We Have The Skill And Strength To Secure The Right Amount Of Spousal Maintenance
At the law firm of Most & Schneid, P.C., we understand that a large concern for people going through a divorce is spousal maintenance (also known as spousal support and formerly as alimony). Frequently during a marriage, one of the spouses is the breadwinner and pays the majority of the family’s expenses. Then, all of a sudden, once the divorce action is commenced, the circumstances change. While residing together there may have been plenty of money to meet the family’s needs. Now, however, there may be insufficient money to support two separate households in the same standard of living. Our Firm has the experience and skills necessary to fight for your rights and ensure you get your fair share of the pie.
There are two different forms of spousal maintenance. The first is temporary, or interim, maintenance which applies during the pendency of the action. The second form of maintenance commences following a judgment of divorce. Currently, a set of mathematical calculations is used to determine the appropriate amount of maintenance. While the existence of a mathematical formula may suggest the determination of maintenance is simple, that is not the case. Prior to performing the maintenance calculation, the parties’ income must be determined. This can be a particularly fact-intensive project for a spouse that is self-employed, or where there is unearned income that will result from the division of assets. Further, the formula considers only the first $175,000 of the payor spouse’s income (subject to increases for inflation). For many households, this causes only a portion of household income to be captured by the formula. In such circumstances, the issue becomes whether to apply the formula to an additional portion of the payor’s income or whether to abandon the formula entirely and set a fair amount of maintenance.
Post-judgment maintenance is either durational or non-durational. Durational maintenance lasts for a definite period of time which is agreed upon by the Parties or determined by the Court. In appropriate cases, the court will award non-durational maintenance which can last until the payee spouse is eligible to collect Social Security, or in certain cases, for life.
Ultimately, notwithstanding the maintenance calculations, the amount and duration of the award is left to the discretion of the judge, or set by agreement. There are numerous considerations that apply when setting support such as the length of marriage, lifestyle, and income of the spouses which is why it is important to choose an experienced lawyer to ensure a fair outcome.
Our lawyers will help you understand what your rights are and what you are entitled to. We will fight to get you what you deserve – either ensuring you are awarded appropriate support, or protecting you from paying an unreasonable amount of support.
We genuinely care about you and your legal issues and want you to have the smoothest experience possible while going through such an emotionally charged time. If you are in need of a highly dedicated, experienced, and professional Family and Matrimonial Lawyer, contact our office.