During a divorce, spousal maintenance, or what we used to call alimony, can be awarded by the court from one spouse to the other. Whether or not it’s awarded depends upon many factors. Such factors can include a comparison of the 2 individual’s incomes, their future earning capacities, their ages, the duration of the marriage, the availability of assets after divorce, how the distribution of assets goes, what one party is left with after the divorce is over and the need for education or future training in order for the party that needs the money to become self-supporting after the divorce.
There are many factors in addition to this that become relevant to a court’s decision and analysis as to whether spousal maintenance will be awarded. However, generally speaking, the court wants to make sure the party that’s dependent is not likely to become a financial burden on the taxpayers of the State of New York. They want to make sure the person is adequately supported. In that case, some kind of maintenance award would be fashioned. Unlike child support, there is no mandatory spousal maintenance after a divorce in New York. Those statutes may come someday, but right now, they do not exist. The court’s discretion is paramount.
Robert Pollack is an experienced divorce and family law attorney in Long Island, New York. Contact The Pollack Law Firm, P.C., to set up a free initial consultation.