Rockland County Spousal Maintenance Lawyer
Representing Your Financial Interests in the Hudson Valley Area
If you are involved in a divorce in Rockland County or the surrounding areas, you are likely to have significant financial concerns. If you are ordered to pay spousal maintenance (also called alimony), you might struggle to pay your monthly expenses and to rebuild your life after your divorce.
If you spent much of your time taking care of your family home and children, your might have made significant sacrifices in terms of job skills, experience and education. Spousal maintenance is designed to ensure that the financially disadvantaged spouse has financial support to maintain the marital standard of living and/or obtain self-sufficiency. Nyack spousal maintenance attorney Robert S. Lewis has been providing effective representation to parties in contested alimony cases for 35 years.
Spousal Maintenance vs. Spousal Support
Although these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they refer to two distinctly different forms of financial relief under New York law. Spousal support, like spousal maintenance, is paid by the higher earning spouse to the lower earning spouse, but spousal support is paid prior to the dissolution. There is no fixed duration for spousal support, so the order typically will remain in effect until a request is made to terminate the award or a divorce judgment is entered. If spousal maintenance is awarded, it will take effect after the divorce and usually be awarded for a fixed duration.
Spousal Maintenance Factors in New York Divorces
As with the calculation of child support, the methods used to determine spousal maintenance or spousal support are based on the New York guidelines that consider the income earned by both parties. However, family judges have some discretion when determining spousal maintenance based on the circumstances of the case. The amount of the award will generally be higher and the duration longer if the marriage lasted more years, and the recipient spouse made career and education sacrifices to take care of the family home and children.
If spousal maintenance is an issue in a divorce, the experience and skill of your Rockland County divorce lawyer can have an enormous impact on the outcome of this issue because the judge has discretion to determine the amount awarded. The process of evaluating the proper support order involves the judge considering 22 separate factors that include but are not limited to the following:
- The spouses’ age and health;
- Duration of the marriage;
- Income of each party;
- Property and assets available to each spouse after division;
- Sacrifices by the financially disadvantaged spouse in terms of education, work experience and career opportunities;
- Resources needed to obtain economic self-sufficiency of the recipient spouse;
- Employability or earning capacity the recipient spouse;
- Custody and financial arrangements related to the children of the relationship;
- Duration and existence of a joint household prior to separation;
- Waste or dissipation of marital assets by either spouse;
- Availability of health insurance to the parties;
- Contributions of the recipient spouse to the earning capacity of the other spouse; and
- Tax consequences of property after division of marital assets and debts.
Modification of Spousal Support
If either party seeks to modify spousal support after the divorce has been finalized, the party requesting the modification must demonstrate a substantial change of circumstances. Because Robert S. Lewis has been representing clients in family law matters for 35 years, he can provide realistic advice regarding your prospects for obtaining a modification.
If you have questions about spousal maintenance in Rockland County, Robert S. Lewis has the expertise to persuasively present evidence related to the factors the judge will consider. We invite you to contact the Law Offices of Robert S. Lewis, P.C. at 845-358-7100.