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New York State Divorce Lawyer Assisting Clients with Alimony in Dutchess County

Are you currently going through a divorce in Dutchess County and have questions about alimony? Did you finalize your divorce but recently experienced a change in circumstances such that you are seeking to modify an alimony order? Regardless of your situation, an experienced Dutchess alimony lawyer can help with your case.

At The Colwell Law Group, LLC, we have years of experience assisting clients with a wide variety of divorce needs, including alimony orders and modifications.

What is Alimony in Dutchess County?

Alimony, which is also known as spousal maintenance or spousal support, is a financial payment made from one spouse to the other after a divorce. There are two different types of spousal maintenance: post-divorce maintenance, and temporary maintenance. The latter is often awarded in a divorce proceeding before the divorce is finalized. This type of temporary support ends when a post-divorce maintenance order is entered.

Why is alimony awarded at all? As a fact sheet from the New York City Bar explains, spousal maintenance is designed to help the spouse who receives the support to become financially independent.

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How is Alimony Determined in Dutchess County?

Through a recent change in New York law, there are new guidelines for determining the amount and duration of spousal maintenance that a person receives through a divorce proceeding. The revised guidelines affected both temporary and post-divorce maintenance awards. In both situations, there is a formula for determining an appropriate payment given the payor’s income and other financial obligations. Under DRL 236B(5-a)(a), either party can make an application for temporary maintenance when a divorce proceeding is ongoing. Post-divorce alimony orders are a bit more complicated.

In determining the equitable amount and duration of a post-divorce maintenance award, the court typically can consider numerous factors, including but not limited to the following:

  • Income and property of the spouses;
  • Length of the spouses’ marriage to one another;
  • Age and health of the spouses;
  • Current and future earning capacities of both spouses;
  • Need for one spouse to incur expenses for education or professional training;
  • Length of cohabitation before marriage, and separation before divorce;
  • Actions by one spouse that have affected the other spouse’s ability to earn an income or to obtain meaningful employment;
  • Ability of payee spouse to become self-supporting;
  • Reduced earning capacity due to one spouse’s delayed education or career opportunities for the sake of the marriage;
  • Children’s living location; and
  • Need for a spouse to care for family members other than children.

How Long Do New York State Maintenance Payments Last?

As we noted above, the new guidelines provide the court with a basic formula for determining duration of the support. In brief, the court multiplies the length of the marriage by a percentage to determine the duration of support. These are the general guidelines:

  • 0 to 15 years of marriage = 15 percent to 30 percent;
  • More than 15 to 20 years of marriage = 30 percent to 40 percent; and
  • More than 20 years of marriage = 35 percent to 50 percent.

Regardless of the other terms of an alimony award, the following are also ways in which maintenance payments can come to an end:

  • Upon the death of either spouse;
  • Upon the remarriage of the party who is receiving support; and
  • Agreement between the parties about the length of time of the maintenance.

Contact a Dutchess County Alimony Lawyer

If you have questions or concerns about alimony, a spousal maintenance lawyer in Dutchess County can help. Contact The Colwell Law Group, LLC for more information.

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