Two Things To Know Before Filing A Divorce
1. The Timing Of Divorce can be Important
Spousal support (what is now called ‘maintenance’ and used to be called ‘alimony’) is determined by a mathematical formula that is based on the parties relative incomes. Generally, if one spouse earns about 2/3 more than the other spouse, maintenance will likely be ordered by the court in the amount called for by the formula. If your spouse is likely to retire, lose his or her job or has serious health issues but is still working, act before he or she stops working or retires! No one is allowed to willingly reduce their income to limit support, but it is easier to get an order when your spouse is earning more significant income. The mathematical formula can be found by “Googling” ‘Maintenance Calculator New York’ or click here.
2. Beware of the Automatic Stay!
When you start an action for divorce, an automatic stay is issued which prevents any transfer of funds other than “in the ordinary course of business”. The court may look at transfers before filing but, at least, it is not a violation of a court order.
What You Need To Know About Child Support
1. Never Go To A Child Support Hearing Without Counsel
Child Support is based a mathematical formula. The parent who has physical custody of the children is entitled to a percentage of the other parents’ income as support for the child or children. The court uses what is called the parties adjusted income, which is neither the gross salary or the net salary, but is actually, the gross salary less FICA (Medicare tax and Social Security tax, up to $118,500.00) The FICA can be determined by multiplying the gross income by 0.765. The adjusted gross income is than determined by deducting the FICA form the gross income. For one child, child support is 17% of the adjusted gross income, 25% for two children and 29% for three children, 31% for four children, and no less than 35% for five or more children. Although this may seem simple, it is not and many factors can affect what the actual child support award should be. For instance, shared physical custody situations, very low wage earnings or other children that you may be supporting. Never go to a child support hearing without a qualified Family Law attorney. Clients’ always come to me after the hearing and it is too late while I could have helped them at their hearing!