Understanding Alimony in New York

In New York, alimony is also referred to as spousal support or spousal maintenance. Because spouses have a duty to take care of each other, even after a divorce, sometimes one party is ordered by the court to pay a specific sum of money to the other spouse for a period of time. The goal of most alimony is to serve as a bridge so that eventually the spouse receiving support can become financially independent. So it is rare for alimony to be granted for an indefinite period of time.

Although there is no exact formula courts use to determine alimony payments, the most important factor to take into account is the standard of living the supported party is accustomed to. Courts also consider:

  • The length of the marriage
  • Property and income of each spouse
  • The earning capacity of each spouse
  • If caring for the children inhibited a spouse’s earning potential
  • The contributions one spouse has made to enable the other spouse to increase earning capacity
  • The ability of one party to become self-sufficient and the estimated amount of time that will take
  • The age of both parties

Although all of these factors undoubtedly influence the court’s decision, the court is free to act according to its own discretion. If you are involved in a divorce and issues of alimony, having an experienced divorce lawyer in New York on your side can be a huge help. Call today for a consultation.

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