Divorce is a stressful time, even when the case is relatively simple. Many, however, are not simple, and involve disputes over marital assets, child custody and support, alimony, residence issues and many other areas of contention. The Law Office of Benjamin Cox has handled hundreds of divorce actions, including major court trials involving alimony, distribution of assets and debts, child custody, paternity and other tumultuous issues.
Alimony & Modification
There are different types of alimony and various factors, that must be considered when determining the final award. The main factors are the need of the recipient, the ability of the payer, and the length of the marriage.
• Temporary alimony is alimony that is awarded during the divorce proceeding to assist a spouse with his/her living expenses and is often awarded in shorter-term marriages.
• Bridge-the-Gap alimony is alimony awarded even in short-term marriages, after the divorce, to help a needy spouse in the transition from married to single life.
• Other forms of alimony include lump-sum, durational, rehabilitative and permanent alimony. Permanent alimony generally terminates upon the remarriage of the recipient spouse.
In some alimony claims that involve complicated discovery of a spouse’s income due to clever accounting tactics, including post-dissolution claims for modification of alimony, we will use CPAs and forensic accountants as expert witnesses. For example, a spouse may show that he or she is earning $100,000 annually; however, a CPA or forensic accountant may discover that the spouse is really earning $150,000 after the inclusion of all personal expenses that were deducted as corporate business expenses.
Generally, if the property is marital the Courts will divide the property 50/50; however, there are many exceptions to this rule, and my nearly 3 decades of experience provide keen insight into these exceptions. Sometimes the property is non-marital but has a marital component, such as with the value of a business, a retirement plan, pension or 401-k plan. In most cases we use experts to determine the value since a Qualified Domestic Relations Order is needed to effect the transfer between spouses to avoid serious tax consequences.