Understanding Spousal Support, Maintenance & Alimony
Spouses have the legal duty to support each other financially and that duty may carry on even after divorce. Historically, this type of support was called “alimony,” and in a majority of cases, alimony was automatically given to the dependent spouse during and after a divorce. However, throughout the years, alimony has moved from being a form of lifetime support and has become more rehabilitative in nature. It is now used as a means to permit the more dependent spouse to become financially independent in hopes of achieving a similar standard of living to that which he or she had during the marriage.
Although the term “alimony” may still be used in several other states, it is no longer used in New York. Alimony is now commonly known as “spousal support” or “spousal maintenance.” Spousal support is not an absolute right; the amount and terms vary based on each party’s circumstances. At the Law Offices of David L. Martin, Esq., P.C., our team of legal professionals can answer your questions about the legal process and represent you every step of the way until your family law matter is resolved satisfactorily.
What Types of Alimony Are There in New York?
In New York, there are two types of spousal maintenance: 1) pendent- lite maintenance where a party may seek support during the course of the divorce; or 2) post-judgment maintenance. Pendente lite maintenance is a Court order whereby one spouse must pay maintenance to the other, while they are still married and going through divorce proceedings. Once the divorce is completely resolved and litigation completed, this maintenance typically stops. The dependent spouse if eligible, may receive support after the conclusion of the divorce, otherwise known as post-judgment maintenance, based on a particular formula. Lifetime awards of maintenance are less common today and is only awarded in very limited circumstances. Our team of family law attorneys understand the laws pertaining to spousal maintenance in the state of New York and can help you find the best resolution for your situation.
How Is It Determined If Someone Gets Spousal Support During Or Following Divorce?
There are two methods of calculating spousal support in New York based on a mathematical formula. Which method you use depends on a number of factors including your incomes and whether or not you have children. A judge may also consider among other factors the needs of the spouse asking for this support, the length of the marriage, age and health of each spouse, earning potential (past and future) and income of each spouse, the need for continued education or training to improve one’s salary, domestic violence and whether or not they’re caring for the children. The time period that spousal support is paid depends on the length of the marriage. Additionally, either spouse can ask a judge for a modification if there was a change in circumstances that requires a change in the amount of support paid. The assistance of an experienced family lawyer can make this process simpler for you.
What Happens During a Legal Consultation with a Family Lawyer?
During a legal consultation, we will learn the details of your family law matter. We will also answer any questions you may have about the legal process and how the law works. Furthermore, we can provide legal advice on how to proceed with your particular situation. So, if you need legal help, contact David L. Martin, Esq., PC. to help you today.
To learn more about the legal services we offer and to schedule a free legal consultation with a professional and compassionate family lawyer in New York, call our law office at (516) 294-8886 or (718) 520-8884 today.