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Can My Divorce Take Longer than My Temporary Support Order Lasts?

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A dependent spouse in a divorce action is generally entitled to temporary spousal maintenance, also called pendente lite alimony. However, since New York State reformed its alimony laws, courts have been asked to give greater scrutiny to how much alimony is awarded and for how long. Traditionally, temporary spousal support has run until the court issued a final divorce decree and made a decision about permanent alimony. Now, that won’t always be the case.

The court must apply one of two formulas for calculating temporary spousal maintenance, based on the income of each spouse (up to a maximum of $175,000 for a supporting spouse) and whether the supporting spouse must also pay child support. If the court wishes to deviate from the guideline amount, there are numerous factors the judge must consider. These include:

  • Income and property of both spouses
  • The length of the marriage
  • The age and health of both spouses
  • The present and potential future income of both spouses
  • The ability of the receiving spouse to become self-supporting
  • Whether children from the marriage live in the marital home

If the marriage is of relatively short duration and a dependent spouse is healthy, has a recent job history, and has no young children at home, the court will likely award a short period of maintenance. A judge might decide that six months is adequate for the dependent spouse to re-enter the workforce and become self-sufficient. If your divorce is complex, the process might not conclude before your pendente lite maintenance runs out. In that case, you would have to make a compelling case to the court for an extension of support.

Alimony is one of the most important issues for your financial future. Trust Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C., Long Island’s largest and busiest divorce and family law firm, to fight aggressively on your behalf.

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