Alimony and Spousal Maintenance Lawyers for Otsego County, NY

There are many negative connotations associated with spousal maintenance, known more familiarly as alimony in divorce proceedings. Disputes over spousal support can be hostile, with parties complaining about unfairness or inequity. However, the issue really boils down to strict rules and formulas as provided by New York State law. The problem for many divorcing couples is that the statutes on spousal maintenance are complex, and are further complicated by stress and emotion common in a divorce case.

The attorneys at The Colwell Law Group can assist with both the legal and emotional aspects of a spousal maintenance dispute. Because we have more than 20 years of combined experience in divorce law, we can explain the core concepts and help with the frustrations that come with conversations about alimony. Our legal team advocates for Otsego County, NY clients on both sides of the support issue, so you can feel confident knowing your case is in good hands.

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Legal Issues in New York Alimony Cases

A New York divorce case may involve two types of spousal support:

  1. Temporary Maintenance, which is intended to financially support one spouse while the divorce case is proceeding; and,
  2. 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.

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