Alimony is support paid by one spouse to the other. Its purpose is to assist the dependent spouse in maintaining a lifestyle after divorce that is comparable to the lifestyle the couple enjoyed during the marriage. For many dependent spouses, alimony provides them with the ability to make ends meet.
How is alimony determined?
There is no formula used to determine alimony. The judge takes into consideration a number of factors when determining how much and how long alimony should be paid. Those factors include the length of the marriage, the ages and health of the parties, ability to pay, actual need, marital lifestyle, length of absence from the job market and child rearing responsibilities.
Are there different types of alimony?
There are four types of alimony: open durational, rehabilitative, term or limited duration and reimbursement.
If I am entitled to alimony, what type am I likely to receive?
If you have been married a long time and you have not worked for a number of years, you will likely receive open durational alimony.
If you have worked but you need time to improve your skills or acquire new ones before returning to the job market, rehabilitative alimony may be in order.
If economic need exists but the marriage is too short to warrant permanent alimony, you will probably receive limited duration alimony.
If you contributed financially to your spouse’s education or professional degree, reimbursement alimony may be appropriate.
Because alimony is fact sensitive, the amount and duration of any alimony award will vary from case to case.
If you require support while the divorce is pending, the court can award you temporary alimony known as “pendente lite” alimony. Pendente lite alimony is intended to preserve the status quo during the divorce.
If I receive alimony, will it be subject to income taxes?
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed by President Trump on December 22, 2017 drastically changes the tax laws pertaining to alimony. Alimony payments made pursuant to divorce decrees and separation agreements entered after December 31, 2018 are not considered income. If you are receiving alimony, you do not report it on your tax returns. If you are paying alimony, you cannot deduct it.
The change in our tax laws pertaining to alimony will have a dramatic impact on divorcing couples' negotiation of spousal support obligations.
Mrs. Agostini will use her 40 years of experience to obtain the amount and duration of alimony most favorable to you based upon your set of circumstances.
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