Alimony, or spousal support, can seem like one of the more confusing aspects about divorce. Unlike child support, spousal support amounts are not set by statute or guidelines. Because of this it is crucial to retain an attorney who understands the nuances in this area of law, and one who has experience handling cases where alimony is a major issue. Recent changes in the tax law effective in 2019 have made the determination of appropriate alimony a very different discussion than has been previously. Siegel, Colin & Kaufman, focuses its practice only on family law and is prepared to devote personalized attention to your alimony case.
There are a number of factors courts take into consideration when determining whether to grant alimony and at what rate to set it:
- The length of the marriage
- The health, age and station in life of each spouse
- The occupation, amount and sources of income, job skills and employability of each spouse
- The estate and needs of each spouse
- Whether child support has been awarded
- Whether it is desirable for the children that the custodial parent become employed
- The cause of the divorce, if an award of permanent alimony is being considered
Alimony can be granted for a set period of time, often to allow the recipient spouse to receive training or education to become employable, or an indefinite period in anticipation of developments in later life such as retirement. Alimony can be set up as regular payments over time or as one lump-sum payment. Alimony ends at the end date of the order, if either spouse dies or the recipient spouse remarries. A judge can order the end of alimony if the recipient spouse lives with another adult, and this reduces the financial need.
Because a judge has great discretion in deciding how much alimony is appropriate in a divorce, it is essential that you have an experienced attorney who understands the precedents and the court's tendencies, so that the case can be settled quickly or tried effectively. When you need a Stamford lawyer for alimony, you can rest assured our attorneys handle only family law matters and are able to steward your alimony case efficiently.
Alimony can be modified based on changes in circumstances, so if you become disabled and your income changes, that is a valid substantial change in circumstances that the court considers. Alimony can also be modified for loss of employment or change in family situation. Likewise, it can be modified upward if the recipient spouse experiences a financial downturn. The family law attorneys at Siegel, Colin & Kaufman, have a proven record in setting alimony and are ready to answer your questions.
Until January 1, 2019, alimony is tax deductible for the person paying it and taxable for the person receiving it. This means that the person paying alimony may deduct it from income. The person receiving it must report it as income. However, for judgments entered on and after January 1, 2019, alimony will not be deductible for the person paying, and it will not be included in income for the person receiving it. This is a critical strategic change that will require close attention and finesse, which our attorneys are prepared to provide. Our attorneys handle many sophisticated spousal support cases and offer the advice you need.
Siegel, Colin & Kaufman, provides assistance with all of your family law needs. Call our office at 203-326-5145 to schedule an appointment or use our online contact form. Situated at exit 9 off the 95, we are conveniently located to serve you.