THE LAW OFFICES OF ANDREW J. GILBRIDE, ESQ., recognizes how critical this aspect of the proceedings is to the long and short term financial health of the parties. The court has broad discretion in this area, as opposed to Child Support which is statutorily decided.
There are three types of Maintenance (formerly known as Alimony):
Pendente Lite (Temporary Maintenance)
Pendente Lite (Temporary Maintenance) is an award given to a spouse in the beginning stages of the divorce allowing the party to maintain there pre separation lifestyle. This award ends with the Final Judgment of Divorce. The application is typically decided by filing a Statement of Net Worth and based on the Affidavits of the parties and no Court appearance is typically necessary.
In October of 2010, NY Courts recognized the difficulty of evaluating the actual financial reality of the parties early on in a matter and have since adopted a formula, (available on the NY Courts website) based solely on income.
Durational Maintenance is an award created in the final Judgment of Divorce and is independent of Pendente Lite. The award is either a negotiated amount placed in a stipulation of settlement and agreed to by the parties which merges into the final judgment of Divorce or Court ordered.
There has been a long trend towards Durational Maintenance with the idea that the Party granted the award will be able to resume his/her lifestyle and income given time and is sometimes called Rehabilitative Maintenance . Hence these awards end on a date specific without Court intervention.
Lifetime Maintenance has become less likely to be awarded. The award would continue for the lifetime of the spouse absent a remarriage.
Durational Maintenance, the most common type awarded, has an element of expectation that the spouse receiving it will be able to return to the work force in the amount of time the Court designates. This is often times a highly arbitrary time frame with reductions in maintenance if the party does or does not find employment.
Given this economy, a spouse who has been out of the work force for an extended amount of time will face great hurdles in finding employment. First consider the general unemployment numbers and then factor the changes in industries over the years. A once skilled accountant may no longer be employable unless he/she becomes familiar with the new tax codes, new excel spreadsheets on computers, and thus time for training must be argued on these spouses’ behalf.
Finally, and most importantly, your children will be severely affected if the stay at home parent is no longer able to be there. Issues of childcare, after school programs, extra-curricular activities, and educational needs are weighed against the age of the child to decide if a fulltime caregiver is still needed. This varies from child to child and a strong advocate is needed to argue the appropriate time for a child to be left alone.
The Law Offices of Andrew J. Gilbride recognize that this issue can have the longest lasting affect on your family and with our client first philosophy we will try and understand your family situation as completely as possible to argue for the best result for you and your family.
PLEASE CONTACT OUR OFFICE FOR A FREE PHONE CONSULTATION