In the event of a divorce, the court may find it appropriate for one spouse to receive financial support from the other. This type of court-ordered payment is called alimony and addresses significant financial discrepancies between divorcing couples. Alimony is often a contentious issue that can lead to intense legal battles. Whether you have been ordered to pay or are entitled to receive this type of financial support, it is in your best interest to contact a knowledgeable Nassau County Alimony Lawyer who can protect your rights and interests and help you achieve a favorable outcome. Please continue reading to learn how alimony payments are determined in New York.
What is alimony?
Alimony, or spousal support, is a periodic predetermined amount the court awards to a former spouse to provide them with needed financial support before or after marital separation or divorce. Essentially, it is a court-ordered payment that requires the higher-income spouse to give the lower or no-income spouse financial assistance to maintain the lifestyle they were previously accustomed to during the marriage. Alimony is used to limit any unfair economic impacts of a divorce.
Generally, when a couple is married for a long time, and one spouse stays at home to raise the children, or there is a large discrepancy in earning power, it can put one spouse at a significant financial disadvantage during a divorce. To ensure spouses with little or no pay continue to have an income to support themselves, the court can order the higher-earning spouse to pay alimony.
Are alimony payments determined solely on the financial needs of the former spouse?
When alimony is in question, the court will examine several factors to determine the amount, duration, and eligibility for former spouses to receive this type of financial support. Unlike child support orders, alimony is usually not based on detailed guidelines but on what the judge believes is fair under the circumstances. The court will examine each spouse’s needs and the higher-earning spouse’s ability to provide that support and still support themselves. However, the court will consider several other factors, as alimony payments are not determined solely by the financial needs of the former spouse. The court will also consider:
- The duration of the marriage
- Both spouse’s age, emotional state, and physical health
- Both spouse’s earning capacity and financial situation
- Both spouse’s earning potential, ability to support themselves
- Both spouse’s financial resources (separate and marital property)
- Both spouse’s contributions to the marriage
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- The length of time the supported spouse would need for education or training to become self-sufficient
- The length of time the supported spouse has been out of the workforce
- The tax ramifications of alimony payments
- Any other relevant factors
As you can see, both spouse’s financial needs are a factor the court will consider when making determinations regarding alimony payments. However, they will also consider several other factors to help them determine whether they should award the lower or no-income spouse alimony.
If you are looking to receive alimony or wondering if you’ll have to pay it, it is in your best interest to consult a qualified Garden City divorce lawyer from The Law Offices of Eyal Talasaazan, P.C., who can help you understand your legal obligations. Our firm is prepared to help you navigate this complex legal process.