Spousal support, also known as alimony, is often of the most sensitive and conflict-heavy topics that couples encounter during the process of divorce. Spouses have a legal duty to take care of each other, and this duty may continue after a divorce is finalized if one spouse should require financial assistance from the other spouse in order to adjust to life as an independent person. In these situations, the higher-earning spouse will be required to make periodic payments to their spouse for a certain amount of time to help cover their expenses or receive necessary job-related education or training. But how much is appropriate, and how is spousal support calculated?
In New York, the courts will consider the following factors when making a support decision:
- The duration of the marriage
- The health and age of each spouse
- The earning capacity of each spouse
- The need of one spouse to incur education or training expenses
- Whether the seeking spouse is able to become financially independent
- Existing child support and custody arrangements
- The division of marital property
- The contributions each spouse made to increase the other’s earning capacity
How Long Does Spousal Support Last?
Spousal support may be awarded on a temporary basis and will cease once the divorce is finalized, or as a permanent order that will terminate either on a specified date, upon the death of either spouse, or when the receiving spouse remarries. It is important to remember, however, that while spousal support is enforceable by law, it may also be modified at the request of either party in the event of a substantial change in circumstances, such as the disability of either spouse or loss of employment.
Given the complexity of these issues, it is important that spousal support disputes be handled by an experienced attorney to ensure your best interests are guarded. At the Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC, our Dutchess County family lawyers have guided thousands of couples through the uncertain waters of divorce and can provide the trusted support you need during this time.
Call (845) 605-4330 or complete an online form today to schedule your free consultation.