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What You Should Know About Spousal Maintenance

What You Should Know About Spousal Maintenance

The state of New York has its own rules and regulations when it comes to spousal maintenance (formerly known as alimony). It’s natural to have a lot of questions when going through a divorce, and when it comes to maintenance, you will want to consult a knowledgeable divorce attorney-especially if you have a high-net-worth case.

It’s the duty of the monied spouse to provide funds to the non-monied spouse, even during or after a divorce. If the non-monied spouse needs financial support, that’s where maintenance payments come in. This ensures that the supported spouse can continue the lifestyle they had when married.

Types of Maintenance (Alimony) in New York

Temporary: Temporary maintenance is paid from one spouse to the other while the divorce is being finalized. This takes the supported spouse’s reasonable needs into consideration, as well as the standard of living they had pre-divorce.

Permanent: This post-divorce maintenance is given to a supported spouse after the divorce is finalized. These payments are usually no longer in effect if the divorced spouse remarries.

Determining Maintenance Payments in New York

The needs of a spouse seeking maintenance and the financial capability of the other spouse will be examined by a judge in order to determine if spousal maintenance will be given.

Other factors considered include:

  • Marriage length
  • Present/future earning potential for both spouses
  • Age and health status of each party
  • The division of marital property
  • If education or training expenses are needed for a spouse
  • If a spouse’s earning ability was affected by caring for children
  • If the maintenance-seeking spouse can become self-supported
  • If one spouse's contributions as a homemaker strengthened the other’s earning potential
  • If one spouse’s actions inhibit the other from getting employed (such as in cases of domestic violence),
  • And more.

For temporary maintenance, there is a fixed formula that can be used to determine the amount awarded to the supported spouse, though this amount can be changed if the court finds it to be “unjust or inappropriate.”

Maintenance Duration/Termination

Temporary maintenance ends upon final judgment for a divorce. Just because a spouse was receiving temporary maintenance, it doesn’t mean they will receive permanent maintenance, and vice versa.

Permanent or post-divorce maintenance can be durational or non-durational. Durational means it will end after a fixed period of time, where non-durational means it will continue until the supported spouse remarries, receives full social security benefits or until either spouse dies.

For permanent or post-divorce maintenance, there is a fixed formula that will be used to determine the amount awarded to the supported spouse, though this amount can be changed if the court finds it to be “unjust or inappropriate.”

If there’s a significant change in circumstances, creating financial hardship, permanent maintenance may be modified or terminated.

If you’re looking for a divorce attorney in the Long Island area, let The Law Office of Robert H. Montefusco, P.C., put our experience to work for you. We offer free initial consultations, so give us a call at 631.630.6515 today to schedule an appointment.

Sources

  1. http://www.divorcenet.com/resources/divorce/spousal-support/alimony-guidelines-new-york
  2. http://www.divorcenet.com/resources/divorce/spousal-support/understanding-and-calculating-alimony-n-4

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