Spousal Support (Alimony)

Spousal Support (Alimony) 2018-04-18T12:10:18+00:00

In your divorce case, the court will decide whether either spouse is entitled to spousal maintenance (sometimes referred to as alimony). Spousal Maintenance is governed by a statutory formula. The formula calculates a presumptive award based upon a spouse’s income. At a consultation appointment, we are often able to provide you with an overview of what to expect, financially, whether you are the payee or the payor of spousal maintenance/spousal support.

Our firm is also well-versed in all issues related to support – including difficulties calculating the true income of persons who are self-employed, live on gifts from family members or inheritance, or attempt to minimize their income to avoid paying support or spousal maintenance. We are also experienced trial attorneys, which may be required in event that you and your former partner/spouse, with the assistance of attorneys, are unable to reach an agreement on these issues.

In resolving the issue of Temporary Spousal Maintenance, the following statutory factors, pursuant to Domestic Relations Law § 236(B)(5-a), may be considered by the parties (if they reach an agreement) and by the Court (if they are unable to do so):

  1. The age and health of the parties
  2. The present or future earning capacity of the parties, including a history of limited participation in the workforce
  3. The need of one party to incur education or training expenses
  4. The termination of a child support award before the termination of the maintenance award when the calculation of maintenance was based upon child support being awarded which resulted in a maintenance award lower than it would have been had child support not been awarded
  5. The wasteful dissipation of marital property, including transfers or encumbrances made in contemplation of a matrimonial action without fair consideration
  6. The existence and duration of a pre-marital joint household or pre-divorce separate household
  7. Acts by one party against another that have inhibited or continue to inhibit a party’s earning capacity or ability to obtain meaningful employment. Such acts include, but are not limited to, acts of domestic violence as provided in section four hundred fifty-nine of the Social Services Law
  8. The availability and cost of medical insurance for the parties
  9. The care of children or stepchildren, disabled adult children or stepchildren, elderly parents or in-laws provided during the marriage that inhibits a party’s earning capacity
  10. The tax consequences to each party
  11. The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage
  12. The reduced or lost earning capacity of the payee as a result of having foregone or delayed education, training, employment or career opportunities during the marriage
  13. Any other factor which the court shall expressly find to be just and proper

In resolving the issue of post-divorce spousal maintenance, the following statutory factors may be considered by the parties (if they reach an agreement) and the Court (if they are unable to do so), pursuant to Domestic Relations Law § 236(B)(6):

  1. The age and health of the parties
  2. The present or future earning capacity of the parties, including a history of limited participation in the workforce
  3. The need of one party to incur education or training expenses
  4. The termination of a child support award before the termination of the maintenance award when the calculation of maintenance was based upon child support being awarded which resulted in a maintenance award lower than it would have been had child support not been awarded
  5. The wasteful dissipation of marital property, including transfers or encumbrances made in contemplation of a matrimonial action without fair consideration
  6. The existence and duration of a pre-marital joint household or pre-divorce separate household
  7. Acts by one party against another that have inhibited or continue to inhibit a party’s earning capacity or ability to obtain meaningful employment. Such acts include, but are not limited to, acts of domestic violence as provided in section four hundred fifty-nine of the Social Services Law
  8. The availability and cost of medical insurance for the parties
  9. The care of children or stepchildren, disabled adult children or stepchildren, elderly parents or in-laws provided during the marriage that inhibits a party’s earning capacity
  10. The tax consequences to each party
  11. The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage
  12. The reduced or lost earning capacity of the payee as a result of having foregone or delayed education, training, employment or career opportunities during the marriage
  13. The equitable distribution of marital property and the income or imputed income based on the assets so distributed
  14. The contributions and services of the payee as a spouse, parent, wage earner and homemaker to the career or career potential of the other party
  15. Any other factor which the court shall expressly find to be just and proper

Domestic Relations Law § 236(B)(6) also provides guidelines for the duration of post-divorce maintenance, which are based on the length of the marriage. The Court can consider various factors when determining whether to vary from the durational guidelines.

The content on this webpage is intended for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Every situation is different and should be carefully discussed with an attorney before taking action.

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