When the new alimony law was promulgated, we attorneys hoped it would provide consistency in the law. In some ways, the new alimony law has reached that goal. We now have a framework for determining general term alimony, we know when alimony should generally end, and we have a clear understanding of the categories of alimony.
Yet, the new alimony law has left one question unanswered and convoluted. The question is: how do you determine alimony and child support when a case calls for both?
Judges are answering this question differently. Some judges believe that the first $250,000 of income should be used to calculate child support and the remaining income should be used to calculate alimony. Some believe that alimony should be calculated first and then child support should be determined after. Some believe that a certain percentage of the income should be used for child support, and the rest should be used for alimony. Some like to see all the different options presented to them and then they will choose whichever feels most equitable.
Your attorney is best suited to navigate these unpredictable waters. Where the law is unclear, an artful and persuasive argument is crucial and most likely worth the attorney’s fees.