Maintenance, also referred to as alimony or spousal support, can be granted through a divorce. It is usually ordered when one spouse earns significantly more than the other spouse, one spouse needs time to garner the skills to be relevant in the workforce again, or so one spouse can maintain the lifestyle he or she has become accustomed to. Unlike child support, alimony has far less specific guidelines for determining the amount of the payments. 

These are the primary factors a judge considers when determining whether there should be alimony and if so, how much:

  • How long the couple was married, their ages and health.
  • How much income and property each has.
  • Whether the party seeking support has the disadvantage of diminished earning capacity due to sacrificing education or employment during the marriage.
  • What are the current earning capacities of each spouse and how will that hold up in the future?
  • How taxes will affect each party.
  • If there are children, where they currently reside and where will they reside in the future.
  • How did the spouse seeking alimony contribute to the other spouse and children through earnings and homemaking. Did the spouse seeking support contribute to the other spouse’s career?
  • Did one spouse unfairly make any encumbrance or transfer of marital property?
  • Did one spouse use or waste marital property?

The courts will also consider other miscellaneous factors that may be pertinent to a specific case.

If you are concerned about maintenance, also referred to as alimony or spousal support,and want to know what you may receive or what you may pay, you should seek out a New York divorce attorney, who will be able to answer your questions and also assist you in starting the process toward your happily ever after.