Alimony and Divorce

This article is from the Raiser & Kenniff law firm, a premier NYC divorce law firm.

If you’re facing divorce – there’s a reality you need to consider: alimony payments. Also known as spousal support, or maintenance – it’s a widely accepted element of any divorce. If you earn more money than your spouse, then there’s a good chance you’re going to be ordered to pay some amount of alimony. Alimony is not typically awarded for short marriage, or marriage in which you and your spouse earn the same amount of money.

Typically, alimony is ordered to be paid until a certain condition is met, such as:

  • date set by judge, in the future
  • your spouse remarries
  • your children no longer need a full time parent at home
  • judge makes a determination that enough period of time has passed, and your spouse has made no effort to become self supporting
  • some other event: retirement, etc which allows you to request the judge to modify the amount
  • one of you dies

Like most issues, you and your spouse can pre-agree to the amount and length of time the alimony payments will be for. If you are unable to agree, then the court can intervene and determine this information for you. Unfortunately, if you go to court – that means you have to go through a trial – which means huge bills for you, and your spouse.

Paying alimony doesn’t mean the divorce is your fault. Alimony is a rule of law, which has been in place for over 100 years. It simply makes it so that one spouse doesn’t become homeless, as a result of the divorce. It’s a safety net. No court, in no state, will prevent you from making alimony payments.

If you expect to receive alimony – it’s important you look at whether you qualify or not. Your earning capacity, is a huge element in that calculation. What matters is your standard of living during the marriage, and how much you and your spouse earn. When receiving alimony, you may be required to make changes in your life, and how you live. For example, if you have a part time job, you may be required to get a full time job – so you can make more money.

 

If your spouse refuses to pay alimony, you can take legal action to enforce the order for alimony – through a contempt proceeding. Orders to compel alimony payments have the same force as any other court order, and can be enforced just like any other legal order. If necessary, a court may jail the reluctant party – who is refusing to pay.

If you need more information, we encourage you to talk to a divorce lawyer today. Often, many issues surrounding alimony require expert legal help.

 

How a car accident lawyer helps

This article was written by Jim Ingolia, a premier NYC personal injury lawyer. Motor vehicle collisions are the leading category of personal injury lawsuits in the United States. Lawsuits arising from these collisions are filed every day in every county in the country. Damages range from soft tissue injuries to deaths of friends and family. Some are drivers, and some are passengers. Some are bicyclists, and some are pedestrians.

Negligent drivers don’t pick one candidate to hurt or kill over another. They don’t pick days or times that they’re negligent. They don’t decide how they’re going to be negligent either. They might be negligent in two or three different ways that lead up to one single occurrence.

A car accident attorney is also known as a personal injury attorney. They represent people who were injured in motor vehicle collisions through no fault of their own. In the initial conference with a prospective client, the car accident attorney will obtain the person’s version of events along with any police reports of the accident they might have with them. The lawyer evaluates the facts and makes a preliminary determination on liability. There are times when additional investigation is needed to make that determination. Should the lawyer feel there is a viable case with a likelihood of prevailing, they’ll undertake the client’s representation based on a written retainer agreement.

The written retainer agreement is for the client’s protection. It reflects that the lawyer or law firm has been retained to represent the client in connection with that particular accident, along with their rights and obligations. It also sets forth how both the attorney and client will be paid.

Personal injury attorneys are generally paid pursuant to a contingency fee that’s set out in the retainer agreement. The fee is usually a sum of money equal to a percentage of any sums derived for the client by settlement or verdict, plus litigation costs. The attorney generally advances the costs to keep the client’s case alive. Litigation costs can get quite expensive with the ordinary person being unable to afford them. By virtue of the attorney advancing these costs, they’re able legally structure the case properly. Litigation costs advanced are then deducted from any sums that the attorney obtains for the client, along with the contingency fee percentage. That’s what the law requires.

Without a car accident attorney, the injured party is left to the mercy of the insurer of the liable party. The injured person has no idea of how to structure a case. The adjuster assigned to the case by the insurance company has their own perspective on what fair and just compensation for the injury might be. Of course that fair and just compensation operates in the insurer’s best interests. They’ll tell the injured person that they’ll be fine in six weeks, that they’ve handled a thousand cases like this, and what they’re offering is top dollar. That’s rarely the case since its the adjuster’s job to save the insurance company as much money on the claim as possible.

A lawsuit is filed in the majority of cases, particularly if the client initially presents themself at the eleventh hour before the statute of limitations expires. If the statute of limitations runs without filing the lawsuit, the injured person can be forever barred from maintaining their cause of action in the future. When the car accident lawyer protects the statute of limitations by filing, they have preserved the client’s constitutional right to have their case heard, and either concluded by settlement or determined in a court of law by a verdict.

After a lawsuit is filed, the attorney monitors the client’s medical progress along with their return to work status. Copies of all medical records connected with the crash are obtained and evaluated. Copies of employment records will verify lost earnings. This is when the attorney learns the true nature and extent of the client’s injuries. Witnesses are interviewed and their sworn testimony is taken in depositions. Status and scheduling conferences occupy time in court. At times it’s also necessary to take depositions of treating doctors. Settlement conferences ensue and the attorneys for the parties might even informally discuss all aspects of the case in chambers with the judge that’s presiding over the case. Offers of settlement are often made and discussed in these settings. Over 90% of all car accident cases ultimately settle. If they don’t, they go to trial and a jury tells the parties what the case is worth.

If you’re in a motor vehicle accident, don’t give the insurer of the other party any advantage or information at all. Their questions are designed to use against you in the future, particularly if they want recorded or signed statements. You’re out of your league if you do that. A personal injury attorney undertakes these cases as their profession.