Spousal support—commonly referred to as alimony in other jurisdictions—provides monthly monetary support from one former spouse to another following a divorce. These court-ordered payments exist to provide support for divorcing spouses with limited financial independence. Often, support is intended for spouses that kept the home or provided support while the other spouse earned most of the income.
Ultimately, it is up to the court to determine if spousal support is necessary. An experienced family law attorney could review your finances and investigate your spouse’s circumstances before advising you on what to expect from a court decision. The court has leeway on when and how to make these awards, making the guidance of a Manhattan spousal support lawyer critical.
There are three forms of alimony, according to state law. These types of support can be awarded following a divorce or even during the proceedings themselves. Understanding each type of available spousal support could be possible with the help of a well-practiced local lawyer.
Temporary support is often the first type of spousal support awarded. This type of support is designed to last from the early stages of the divorce process until the final order is entered. It exists to ensure a spouse in financial need has access to support while the divorce is negotiated. This type of support only remains in effect until the order is replaced with a new amount or the divorce is finalized.
The other two types of spousal support go into effect following the divorce. These include short-term and long-term support. Short-term support is often referred to as rehabilitative support. It exists to provide a spouse with the resources they need to live while they become self-sustaining. This type of support could last long enough to allow the spouse to complete their education or find gainful employment and often has a set deadline.
Long-term spousal support is primarily intended for individuals who are unable to work following the divorce. This could be due to age, poor health, or some other factor. In these cases, the court could award support until the spouse remarries or the paying spouse passes away. The law caps all spousal support at 121 months. However, it could be possible to obtain an extension in some cases.
While the courts have discretion when it comes to awarding spousal support, there are certain factors each judge must take into consideration. A judge will first look at the length of the marriage. The longer a couple is married, the more likely spousal support could be necessary. The court must also consider the couple’s standard of living during the course of their marriage, as well as their age and general health.
The other factors are largely financial in nature. The court must weigh the financial resources of each spouse. This includes determining if the paying spouse has the capacity to meet their own financial needs while paying support as well. Finally, the court must also consider the amount of time and resources the supported spouse may need to obtain employment and independence. A spousal support attorney in Manhattan could advise a person on how each of these elements impacts their specific case.
Whether you believe you are entitled to support or are facing requests to provide monetary assistance to your soon-to-be former spouse, you have the right to seek advice from an attorney. A reliable attorney could help ensure you are treated fairly by the courts regardless of the circumstances. Call A Manhattan spousal support lawyer today to learn more.