When a couple decides to dissolve their marriage, depending on the specific circumstances, the court may award alimony or spousal support maintenance to the lower-income spouse for financial assistance. Despite the misconception that alimony payments are determined solely on the financial needs of the former spouse, several other elements, including each party’s earning capacities, the length of the marriage, and other relevant factors, impact the court’s decision on whether a spouse should be awarded spousal support. If you are the spouse who will pay alimony or you are the spouse who will receive payments, it is in your best interest to consult with an adept Rockland County Alimony Attorney who can help you understand your support obligations and ensure you receive the fairest settlement possible. Please continue reading to learn about the factors that impact an alimony determination.

What is alimony?

Alimony is a court-ordered payment awarded to a spouse to provide financial support for spouses who make a lower income or, in some cases, no income. Many families follow a stay-at-home parent model where one parent is the breadwinner while the other takes care of the children. However, this arrangement puts the caregiver at a financial disadvantage in the event of a divorce. As such, the court can award alimony payments to help the lower-income spouse maintain their accustomed lifestyle during the marriage.

How is alimony determined?

While many couples assume that alimony payments are determined solely by the financial needs of the lower-income spouse, that is not always the case. The court considers various factors when deciding whether to award spousal support, how much, and how long it should be provided. While the court will consider the needs of one party combined with the actual ability of the other party to meet those financial needs, they will also consider:

  • The duration of the marital relationship
  • The age, emotional state, and physical health of each party
  • The couple’s standard of living during the marriage
  • The earning capacity of each party
  • How long the party requesting maintenance has been out of the workforce
  • The length of time the recipient would need for education or training to become self-sufficient
  • Each party’s contributions to the marriage during the marriage
  • The ability of the payer spouse to support the recipient and still support themselves
  • Tax ramifications
  • Any other relevant factors

Unfortunately, alimony can be a complicated matter to resolve. If you are facing a divorce, it is critical to retain the legal services of a determined attorney from The Law Office of Peter L. Jameson, PLLC, who can help you navigate the contested issue of alimony. Our firm is prepared to help you protect your rights and interests.