Alimony, or “maintenance,” is the ongoing payment that one spouse makes to another during of after divorce. It is designed to help the lower earning spouse through the divorce period or through the remainder of their life. The attorneys of Colwell Law Group ensure that our clients’ best interests are preserved, whether that means receiving an adequate amount or coming to a reasonable agreement in terms of the payment they must provide.
Concerns over how one will pay the bills post separation/divorce are often the foremost on our client’s minds. Unfortunately, these concerns are usually some of the most complex and contested aspects of a divorce case. They are typically addressed through an order of spousal maintenance, commonly referred to as alimony. Spousal maintenance is an order providing for payments from one ex-spouse to the other either during or after a divorce.
At The Colwell Law Group, LLC, we have the experience and skill necessary get you a fair spousal maintenance award in terms of both amount and duration. Since 2005, our firm has been securing the best possible outcomes for our divorce clients. With decades of combined matrimonial and family law litigation experience, we know how to favorably resolve even the most complex spousal maintenance/alimony issues. Our focus on divorce and child custody matters allows us to keep abreast of the most recent case law trends and statutory changes. Contact our Capital Region divorce law firm today for the legal guidance you need.
Do Women Get More Than Men in an Alimony Settlement Agreement?
A very common misconception regarding alimony is that women earners do not have to pay men and that the husband always has to make alimony payments to his former wife. However, it is never that simple. More than 40 years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that alimony had to be equal among the sexes. When it comes to alimony payments, the higher earning spouse owes the lower earning spouse, regardless of sex. However, according to data from the 2010 Census, and reported by Time Magazine, only three percent of alimony recipients are men. Why the big disparity among the sexes? Of the roughly 400,000 current alimony recipients in the U.S., the vast majority are women because of a few factors. First of all, slightly more jobs in the U.S. are filled by men than women. According to Chron.com, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2011, women made up 47 percent of the workforce. While that margin is only a six percent difference (men made up 53 percent of the workforce) that, in addition to the difference in wages, helps explain part of the men versus women alimony question. Women still only make 77 cents to the dollar that men make, which has been slow to change in the past five decades as sexism in our country refuses to relinquish its grasp. For social reasons, men may be more predisposed to turn down the opportunity of receiving alimony payments. Despite what the statistics show, we always advocate on behalf of our clients’ best interests, regardless of their sex.
How Many Types of Alimony Are There?
There are two types of alimony or maintenance payments in New York: temporary maintenance and post-divorce maintenance. Post-divorce maintenance may be durational or non-durational. Durational maintenance is paid for a set period of time, while non-durational maintenance is for the recipient’s lifetime. Temporary maintenance is used to help the lower earning spouse “regain” their financial footing. It may be used for re-education, learning a new job skill, or paying for living expenses during the divorce period while they seek a new occupation. Usually, durational or non-durational maintenance is awarded when the marriage has lasted a longer period of time, when the higher earner is wealthy, or when the lower earning spouse is in the twilight years of their life or may have difficulty re-entering the workforce. Non-durational or durational alimony or maintenance is used to keep the lower-earning spouse in the lifestyle they grew accustomed to during the marriage, or keep them as close to that lifestyle as possible.