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Alimony in New York

Alimony in New York


Alimony is considered spousal maintenance and alimony in New York involves the awarding of payments to another spouse to keep them within the same standard of living as they had in the marriage.  Alimony must be requested by the spouse before the court will agree to grant that request.  Unlike other states, the primary function of alimony in New York is to support the spouse until they can achieve independence from the paying spouse.  This will be achieved through education and job training.  Alimony in New York allocates for the possibility that some marriages are an unequal relationship, but alimony should not continue indefinitely.


Calculating alimony


Alimony is determined by the court upon receiving the request for alimony from the dependent spouse.  In addition to income and the martial property held in common that will be distributed, there are less obvious factors considered when determining the appropriate level of support.  The factors considered include the earning potential of both spouses, implication on taxation, contributions of the spouse to the marriage, such a childcare and the ability of the spouse to support them either now or in the future.  Children are also a factor, but this may be determined in a separate child support agreement with other conditions.  Child support agreements are longer lasting with strict provisions to provide for the child until they exit high school.  Decoupling this from the alimony in New York arrangement may be necessary to prevent unnecessary revisions and inconvenience for both parties.


Alimony Pendente Lite


This is the type of alimony in New York that refers to temporary spousal support given to a dependent spouse during the divorce trial.  Alimony of this type is only awarded when the spouse is substantially dependent on the other and would be otherwise destitute while going through the divorce.  This temporary arrangement ends when the divorce proceedings are completed and generally continues into a permanent support agreement, but may also be cancelled entirely.


Ways to pay alimony


You can opt to pay alimony periodically with the possibility of revising the agreement at a later date.  On the other hand, you may choose to make a lump sum payment in full or through a structured payment plan.  The lump sum option might be applicable for small scale alimony, such as paying for schooling and training only.


Will I pay alimony forever?


It is possible to be paying alimony until the day the spouse dies.  Alimony is cancelled as soon as the other spouse remarries or is found to be living with another individual and benefiting financially from this arrangement.  Other conditions in the alimony agreement may have provisions for date or condition related termination.


Alimony revision


You may request a revision to alimony in New York if the financial wellbeing of either party changes substantially enough to warrant a review.  A court will decide the merit of this claim.  As alimony is intended to support a spouse until, they become independent, through marriage or greater potential income due to schooling or training.