Do the financial implications of your divorce have you feeling uneasy? If so, then you might take comfort knowing that there are things that you can do to increase your chances of finding financial stability post-divorce. While that might include aggressively negotiating or litigating your property division, it could also include seeking spousal support, even if you’ve been a stay-at-home dad.
How spousal support works
New York’s laws on spousal support are gender neutral. Even though most people who seek alimony are women, there’s no prohibition on men seeking spousal support. However, anyone who seeks alimony has to present evidence to support their claim unless they’re able to negotiate an alimony arrangement with their spouse.
What goes into your spousal support determination?
There are a lot of factors that are taken into account in a spousal support case. When deciding whether a spousal support order is appropriate and, what the size of the order should be, the court will look at each of the following, recognizing that no one factor is dispositive in the determination:
- The duration of the marriage
- Each spouse’s earning capacity
- How marital property is divided in the divorce
- The education, training, and skills of each spouse
- The physical and mental health of each party
- The standard of living that the spouses enjoyed
- Which spouse will be responsible for childcare and how that will affect that spouse’s ability to work
- Each spouse’s contributions and sacrifices for the good of the marriage
Keep in mind, too, that the court will probably have the ability to consider any other factors that it deems relevant to the issue at hand. This means that you’re going to have a lot of room to argue for your spousal support. But remember, this also means that your spouse has a lot of arguments that can be made to defend against an alimony request. This means that you have to be prepared to aggressively negotiate and perhaps even litigate your case.
Building your case for alimony
As a stay-at-home dad, you’re going to have to be diligent about gathering the evidence that you need to build your case. So, make sure that you’re taking the time needed to fully assess the contributions that you made to your spouse’s education and career, and how, exactly, you’ve sacrificed your own education and career to support your family.
Also, think about how you can demonstrate the marital standard of living. Almost everything is fair game here, from the house that you lived in to the shopping, dining, and vacationing that you enjoyed. Be as detailed as possible here.
Also, carefully think about what you’ll need to become self-sufficient post-divorce. This is going to help guide the court in determining how much you should be paid and for how long that support obligation should last.
Do you need a legal advocate on your side?
The thought of not having the support that you need post-divorce can be stressful. After all, you’re probably going to have a hard time living the life that you had once your income is reduced and your bills increase.
But that should motivate you to fight hard for the support that you deserve. And if you want assistance in making the arguments that best advance your position, then you might want to have a legal ally on your side.