Spousal Maintenance in New York, Part II

Monday, September 14th, 2015, 10:06 pm

When divorcing in the state of New York, the court will decide if spousal maintenance – also known as alimony – will be rewarded, and to what party. Spousal maintenance, or financial support awarded after divorce, can be awarded to either party for a specific amount of time, or for life. 

Last month, we looked at the first ten of the 20 factors used in determining if spousal maintenance should be rewarded. Here are the remaining 10:

If the spouse seeking maintenance has forgone or delayed education, training, employment or career advancement during the marriage, which has resulted in reduced or lost lifetime earning capacity.

If one member of the marriage has forgone employment or education in exchange of caring for the children or household, they may find difficulty returning to the workforce after years of unemployment. If the court decides that the individual has lost lifetime earning potential, they may be awarded a higher amount of spousal maintenance.


Whether a spouse is unable to earn to their full potential due to care of children, step-children, adult disabled children, or elderly parents or family members.
In addition to the care of small children, in the event that one spousal party has commitments to care for other dependent family members, such as step-children, elderly parents or in-laws, or adult disabled children, they may be given more maintenance.


If age or time away from work will prevent one spouse from finding work.
If a spouse has spent significant time away from the workforce, or might otherwise have a difficult time finding supporting work, they may be awarded a higher level of maintenance.


Because spousal maintenance is considered income, the amount claimed must be claimed on federal and state income tax returns. For the individual paying the maintenance, they are entitled to a deduction. The court will take the tax impact into consideration when determining the amount of maintenance to grant.


Equitable distribution of marital property
The court will take into consideration how to marital property was distributed during the divorce. If one party was granted something the other may have equity in, such as the marital home, maintenance may be awarded to cover the equity of the other spouse.


Contribution, services, and contribution to partner’s career.
Even if one member of the marriage was not contributing to the relationship financially, they were likely making up in other areas, like in child care or homemaking, or assisting the working spouse in advancing his or her career. These non-monetary contributions will be included in the consideration for spousal maintenance.


Wasteful dissipation of marital property.
If the court believes that one member of the marriage has thoughtlessly depleted a marital account, it could effect the amount of maintenance awarded. If the spouse seeking maintenance has been found of wasting property owned by both parties, they may be awarded less maintenance. Likewise, if one party is found to have spent over their equitable portion of the marriage assets, they may be required to pay maintenance to make up the property to the other spouse.


Deliberate transfers of accounts after or just prior to filing for divorce.
Similar to frivolously spending assets, if one member of the marriage deceivingly transfers funds after or just before filing for divorce, those funds will still be considered as part of the marital assets. Spousal maintenance may be awarded to maintain equity between the divorcing parties.


Health Care.
If one member of the marriage is losing their health care benefits due to the divorce, they may be entitled to spousal maintenance to pay for necessary healthcare.


Additional factors the court finds justifiable.
If the court believes the divorce deserves special circumstances, they hold the right to consider any additional factors they believe are applicable.


For help determining if you or your spouse qualifies for spousal maintenance, contact a divorce expert at FK Law Group.

FK Law Group helps individuals throughout Queens and New York City who need legal guidance and experienced counsel throughout the divorce process. Contact the Queens office of FK Law Group at 1-800-631-1757 for information about spousal maintenance and any other family or divorce law matter.


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Category: Divorce Law

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Office: (800) 631-1757