Spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, is one of the most complicated matters of a divorce. If your ex-spouse refuses to pay court-ordered spousal maintenance, you will likely need the help of an experienced attorney. Read on to learn more.
What is spousal maintenance?
In some cases, one spouse is financially dependent upon the other spouse. When a divorce occurs, spousal maintenance may be awarded to ensure that both spouses are financially stable after the divorce. In this case, the financially independent spouse will make payments to the dependent spouse.
How is spousal maintenance determined?
In order to determine spousal maintenance arrangements, a New York court will examine some of the following factors:
- Income and property
- Child support obligations
- Child custody arrangements
- The ages of both parties
- The health of both parties
- Each party’s earning capacity
- The dependent spouse’s need for education or training
- The dependent spouse’s deferred life goals
- If there are any tax consequences
- Caring for family members
The duration of spousal support is typically assessed based on the following factors:
- Up to 15 years: maintenance could be awarded between 15 to 30% of the years married
- 16 to 20 years: maintenance could be awarded between 30 to 50% of the years married
- 20 years or more: maintenance could be awarded between 35 to 50% of the years married
How is spousal maintenance enforced?
If spouses end their marriage on bad terms, the financially independent spouse may not want to make alimony payments to his or her ex. But, when a court orders spousal maintenance, the arrangement must be adhered to. If these payments are not made, a New York judge may need to get involved. Some ways spousal maintenance can be enforced include:
- Wage garnishment: A New York judge can order your ex’s employer to take a portion of your ex’s paycheck and pay it directly to you.
- Property liens: A judge can order some of your ex’s property to be seized until spousal maintenance payments are made.
- Suspension of drivers’ licenses: Your ex’s license may be suspended until payments are made.
- Imprisonment: Your ex may be imprisoned until spousal maintenance payments are made.
If you have any questions about spousal maintenance in New York, reach out to our firm to speak with an experienced and dedicated divorce attorney.
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