New proposed guidelines determine the upper and lower end for an alimony award. The lower end is 0.0125 X the number of years of marriage X the difference between the monthly gross incomes of the parties. The upper end is 0.020 X the number of years of marriage X the difference between the monthly gross incomes of the parties. New proposed guidelines determine the upper and lower end for the length of an alimony award. The lower end is 0.25 X the years of marriage. The upper end is 0.75 X the years of marriage Marriages under 2 years are weighed heavily toward $0 alimony awards.
As such, law makers are trying to curtail the unbridled discretion that Judges have. Unfortunately, the current alimony laws are skewed against men which are the predominant gender in the payer group.
Additional proposed changes in alimony are in the current law’s meaning of “earning capacity” for calculation purposes and “underemployment”. Under the current law there is no clear definition on what earning capacity is. Also, under current law, the term underemployment allowed payees to take educational courses that did not further there chance of becoming self-sufficient. The new proposed statute defines underemployment as working part time, or taking an educational course that is not expected to increase income, or is not a reasonable fit with that person’s previous training and experience.
Also, total alimony and child support payment cannot exceed more than 55% of the payer’s net income.
While on its face the “retroactive clause” has been removed, if the new bill passes old judgments will still be subject to the new bill as it allows for new avenues for modifications. And while the bill only applies to cases already open or filed after the bill’s proposed enactment date of Oct. 1, if a modification to an existing award is approved, the revised award will be subject to the new bill’s parameters. The bill, however, will not be allowed to be the sole criteria for seeking a modification.
The Ledezma Law Firm’s knowledge of the new bill and its ramifications will enable the attorneys at the firm to be equipped to address any modification issues current clients or new clients who are payers or payees may have. The Family Law attorneys at the firm are on top of the law and keep track of any changes. The Ledezma Law Firm realizes it is understanding the small nuances in the law that can make a world of difference for their clients.