state of New York does not recognize common-law marriage from a legal standpoint, it’s difficult to win a spousal maintenance judgement in a case like this. It’s not impossible, though, depending on the circumstances. Contact our knowledgeable spousal support and spousal maintenance team to learn more about whether you may have a case.
Our Skilled New York Alimony Lawyer Will Provide the Legal Help You Need
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WE FIGHT HARD FOR YOUR RIGHTS
Our experienced divorce lawyer understands the emotional difficulty involved in a divorce. When spouses decide to go their separate ways, it can cause financial hardship, too, which can further ramp up the stress.
When you are facing a judgment that may force you to pay a large amount in spousal support to your spouse at the same time you are trying to afford your own place to live, it can seem impossible and overwhelming.
Our team will always have your best interests in mind. We will treat you with the compassion you deserve. We will work to focus on the facts, keeping emotions in check during negotiations. This will allow the case to move forward more quickly to a satisfactory conclusion.
COMPLICATED PROBLEMS REQUIRE SOPHISTICATED SOLUTIONS
Our New York spousal support lawyer takes a holistic approach to family law. We look at problems and situations from a variety of angles, always seeking the best outcome for our clients. Even when the situation is challenging, we do not back down. We take pride in our ability to deliver compassionate legal care for our clients, helping them through one of the most difficult periods in their lives.
Although the state of New York has a formula to help to determine the proper amount of spousal support and spousal maintenance, this formula is only a guideline. When your case involves uncommon circumstances, we can argue for a different result on your behalf than what the formula determines. Our tenacious team will not shy away from tough family law cases that involve legal oddities.
For example, if a spouse is abusive, this would count against them when the court determines the amount of spousal support. Or if a spouse doesn’t do anything all day except play video games and leaves earning an income and taking care of the home and children to the other spouse, this irresponsibility would be a factor in deciding on payments. And if one spouse hides money or other assets from the court by transferring to a third party and it’s discovered, it could be detrimental to that spouse not only in support and maintenance determinations, but legally as well.
These are just some example situations of uncommon circumstances that can influence spousal support and maintenance amounts to go up or down.
Our tenacious team doesn’t shy away from tough family law cases no matter the circumstances.
HIRE OUR EXPERIENCED MANHATTAN SPOUSAL SUPPORT ATTORNEY
If you are wondering whether hiring our Manhattan property division lawyer is necessary, consider these facts.
Knowledge of the Law: Most people seeking a divorce are going through this process for the first time in their lives. Our spousal support lawyers in New York have an intimate knowledge of family law. We will ensure that the process follows state rules. Following all legal standards helps to ward off problems later.
Spouse Has an Attorney: When your spouse hires an attorney, you will be at a significant disadvantage during negotiations if you don’t have your own attorney. Our team will help you receive the representation that you deserve.
Diffusing Emotions: If you and your spouse have a contentious history, the emotions involved can greatly complicate negotiations. Our team has no history with your spouse, so we can provide a fresh perspective. The emotions in the case tend to diminish when attorneys become involved.
OUR SPOUSAL SUPPORT ATTORNEYS TAKE PRIDE IN OUR CONTRACT LITIGATION SKILLS
We work hard to prepare for every eventuality in your case. We use this preparedness to give us an advantage in negotiations. When your spouse’s attorney tries to introduce incorrect documents or tries to derail the negotiations, we will anticipate this move and prevent it.
Should we need to argue in front of a judge on your behalf after your divorce is final, we have strategic litigation skills to help you win a judgment after your ex-spouse commits a breach of contract.
Call us today at (718) 942-4004 for a review of your case. At The Levoritz Law Firm, all our Manhattan spousal support attorneys focus on the needs of our clients. Once you hire us, you can be certain we will remain in constant contact with you, answering any questions you may have. Let us deliver the level of professionalism you deserve in your case involving spousal support in New York.