One concern during a divorce is how the non-breadwinning spouse will be able to live and maintain their quality of life once they are cut off from their earning spouse’s financial resources. To answer this question, the courts have the ability to award spousal support, otherwise known as “alimony” or “spousal maintenance.” Essentially, these payments allow a non-earning or lower-earning spouse to maintain their quality of life and become self-sufficient during and after divorce proceedings.
The state of New York recognizes two types of spousal support: temporary and permanent.
Otherwise known as Pendente Lite, temporary maintenance is awarded while the proceedings of a divorce are ongoing. Essentially the purpose of these payments is to allow one spouse to move out of the marital home and establish their separate, independent lives while getting the financial assistance they need to maintain the quality of life that they are used to. As its name suggests, temporary maintenance has an expiration date: when your divorce becomes final, temporary maintenance awards end. However, temporary maintenance orders are not permanent for the remainder of proceedings: they could end before the divorce is final if the judge orders it. Also, temporary maintenance has no influence on any additional maintenance orders that are part of the final divorce agreement.
Permanent alimony payments may be ordered as part of your final divorce agreement in order to give the non-earning spouse a chance to establish their lives independently while maintaining the quality of life they are used to. Essentially, these awards are those which extend beyond the official finalizing of a divorce case, and may continue for some time.
The name “permanent” is somewhat misleading: while some orders can be permanent, in many cases there are expiration clauses or terms that could put an end to the payments, such as the receiving spouse re-marrying, dying, or completing job training or an education to become employable.
Will I Have to Pay Alimony?
Unfortunately, there’s no straight answer to this question that many people come to us for. The circumstances of your divorce are unique and those circumstances are what the court considers when making any alimony awards. But two of the primary things the court looks at when making their determination are the financial standing and future earning capabilities of both spouses, and the length of the marriage itself. A relatively young couple where both spouses are well-earning professionals are unlikely to be required to pay alimony, whereas an older couple where one spouse has been out of the workforce for decades is very likely to have a permanent alimony award.
At the Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC, our team of skilled Beacon divorce lawyers have the experience and knowledge needed to provide you with high-quality representation and counsel throughout the divorce process. We understand how important your case is to your life, and that’s why we firmly believe you and your best wishes should be in charge of your case. We are a fearless and effective ally on your side throughout the process, and we place the highest priority on your well-being and the protection of your rights and best interests through every step of the divorce process.Don’t try to undertake the complexities of your divorce alone; call the Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC today at 845.605.4430 to request a free consultation and get started with your case.