Legal Issues in New York Alimony Cases
A New York divorce case may involve two types of spousal support:
- Temporary Maintenance, which is intended to financially support one spouse while the divorce case is proceeding; and,
- Post-Divorce Maintenance, an order of alimony that a party will receive once the divorce case concludes.
The objective of spousal maintenance is to provide the lower-earning spouse with the same or similar financial resources that would have existed if the marriage continued, thereby balancing the income and needs of the parties. There are also specific formulas outlined in New York State law, some of which took effect in January 2016. Factors a court reviews in determining temporary and post-divorce maintenance include:
- The length of the marriage;
- Income and property owned by the spouses;
- The age and health of each spouse, which relates to earning capacity;
- Custody of minor children;
- Asset division in the divorce case; and,
- Other considerations, such as the career sacrifices a spouse made to contribute to the family and household.
This statute is a guideline on spousal maintenance, so an Otsego County Family Court judge may depart from the formula to meet the needs of equity.
Modifying Spousal Maintenance Orders
A change in circumstances that impacts the party paying or receiving alimony may be grounds for a modification of spousal maintenance, such as where the incomes of either person increase or decrease. It is necessary to obtain a court order to modify support. However, spousal maintenance ends by operation of law upon the death of either spouse or remarriage of the recipient. Alimony obligations also cease if the recipient engages in a cohabitation relationship and is residing with another person.
Trust an Otsego County, NY Attorney to Protect Your Interests
The divorce lawyers at The Colwell Law Group are dedicated to fighting for your rights in a spousal maintenance dispute. As either the recipient or payor spouse, we will make sure the amount of alimony is fair and reasonable under statutory formulas and state law. Please contact us at 518-864-0564 or visit us online to schedule a confidential consultation about your case.