How Does A Wife Get Alimony? – Suffolk County Divorce Lawyer
In New York, alimony is now referred to as ‘spousal maintenance”. It is played by a ‘supporting spouse’ to a ‘dependent spouse’ and exists to financially support the dependant. This is to ensure that the lower-earning spouse remains at a similar lifestyle to that of pre-divorce. Alimony can be helpful when one party is unemployed or lacking personal funds prior to divorce proceedings but is paid out exclusively by the higher-earning spouse. Maintenance is usually only applied for marriages lasting several years or more and is not available in an uncontested divorce.
New York State provides a form of temporary maintenance (also called pendente lite alimony) wherein payments are only made only during court proceedings. It ensures that each party is living comfortably during the turmoil of a divorce. Otherwise, the two options for post-court alimony should be differentiated and considered to best suit your needs.
Fixed Time / Durational Maintenance:
The first option is fixed time/durational maintenance, in which the court grants short-term rehabilitative support to allow the opportunity for improvement of the non-paying spouse’s future. In short, it is to allow the receiving spouse time to get adjusted to their new life and establish themselves in an economically self-supporting way. The spouse may undergo further education, job training, or seek out work experience, all with the goal of eventually achieving permanent sustainable employment. This fixed time maintenance will end once long-time employment is found. If the spouse is found to not be working toward this goal, durational maintenance may be revoked by a court of law.
Permanent / Lifetime Maintenance:
Otherwise known as permanent alimony, this is when one party pays financial support to the other party as a result of their divorce. What makes this variation of alimony different from durational is that this is a permanent condition that will last until the death of one of the spouses. Even if one spouse is officially retired, the alimony will still be processed. Recent modifications to the laws regarding permanent alimony have brought about various changes across each states’ alimony laws. Therefore, permanent alimony is only applicable in the following states:
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- West Virginia
In the state of New York, permanent alimony does NOT have a set duration in which this payment period will end. Meaning, durational alimony is the only set option for alimony cases in the state of New York. For more information, please contact your divorce attorney in Suffolk County for assistance.