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How is Spousal Maintenance Determined in a Divorce?

Alimony, or spousal maintenance, may be granted in a divorce when there is a significant disparity in income between spouses. However, it is not guaranteed. If both spouses have relatively the same income and similar financial resources, a judge may not grant spousal maintenance. If spousal maintenance is awarded as part of the terms of your divorce, there are several factors that will play a role in how long spousal maintenance has to be paid and how much will be paid.

Determining Spousal Maintenance

In New York, there are three types of spousal maintenance – temporary, rehabilitative, and permanent. Temporary maintenance is paid to a spouse throughout the divorce process and, when it ends, the judge may issue a final order of divorce and create a more permanent award. Rehabilitative maintenance is most common if there is a substantial difference in job skills and income. It is a temporary form of support that a judge may award when a parent left the workforce to support the family. Lastly, permanent support can vary in length.

Permanent support is typically reserved for:

  • Long-term marriages
  • One spouse is in poor health, cannot work, or cannot become self-sufficient
  • Cases where there is a significant discrepancy in income

Additionally, a judge will also consider the following factors when determining spousal maintenance:

  • The health and age of each spouse
  • The present and future earning capacity of each spouse
  • Child support payments
  • The duration of the marriage
  • The standard of living established throughout the marriage
  • The ability of the receiving spouse to become self-sufficient
  • If a spouse’s actions inhibited the other from achieving employment (domestic violence, for example)
  • If there are children from the marriage
  • The loss of health insurance benefits due to the divorce
  • Wasteful dissipation
  • Contributions made by the receiving spouse to support the household
  • Any other factors a judge deems important for establishing maintenance

Speak to an Experienced Family Law Attorney About Your Case Today!

Divorce can be a complex legal experience, which is why it is essential to hire an experienced attorney to handle your case. At the Law Office of Tzvi Y. Hagler, P.C., our experienced attorney will help you navigate your case and achieve the best possible results.

Reach out to our law office today at (516) 514-3868 to schedule a consultation with our skilled attorney to get started on your case.