Factors That Affect Spousal Maintenance

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Spousal maintenance (formerly alimony) is a critical aspect of many divorce settlements, ensuring both parties can maintain a reasonable standard of living post-divorce. Whether you need assistance negotiating or litigating a spousal maintenance arrangement, turn to Aiello & DiFalco LLP.

As a leading divorce and family law firm on Long Island, we have extensive experience resolving spousal maintenance disputes in all types of cases, including high-net-worth divorces and long-term marriages, here and throughout the New York City area

Regardless of the circumstances, you can depend on us to provide compassionate, effective representation and protect your rights and interests. Contact us today to get started with an accomplished spousal maintenance attorney. 

About Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance refers to the financial support paid by one spouse to the other during or after a divorce. The purpose is to balance any economic disparity between the parties. On Long Island, determining spousal maintenance involves considering various factors to reach a fair and equitable resolution. 

Maintenance is calculated based on a formula, which depends on each party’s full income as well as whether or not child support is also being paid.

In short, there are two main types of spousal maintenance: temporary maintenance and post-divorce maintenance. Post-divorce maintenance can take two forms, specifically rehabilitative maintenance or in some rare cases lifetime maintenance:

Temporary Maintenance

Temporary maintenance is awarded during the divorce proceedings to ensure the supported spouse’s financial stability until a final settlement is reached. The court calculates it using a formula based on the parties’ incomes, the length of the marriage, and other factors.

Post-Divorce Maintenance

Post-divorce maintenance is awarded after the divorce is finalized. Courts consider several factors, such as the duration of the marriage, each party’s income and earning capacities, the standard of living, and any health issues, to determine an appropriate amount and the duration of post-divorce maintenance.

Rehabilitative Maintenance

Rehabilitative maintenance is designed to help the supported spouse become self-supporting within a reasonable timeframe. It is often awarded when one spouse requires education or training to reenter the job market. The court considers the time the supported spouse needs to acquire the necessary skills or education and the availability of suitable employment opportunities.

Lifetime Maintenance

In rare circumstances, particularly in very long-term marriages or where there is a permanent disability, maintenance can be awarded for the recipient’s lifetime, meaning it does not end after a specified duration.

What Factors Do the Courts Consider When Determining Spousal Maintenance?

New York courts carefully evaluate multiple factors when determining spousal maintenance to ensure a fair outcome, including:

  • Income and earning capacity – The court examines both spouses’ incomes and earning capacity, considering factors such as education, work experience, marketable skills, and employment opportunities. The goal is to ensure that the supported spouse can maintain a reasonable standard of living comparable to the marital lifestyle.
  • Duration of the marriage – The length of the marriage plays a significant role in determining the duration of spousal maintenance. Generally, longer marriages are more likely to result in extended or permanent maintenance awards, while shorter marriages may involve limited or rehabilitative maintenance. There are guideline durations based on the length of your marriage: 15%-30% for marriages up to 15 years, 30%-40% for 15-20 years, 35-50% for 20+ years.
  • Standard of living – The court considers the standard of living established during the marriage and accounts for housing, transportation, vacations, and other expenses. The aim is to maintain a comparable or similar standard of living, if possible, for the supported spouse, ensuring a smooth transition post-divorce.
  • Health and age – The court assesses the health and age of both spouses, as these factors can impact earning capacity and the ability to become financially self-sufficient. Health issues that affect employability or limit the ability to work may result in increased maintenance awards.

What if the Parties Agree on Maintenance, or already have a Prenup?

In some cases, divorcing parties may agree on spousal maintenance without court intervention. This agreement – a settlement agreement – can be incorporated into the divorce decree. If they have a prenuptial agreement that addresses spousal maintenance, the court will enforce it as long as it is fair at the time of the divorce. This enforcement will ensure that the rights of both parties are protected under the terms of the prenuptial agreement.

If the parties cannot agree or don’t have a prenuptial agreement, the court will apply the formula, consider the statutory guidelines, and consider the factors outlined earlier to calculate spousal maintenance. Ultimately, having a skilled and experienced divorce attorney is essential in any situation.

How Aiello & DiFalco LLP Can Help

Navigating the complexities of spousal maintenance can be overwhelming, especially during an emotionally challenging divorce. Our Long Island divorce firm is dedicated to guiding clients through this process, providing comprehensive legal support tailored to their unique circumstances.

Our attorneys have in-depth knowledge of New York divorce laws and the factors in determining spousal maintenance. We stay updated with the latest legal developments, ensuring you receive accurate advice and representation. We understand that every divorce case is unique and will take the time to understand your situation. Our attorneys will:

  • Assess your financial circumstances
  • Evaluate the relevant factors
  • Provide personalized guidance regarding spousal maintenance

Trust us to work diligently to achieve a fair spousal maintenance arrangement through skilled negotiation or, if necessary, litigation. Above all, we will protect your rights and interests in or out of the courtroom.

Talk To An Experienced Long Island Spousal Maintenance Attorney Today!

Spousal maintenance is a crucial aspect of many divorce settlements; having the guidance of a skilled divorce attorney can help to ensure a fair resolution. Aiello & DiFalco is here to guide you through the complexities of spousal maintenance and help you achieve a favorable outcome in your divorce proceedings. Call us today to set up a consultation.