Long Island Spousal Maintenance Attorneys Explain New York Alimony Law

Providing capable negotiation and litigation leading to fair awards

Spousal maintenance, or alimony exists so that divorce does not enrich one spouse at the expense of another. If you’re anticipating divorce, you may be wondering whether you or your spouse are eligible for support or obligated to pay. For over 29 years, Simonetti & Associates has advised clients in both Nassau and Suffolk County on how to handle these types of issues. We understand the letter of the law and the practical way the courts operate to decide who gets what and how much.

What types of spousal support are available on Long Island

New York law makes several types of spousal support available to accommodate different circumstances, including:

  • Temporary spousal maintenance: The court may award pendente lite relief so dependent spouses can maintain the lifestyle they are accustomed to during the divorce process.
  • Fixed time/durational maintenance: The court may grant rehabilitative support to allow recipient spouses to improve their employment potential. Recipient spouses may undergo job training, further their education or seek relevant work experience to become self-sufficient. This type of support can also help a stay-at-home parent with custody of small children remain with the children until they reach school age.
  • Permanent/lifetime maintenance: Permanent spousal support continues until the death of the paying spouse, the death of the recipient or the remarriage of the recipient. The court can adjust this type of support depending on the circumstances of the former spouses.

How does the court on Long Island calculate alimony awards?

Final orders of spousal maintenance differ from pendente lite and child support in that there are no strict mathematical guidelines for the calculation. Instead, New York’s domestic relations law requires the court to consider numerous factors when deciding whether alimony is appropriate:

  • The property and income of both parties
  • The duration of the marriage
  • The age and health of both parties
  • The present and future earning capacities of both parties
  • The ability of the party seeking maintenance to become self-sufficient
  • The reduced or lost lifetime earning capacity of the party seeking support as a result of having delayed education, training or career opportunities
  • The presence of children of the marriage in the home of the parties
  • The tax consequences for each party
  • The waste of marital property by either spouse

Because the court has the discretion to consider so many different factors, it’s important to have an experienced divorce attorney present your circumstances in the most favorable light. Though courts can modify alimony amounts, that usually requires you to show that you’re circumstances have changed dramatically. The best way to arrive at a fair support number is to get it the first time around. Otherwise, you’ll have to rely on your spouse’s willingness to sign a formal document setting forth a new agreement.

How can you receive spousal support?

It is common for both spouses to create a joint agreement that determines how much spousal support each part receives. If this does not work, the next step is to bring in a professional such as a third-party mediator or an attorney. If an agreement can still not be reached, the courts will be forced to take over. This means that both spouses will be issued a spousal support order.

See our Long Island, New York spousal maintenance / Alimony lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your alimony concerns in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

You can meet with our Long Island based spousal maintenance lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your spousal maintenance concerns in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Simonetti & Associates are conveniently located in Nassau County to provide you with valuable legal representation at a low cost. f you have any questions and are unable to speak directly with us, we return phone calls promptly even if they after business hours. If you’re contemplating divorce, or if you’re unhappy with the attorney currently handling your case, contact us online or call us at 877-385-2560 today. We offer flexible appointments and free consultations at our Woodbury office and We return phone calls promptly, even after business hours.