The experienced lawyers in our Matrimonial & Family Law group navigate our clients through the complex legal and financial issues in dealing with spousal support, whether as part of a settlement or court verdict. On this page, we provide answers to several frequently asked questions on spousal support.
Answer: No. Maintenance, which is also called spousal support, used to be referred to in New York State as alimony. Indeed, Internal Revenue Service still refers to it as alimony. Maintenance is the amount of money that is paid to the “non-monied” spouse (the spouse that is not the primary wage earner) for a definite period of time after a marriage ends. Either spouse, male or female, can be ordered to pay maintenance to their spouse.
Answer: No. It is difficult to estimate how much maintenance the non-monied spouse will be awarded because the court has broad discretion in awarding maintenance. The court must consider the following factors when determining maintenance:
Answer: Maintenance may be permanent ("Nondurational”), or may be for a definite period of time (“Durational”), and continue only until the non-monied spouse is able to support himself or herself. Nondurational, or “lifetime maintenance”, may be awarded in New York where the non-monied spouse is of advanced age or has impaired health, and the supporting spouse is in a better financial condition. In contrast, where the non-monied spouse is relatively young, healthy and is not required to care for young children, durational maintenance is more commonly awarded. Nondurational or Durational maintenance awarded in a divorce action (or as a result of a separation or settlement agreement) can end upon:
If the parties are entering into a separation agreement, they have more flexibility to define the amount and duration of maintenance. Maintenance can also be secured by life insurance. If the non-monied spouse is in need of support for a certain period of time, life insurance can be used to guarantee those payments in the event of the death of the supporting spouse.
Maintenance can be one of the most difficult financial and legal situations to deal with during the divorce process. It not only affects your current lifestyle but also your future lifestyle. The difficulties in calculating maintenance can be frustrating to both parties. Whether we are seeking to minimize or maximixe an award of maintenance, the lawyers in our Matrimonial & Family Law group will bring their many years of experience to develop a strategy on how the matter should go forward.
If you think you may require the assistance of McCarthy Fingar's Matrimonial & Family Law group, please contact Kathleen Donelli by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (914-385-1010) or Dolores Gebhardt by email (email@example.com) or phone (914-385-1016).