What You Should Know About Alimony

Divorce is not easy for anyone involved and unfortunately, is a long and sometimes complicated process with many steps. Custody, separation or property and estate and alimony are some of those inevitable topics of discussion. One feature of divorce is alimony, a legal obligation to provide financial support to his or her spouse before or after marital separation or divorce. In New York alimony is called maintenance, with the purpose to maintain the same lifestyle each spouse had prior to the divorce.

The amount of alimony and which spouse is required to pay it depends on a few factors. Length of the marriage, length of time separated while married, age of spouses at divorce, income, financial prospects of parties, health or people involved and fault in the break up of the marriage are all factors that contribute to alimony decisions. Once the spouse receiving alimony is decided there are a few different types. Temporary alimony is support at separation prior to divorce. Rehabilitative alimony is support given to the spouse that earns less for a given time period until they can get a job and be secure on their own. Permanent alimony is support paid to the lesser earning spouse until death of one of the parties or remarriage of the recipient. Lastly, reimbursement alimony is support given as reimbursement of expenses by spouse during the marriage, like education. In New York specifically we have “pendente lite” or temporary maintenance while the divorce is pending to provide the recipient immediate financial support, this ends when the final order is made by the judge. Post-divorce maintenance is granted to the supported spouse after the divorce action, this ends in death of either spouse or if supported partner gets remarried or cohabits with someone else.

If you are thinking about divorce or in the process it is important to know your rights and the laws pertaining to your situation. A knowledgeable lawyer and support behind you is imperative for your mental wellbeing and clear minded thoughts during this stressful process.


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