Suffolk County Alimony Attorneys
Experienced Divorce Law Firm
Maintenance, also referred to as spousal support or alimony, is a matter during the divorce process that must be resolved before the divorce is settled. If determined by a court or agreed to by the parties, maintenance is the legal obligation that one spouse may have to the other – to continue to support each other even after a legal separation or divorce. Alimony, a concept similar to child support, is usually court ordered or decided upon by spouses during divorce. Our Suffolk County alimony attorneys at The Meyers Law Group, P.C. can help.
Types of Spousal Support
There are three types of spousal support a court can consider:
- Permanent - This maintenance covers the cost of housing, food, clothing, medical care, and other necessary provisions of the supported spouse. To request this type of maintenance, the spouse must be able to prove their need for permanent support.
- Rehabilitative - This support is meant to enable a spouse to refresh or build job skills that are needed to help them secure employment. This is a temporary form of maintenance, and the amount of the payments and length of time will be determined by the court or can be agreed to by the parties.
- Restitutional - This temporary form of maintenance that involves payments made to a spouse to allow them to pursue education or enhance their vocational skills.
How Spousal Support Is Determined
The court may consider a number of factors when deciding the amount of maintenance and length of time for which payments will be made.
In making a decision on the amount of maintenance and how long one spouse should pay such maintenance, the court will consider 20 factors:
- Income and property - the court will look at the income and property of the spouses, which includes marital property distributed in the Judgment of Divorce
- Length of the marriage - a longer marriage can mean a greater award, particularly if the receiving spouse stayed at home and raised the children
- Age and health of both parties - if a receiving spouse is in poor health or of advanced age, the award can be affected
- Present and future earning capacity of both parties
- Need of one party to incur education or training expenses - a maintenance award can be limited to the time it will take the receiving spouse to obtain skills to maintain himself or herself
- Existence and duration of a pre-marital cohabitation or a pre divorce separate habitation - if the couple lived together before marrying, or separated prior to divorce, it might impact how a court views the length of the marriage
- Acts that have inhibited or continue to inhibit a spouse's earning capacity or ability to obtain meaningful employment - such acts can include things like physical abuse
- Ability of the spouse seeking maintenance to become self supporting and, how long any training might take
- Reduced or lost lifetime earning capacity of the spouse seeking maintenance as a result of having foregone or delayed education, training, employment, or career opportunities during the marriage - if one spouse didn't go to college or take advantage of other vocational opportunities in order to maintain the marriage, the court can take into account the amount of income the spouse gave up in doing so
- Where the children live - if children will live with the receiving spouse, and this restricts that spouse's ability to earn an income, that can be taken into account
- Need to care for family members other than children - if taking care of other family members (e.g. disabled adult children or stepchildren, elderly parents or in-laws) has inhibited or continues to inhibit a spouse's earning capacity, the court may account for that
- Inability of one spouse to obtain meaningful employment due to age or absence from the workforce
- Need to pay for exceptional additional expenses - for example, for the children, such as schooling, day care and medical treatment
- Tax consequences to each spouse - maintenance is no longer considered income under the tax code
- Equitable distribution of marital property - depending on what each spouse received in the court's distribution of marital property, the court may order maintenance to account for the value of the property. For example, if one spouse receives a large asset, like the marital home, the court may order that spouse to pay an amount to the other spouse to make up for the difference
- Contributions and services of the spouse seeking maintenance as a spouse, parent, wage earner and homemaker, and to the career or career potential of the other party - this allows the court to consider the nonmonetary contributions of a spouse to the marriage
- Wasteful dissipation of marital property by either spouse - if one spouse wastefully spends away the marital estate, the court can take this into account in deciding whether to award an amount to the other spouse to make up for the value wasted
- Transfer or encumbrance made in contemplation of a matrimonial action without fair consideration - if one spouse sells off or transfers assets just prior to the divorce, the court will treat the sales or transfers in the same manner as it would a wasteful dissipation
- Loss of health insurance benefits upon dissolution of the marriage - this depends on the availability and cost of medical insurance for the spouses
- Any other factor the court expressly finds to be just and proper
At The Meyers Law Group, PC, the legal team provides exceptional representation to clients all across Long Island,Nassau County, and Suffolk County. With help from a seasoned divorce lawyer at the firm, you can ensure your voice is heard before the court.
The Importance of Skilled Advocacy
In the state of New York, divorce and family law cases are generally quite complex. When children are involved, matters of child custody, child support and visitation must be taken into account. Even without children involved, you must take into consideration property division, nuptial agreements, equitable distribution, and much more. Even in an uncontested divorce in which a couple seeks divorce mediation, emotions can become heightened with any minor dispute.
At our office, we are intimately knowledgeable with all divorce and family law matters as it relates to your spousal support case. We can provide you with valuable information on how to determine a yearly figure for maintenance. In addition, we can shed light on the laws surrounding maintenance in divorce couples, as stated in DRL section 236 (6)(B), a guideline for Post-Divorce Maintenance in the State of New York.
Schedule a same-day appointment today by calling our Suffolk County alimony attorneys at (631) 496-1484.