Navigating the intricacies of divorce can be daunting, particularly when it comes to financial matters. In New York, one of the most discussed topics in this realm is alimony, also known as spousal maintenance or spousal support. Whether you’re looking to receive alimony or are being asked to pay it, it is paramount that you have a knowledgeable and skilled alimony lawyer in your corner. Contact Lacy Katzen LLP for assistance today.
Alimony Lawyer | Here to Fight for Your Financial Well-Being
The primary purpose of alimony is to help financially dependent spouses retain their standard of living after a divorce. A Rochester family lawyer from Lacy Katzen LLP can help ensure your financial needs are met in your post-divorce life.
Factors Courts Consider in Determining Alimony
In New York, alimony isn’t automatically granted. Instead, courts evaluate a myriad of factors to determine if alimony is appropriate, and if so, how much and for how long. Some of these factors are as follows:
- The age and health of both parties: Older individuals or those in poor health may have a harder time becoming financially independent post-divorce.
- The present and future earning capacity of both parties: This considers the potential for future income and the current income of both spouses.
- The need of one party to incur education or training expenses: If one spouse needs to return to school or undergo training to become self-sufficient, the court may factor this in.
- The duration of the marriage: Longer marriages often see higher chances of alimony awards.
- The presence of children in the home: The needs of children, especially if they require special care, can influence alimony decisions.
- The ability of the party seeking alimony to become self-supporting: This evaluates the realistic opportunities available for the spouse seeking support.
- Contributions as a homemaker: Recognizing that homemaking is a valuable contribution to a marriage, courts may consider this when determining alimony.
This list is by no means exhaustive. Courts can, and often do, consider any other factor they deem relevant.
Types and Durations of Alimony in New York
Alimony in New York isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept. There are different types, each with its own set of criteria and duration. They are as follows:
- Temporary Maintenance: This is awarded during the divorce proceedings and ends once the divorce is finalized.
- Durational Maintenance: Awarded after the divorce, this type of alimony is for a set period. It’s often granted in marriages of moderate length where one spouse needs time to become self-sufficient.
- Non-Durational Maintenance: This is indefinite and typically awarded in long-term marriages where it’s unlikely that the receiving spouse will become self-sufficient due to age or health concerns.
Modifying an Alimony Agreement
Life is unpredictable. Circumstances change, and what was once a fair alimony agreement might become untenable. In New York, either party can seek a post-judgment modification of alimony under certain conditions:
- Substantial Change in Circumstances: This could be a significant increase or decrease in either party’s income, unexpected medical expenses, or any other major financial change.
- Involuntary Loss of Employment: If the paying spouse loses their job involuntarily, they can petition the court for a modification.
- Retirement: If the paying spouse retires, it might be grounds for reducing or terminating alimony.
- Remarriage: If the spouse who receives alimony remarries, it is almost always grounds to terminate an alimony agreement.
It’s essential to note that simply agreeing to a change with your ex-spouse isn’t enough. You must get court approval to modify the alimony agreement legally
Contact an Alimony Lawyer Today
Whether you’re the one seeking alimony or the one who might have to pay, understanding the nuances can make a significant difference in your post-divorce life. It’s always advisable to consult with a seasoned New York alimony lawyer who can guide you through the intricacies of the system, ensuring that your rights and interests are protected. Contact Lacy Katzen LLP today.