Before a divorce is considered official, both spouses are required to settle several legal matters. An important part of divorce proceedings is determining spousal maintenance. This is also referred to as alimony. Spousal maintenance is court-ordered financial support from one spouse to another. These are payments that exist for a period of time once a divorce is final in order to support a dependent spouse. In some situations, divorces can leave one spouse in an unfair financial situation. This may happen if one spouse is a caretaker while the other is the family provider. In the event of this, the caretaker may not have a salary of their own to begin their new life with. Spousal maintenance allows the dependent spouse an opportunity to start fresh without experiencing financial difficulties.
Determining Spousal Maintenance
Divorce can often be very difficult and spouses do not always finish their relationship on good terms. This can cause the topic of spousal maintenance to become troublesome if one spouse does not want to support the other. It is because of this that spouses do not determine alimony. The court makes all decisions regarding the support payments. In order to reach a decision regarding this, there is a system in place to determine the amount. In the state of New York, spousal maintenance may be ordered:
- For 15% to 30% of a marriage that lasted under 15 years
- For 30% to 40% of a marriage that lasted between 16 and 20 years
- For 35% to 50% of a marriage that lasted 20 years or longer
When coming to a conclusion for spousal maintenance, the court also considers several different factors outside of the length of a marriage. This may include:
- The income of each spouse.
- Any property that is owned between the two, marital and separate.
- The health and age of each spouse can affect the amount of support
- The earning potential of both spouses determines how support should be decided
- If the dependent spouse needs funding to pursue further training or education in order to obtain independence from the other spouse
- If the dependent spouse deferred their life goals in order to support and better the family through the other spouse’s education and success
- If a spouse has an obligation to take care of another family member, this can affect the amount of maintenance
When a spouse file for divorce, they often wonder if citing fault grounds will affect the outcome of their divorce and marital issues. It is a frequent misconception that if one spouse is at fault for the end of the marriage, a judge’s decisions will change. Despite this belief, New York courts do not typically consider fault grounds while determining spousal support. However, a judge may consider if there is an economic fault. It a spouse is irresponsible in handling finances or properties, it may play a part in determining spousal maintenance.
Contact our Firm
If you are going through a divorce and wish to know your options regarding alimony, contact the Law Office of Peter L. Jameson, PLLC. today.
The Law Office of Peter L. Jameson, PLLC is an experienced divorce and family law firm located in New City, NY. It is essential to retain effective legal guidance during such pivotal times in life. Contact our firm today to discuss your legal matter and get the quality legal representation you deserve.