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Factors courts will consider when determining spousal support

| May 3, 2021 | Divorce

When a couple in White Plains divorces, it is often the case that one spouse will be ordered to pay the other spouse alimony, known as “maintenance” in New York. The purpose of maintenance is to assist the receiving party gain financial independence following a divorce. There are 20 factors courts in New York will consider when deviating from the statutory formula used to calculate maintenance.

Financial factors

Courts may consider each spouse’s income and assets. This includes marital assets divided in the divorce. Each party’s present and future earning capacity and whether one party needs to obtain education or training to become self-supporting will also be considered, as will how long this training may take. Whether one spouse gave up a career during the marriage to care for the family may be considered, as may a spouse’s inability to return to the workforce due to age. Similarly, any contributions one party made to the other party’s career may be considered. Waste of marital property by either party may be considered. The tax consequences to each party are another consideration. Finally, if a party needs to pay exceptional additional expenses may be considered.

Personal factors

How long the marriage lasted may be considered by the court, as may the age and health of both parties. Whether the parties cohabited prior to marriage or separated before getting a divorce may be considered. Domestic abuse may also be considered. Which parent the children, if there are any, live with may also be considered. Another consideration is whether one or both parties need to care for relatives other than children. The loss of health care benefits due to the divorce may be considered. Finally, any other just and proper factors may be considered.

Learn more about maintenance in New York

Maintenance is an essential part of many divorces, but it is important that a maintenance award is fair to both parties. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Those in New York who want to learn more about maintenance may find our firm’s website on spousal support to be a useful resource.