Often, the financial situation of two spouses is wildly different. Similarly, the job skills and potential for financial self-sufficiency can be lopsided in the relationship, with the breadwinner being just fine after divorce, and the lower earning spouse struggling to make ends meet. Alimony is a useful tool to help mitigate this common problem and can be awarded to either the husband or the wife. To ensure that you are given what you deserve and need, or if you are the higher-earning spouse and are worried that alimony payments will wipe out your bank account, you need to work with an experienced Columbia County alimony attorney with the law offices of the Colwell Law Group.

What is the Difference Between Spousal Support and Maintenance?

One spouse may require financial assistance from the other during or possibly after divorce. If the aid is during the divorce process, or while the couple is still married, the support order is referred to as spousal support. If the financial support is given after the divorce, it is called maintenance. Both are also referred to as alimony, which is the more traditional nomenclature. Spousal support is provided to allow the lower-earning spouse to have an income during the duration of a divorce, most commonly. Sometimes, a couple may remain married and spousal support be paid indefinitely. Maintenance is usually only for a few months after the divorce has been finalized to allow the lower-earning spouse time to get back on their feet. It can also be ordered for a longer period of time to help pay for vocational training, college, or other re-education for entering the job force or a new position. According to New York Courts, maintenance, which is decided in Supreme Court, can also be court-ordered for life if the lower-earning spouse has a poor likelihood of being able to provide for themselves in the future due to old age, disability, or illness.

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How is Alimony Calculated or Decided?

The fault is not a factor when determining spousal support, according to the American Bar Association. For example, if a husband cheated on his wife, which ruined the marriage, he would not become ineligible to receive support. Support is determined based on the following factors, among others:

  • Financial situation of each party;
  • Duration of marriage;
  • Contributions to the marriage that each party made, particularly the lower-earning spouse’s homemaking contributions or their aid provided to the education and career of the higher earning spouse; and
  • The ability of the lower-earning spouse to become financially self-sufficient.

Call a Columbia County Alimony Attorney with Colwell Law Group

The Columbia County alimony attorneys of the Colwell Law Group are happy to answer any questions or concerns that you may have regarding spousal support or maintenance. New York married couples have a duty to support each other during the duration of the marriage, and sometimes afterward, and we help our clients uphold these duties fairly, no matter what side of the support they are on.

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