Understanding spousal support and how it works in New York

The legal and binding responsibility to financially provide for one’s spouse is considered alimony. Other common and interchangeable terms include, ‘spousal support’ and ‘spousal maintenance’, but no matter the terminology, the motive and concept behind alimony remains the same. The aim of the courts is to find an agreement between the parties that results in an economical balance.

Determining maintenance amounts

Although alimony awards remain at the discretion of the court, there are some standard considerations that are used in determining the final outcome. The financial contributions of each individual in accordance with the length of marriage will be considered in order to help determine monetary amounts to be awarded, but there are non-financial considerations that may impact award amounts as well. Such non-financial considerations may be the emotional and physical health of a spouse, or the standard of living enjoyed by each spouse during the marriage.

The alimony calculator

There are many sites that offer online calculators that will help people determine or at least understand some concept of support amounts that may be awarded. Some calculators can look more imposing than they really are, and they all essentially focus on strictly the financial perspective of the two parties. A percentage is then applied to the amount of income available to be considered for support, and the awarded amount is then determined using a base percentage to be subtracted from the eligible income amount. This is where other factors like the length of the marriage or age of the parties may also have considerable weight in determining not only eligible income but also awarded spousal support amounts.

Times have changed

In a world where equality is being pushed and fought for, some of that fight for equality has been recognized in the courts. Alimony during any period before 1970 was basically considered a woman’s right and a woman’s issue. Today it is not uncommon for men to have as much claim and right to be considered for spousal support, both temporary (which is an amount awarded one spouse during the divorce process) and permanent spousal support.

This is never an easy process, or the way couples intended to end their marriage. The heartache, the headache and turmoil can be overwhelming when going through divorce, and trying to determine or fight for a financial future can add an extra burden. A family law attorney can help clients maneuver through proceedings and provide a thorough understanding of the divorce process. Contact an attorney at Most & Schneid, P.C. as you start the divorce process. We help our clients obtain the support and financial benefits that are deserved, offering an opportunity for a fresh start post divorce.