Brooklyn, NY – There are some situations where one spouse will have to make payments to the other after a marriage has ended. This is referred to as spousal maintenance, spousal support, or alimony. These payments are not always ordered after a marriage has ended, and New York law outlines the specific conditions that must be met for the judge to award alimony. If anyone is going through a divorce where alimony may be an issue, or they need to modify an existing alimony order, they should contact a local family attorney.
Reasons why alimony is awarded
A judge can consider a few different things when deciding to award alimony. This includes income differences and job skills, but courts mainly attempt to ensure that the person will not become an issue for the government and taxpayers by suddenly becoming impoverished because of a divorce. In this sense, there needs to be an analysis of what each person’s life will look like in the immediate aftermath of the divorce. If one spouse was at home raising children for years and never had much of a career during the marriage, this is a common scenario where alimony is necessary. Marriages that lasted a very long time where one spouse did not need to work are another situation where it is likely that alimony will be necessary.
How are the payments calculated?
Judges are given a list of factors that they may use when attempting to determine an appropriate alimony amount. This can include the income of both parties during the marriage, how long they were married for, any relevant health conditions, the age of the spouses at the time of the divorce, issues related to children, and whether the lower earning spouse can become self-supporting within a reasonable amount of time. Judges have a fairly large amount of latitude in these kinds of determinations, so it is uncommon for an amount or decision to award alimony to be overturned by a higher appellate court.
New York law also allows for a form of temporary alimony to be paid out during the divorce proceedings. This is done if there is some kind of immediate need for financial support for one person while the two spouses are in the process of separating.
Elliot Green Law Offices helps people with family law issues in the Brooklyn area. Their attorneys are experienced in all family court procedures related to divorces, child custody, alimony, and domestic violence.
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