What is alimony?
Alimony is a payment one spouse makes to another during or after a divorce. The payment is for the support and maintenance of a spouse either at one time or continuous payments. It is paid by a “supporting spouse” to a “dependent spouse.” The idea behind alimony payments is that when a dependent spouse (one who has less income than the other spouse) must depend on the other spouse for maintenance and support.
Alimony in New York State
In New York State, alimony is now called “maintenance.” New York has a new temporary maintenance system which is only paid while the divorce is pending. Temporary maintenance cannot granted without addressing and asking the court for it and is not automatically granted. Furthermore, alimony is not available in an uncontested divorce, which is a divorce with no fighting.Temporary maintenance is typically much easier to calculate than permanent maintenance.
According to the New York State Law the court must consider the following factors before granting alimony in court:
- The income and property of both parties including marital property.
- Length of the marriage.
- Age and health of both parties.
- Present and future earnings capacities.
- Possible need of one party in need of education or training expenses.
- The ability of the dependent spouse to become self-supporting and how long that will take.
- Presence of and care of children.
- Tax consequences to each party.
- Distribution of marital property.
The amount of alimony varies dependent on these factors along with some others unlisted. If the dependent spouse has committed acts of illicit sexual behavior, the supporting spouse is not required to pay any money in terms of alimony. If the supporting spouse has also done such acts, the court is then permitted to award alimony. Lastly, if only the supporting spouse has committed such acts, then the court must award alimony.
Alimony and taxes
Alimony is different from child support as it is money provided above granted money. Child support is a simple calculation by guidelines set by the state while alimony is by the discretion of the judge. Alimony is tax deductible to the person who is paying it and is included in the taxable income of the dependent spouse. Child support is not tax deductible or taxable on either end. Some spouses will find there is more advantages to paying alimony before bringing it to court.
Always remember, each case is unique. Just because your case sounds similar to another one does not mean the courts will grant the same outcome. The attorneys at Simonetti & Associates, rated Long Island’s Best Divorce Lawyer for three years in a row, understands your needs on an individual basis and are here to provide high-quality legal representation.
Voted Long Island’s Best Divorce Lawyer with over 28 years of experience in Divorce, Child Custody, Adoption, Same-sex divorce, Pre- and postnuptial agreements, Father’s rights, Separation agreements, Protection orders and Meditation. To help keep your legal costs at a minimum, call 877-385-2560.