Spousal Support in New York

In the past, monetary spousal support in New York was known as alimony. Today, it is also known as maintenance or spousal maintenance. However, for consistency in this section, I will use the term spousal support to refer to this idea. As the name implies, spousal support can be granted only to a spouse; accordingly, the couple must be or have been married. If the couple divorces and the judgment of divorce provides for spousal support, either party may ask for a modification of the spousal support.Both the Supreme Court of New York and Family Court can decide spousal support matters.

Spousal support may be provided to either spouse. It most cases, spousal support is granted on a temporary basis; however, if the court finds that permanent spousal support is justified, it will be granted.

There are many factors that are considered in a determination of whether spousal support will be given in a divorce, and if given, the length of time it will be provided. Among the elements that the court considers when making a decision regarding spousal support are the following:

  • Income of each party
  • Assets each party has
  • How the marital assets are divided
  • The length of the marriage
  • The health of the parties
  • The ages of each party
  • The education of each party
  • The educational needs of the spouse with less income.
  • The standard of living the parties had during the marriage
  • The conduct of the parties during the marriage

There are four different types of spousal support. The first type of support is called temporary spousal support, or in legal terminology, Pendente Lite. Temporary spousal support may be granted during the pendency of the divorce action. Accordingly, it will end when the judgment of divorce is granted. Temporary spousal support is the only type of spousal support in which there is a formula that the court uses to determine whether temporary spousal support is provided, and if it is provided, the amount. The court may deviate from the amount provided by the formula if it believes that it would be appropriate. Click here to access the temporary spousal support calculator

The second type of spousal support is restitutional support. This type of support may be given to a spouse who supported the other spouse during the marriage while he or she went to school. Restitutional support is temporary.

The third type of spousal support is known as rehabilitative support. This is the most common type of spousal support given and is also temporary support. The purpose of rehabilitative support is to provide support to a spouse who needs to go back to school so that he or she can either learn a skill or refresh a skill in order to earn a satisfactory living.

The fourth type of spousal support is known as permanent spousal support. Permanent spousal support, as its name implies, is permanent, at least until one of the parties dies or the party receiving support remarries. Permanent spousal support is generally provided when the spouse asking for support is older or is in poor health. It is also more likely to be given when the union was a long-term marriage.

If you need an attorney in regard to spousal support call us at (718) 625-0800 to schedule a consultation.  For Family Court matters we charge $200 for a consultation. The $200 may be applied to our fee in the event you retain our office to represent you.