Many divorcing couples in New York and other states are often surprised to learn that maintenance – once known as “alimony” – is still available in many divorces. There is a common myth that alimony laws no longer exist.
Naturally, upon hearing that maintenance still exists, many people want to know why. Why would a court agree that one spouse should pay toward the other’s living expenses even after the divorce is final? Here are three situations in which maintenance might be awarded:
- One spouse gave up a career to invest time and labor into the family, the home, and/or the other spouse’s career. Read the rest »
Many married New York residents also work, saving up retirement and pension benefits for the day they plan to retire. While the working spouse is married, these benefits are considered “marital property.” This means that they must be divided equitably if the couple decides to divorce, just as other marital assets are divided.
Typically, retirement accounts and pensions are divided in New York according to a mathematical formula known as the “Majauskas formula.” The Majauskas formula takes the time contributing to the plan and divides it by the time married, and gives the non-titled spouse 50 percent of the amount. However, the court in a divorce case may require the funds to be divided according to a different formula, if doing so will ensure an “equitable” distribution of marital assets between the divorcing spouses. Read the rest »
In New York, alimony payments are known as “maintenance.” Maintenance is not awarded in every divorce case, but it may be included in a divorce settlement if the spouses have been married for a long time and one spouse needs help meeting basic needs while he or she builds independent financial stability. An experienced New York divorce attorney can help you determine whether you should receive maintenance or can expect to pay maintenance – and can help you reach a fair amount.
New York courts may award either “temporary” maintenance, “post-divorce” maintenance, or both. “Temporary” maintenance, also called “pendente lite,” is paid while the divorce is being negotiated. It is based on a formula set by New York law. The court may also consider factors like the couple’s standard of living, their health and age, the earning capacity of each spouse, and whether either spouse is currently in school or receiving training for a job or career. Read the rest »
The traditional name for support paid by one former spouse to another during or after divorce is “alimony.” Some states refer to these payments as “spousal support.” New York, however, refers to them as “maintenance.”
In New York, either spouse may seek maintenance. However, maintenance awards are not appropriate in all divorces.
A maintenance award in New York may be for either “temporary” or “post-divorce” maintenance. A temporary maintenance award is paid by one spouse to the other through the divorce proceedings. A post-divorce maintenance award is paid by one spouse to the other after the divorce is complete. Read the rest »