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.
- One spouse is at the peak of their earning potential at the time of the divorce, while the other is relatively unemployable or is qualified only for a low-wage job that won’t cover living expenses.
- Even though assets are divided equitably, the spouse who is employed in a well-paying position will be earning wealth, while the spouse who is not employed will be liquidating assets instead of continuing to build wealth.
Which of these situations may apply depends on the specific circumstances of your marriage. However, if two spouses have been married for many years and one of them significantly out-earns the other, the lower-earning spouse may request that the court consider maintenance and may receive maintenance for a certain period of time after the divorce is final.
Whether you expect to receive maintenance or pay it, start by speaking to an experienced Long Island divorce lawyer at the Law Offices of Paul A. Boronow, PC as soon as possible about your legal options.