Maintenance/Alimony

A divorce is as complex as building a family. There are details involved that are more sensitive than what they seem; things that may be overlooked at first glance. These include Maintenance (alimony). It is strongly recommended that you have an attorney experienced in maintenance as your best resource to solve that issue during a divorce case.

Divorce lawyers have the expertise to efficiently obtain maintenance in a sensible and smooth manner. They prove that a spouse deserves a certain amount of money from the other party to support themselves.

If the parties are unable to agree on maintenance then an application (motion) can be made to the court where a judge will decide and award on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis a sum of maintenance that the higher earner must pay to his or her spouse. Temporary maintenance is awarded when one spouse is not earning as much as the other, but where he or she has the potential to close the income gap. For instance, someone might have a degree and the potential to get a good job but may simply have been out of the workforce for a while because he/she was raising the kids. In this case, temporary maintenance may be awarded to give the person time to retrain, refresh and work back up to his or her original salary.

Contact us today for a no-obligation appointment or over the phone consultation. Call (718) 309-5662 between 10am-10pm, 7 days a week.

Maintenance is now the word used by the courts (not alimony) when considering spousal support as it is used to maintain the lesser earning spouse. The Domestic Relations Law allows for awarded maintenance whether the other party has sufficient property or income to provide reasonable needs of the other, and the circumstances of the case and parties.

There are a number of factors that the courts use in determining whether or not temporary maintenance is necessary and the amount. The factors under the Domestic Relations Law are:

  1. The age and health of parties.
  2. The present or future earning capacity of parties, including history in workforce.
  3. The need of one party to incur education or training expenses.
  4. The termination of a child support award during pendency of temporary maintenance award which originally resulted in a lowered in a lower maintenance.
  5. The wasteful dissipation of marital property.
  6. The existence and duration of a pre-marital joint household or pre-divorce separate household.
  7. Acts by one party against another that have inhibited party’s earning capacity or ability to obtain meaningful employment, like domestic violence.
  8. The availability and cost of medical insurance.
  1. The care of children, disabled adult children, or elderly parents that inhibits a party’s earning capacity;
  2. The tax consequences to each party.
  3. The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage.
  4. The reduced or lost earning capacity of the payee (maintenance receiver) as a result of having given up or delayed education, training or employment opportunities during marriage.
  5. Any other factor which the court shall find to be just. At the end of the case, the duration (how long) is decided either by the parties themselves or by the court. Permanent maintenance is usually not awarded unless for example a spouse is disabled or elderly and can’t work. The duration of maintenance varies on a case by case basis, but there are guidelines that recommend that it be one-third of the period the couple have been married: i.e. married 9 years, then maintenance for 3 years; if married 15 years, then for 5 years; and in a short marriage of 3 years, then one year’s maintenance.

In 2015, the law was amended to provide a temporary maintenance award based upon a formula (to be discussed at my office), similar to the child support standards act, but if unjust or inappropriate can be increased or decreased based upon 13 factors.

Once again, to make a no-obligation appointment or just to talk to me, call (718) 309-5662, anytime, 7 days a week, from 10am to 10pm.