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What Determines The Length And Amount of Spousal Maintenance?


There are many issues that must be handed when a couple decides to file for divorce. One issue that many divorcing couples are forced to deal with during the divorce process includes spousal maintenance, which is the money paid to a spouse following a divorce. The amount and length of spousal maintenance is determined by the court after the court has assessed numerous factors, including the following:

· Length of Marriage

In most cases, a longer marriage will result in a larger spousal maintenance award, if one is awarded by the court. This can increase if the requesting spouse stayed home with a child, during the marriage, and has therefore earned less that the other spouse.

· Health and Age of Spouses

If a spouse is older or is experiencing health issues, they may be awarded a larger spousal maintenance award. Courts may evaluate this form of maintenance by assessing medical records and other information.

· Property and Income of Both Spouses

New York state courts will consider the various properties owned by each spouse. If the spouse seeking maintenance is to receive a significant amount of the marital property, the spouse seeking maintenance may receive a smaller award.

· The Future and Present Earning Capacity of Each Spouse

The court will assess the current status of the spouse seeking maintenance and their ability to be self-sufficient. If that spouse is able to obtain education or employment to become self-supporting, maintenance may be provided for a shorter period of time.

· Training or Education Costs a Spouse May Need to Live Comfortably

If the court determines that the seeking spouse can become self-supportive after obtaining employment or an education, they may only award spousal support for a specific amount of time that allows the seeking person to obtain such. Additionally, the court may consider the amount that an education or training will cost when determining the amount of the spousal maintenance award.

· Equitable Distribution of the Couple’s Marital Property

In New York, courts ensure that marital property is separated equitably. This means that each spouse may not receive exactly half of the assets. So, if one spouse is awarded the marital home, that spouse may be responsible for paying maintenance to pay off the other spouse’s home equity.

Lois Brenner, Esq. Is Here for You

If you and your spouse are contemplating divorce and would like legal guidance regarding spousal support or spousal maintenance, we invite you to get in touch with our New York divorce lawyers at Lois Brenner, Esq. as soon as possible! We can examine your circumstances and determine which legal approaches can help you obtain positive results in the shortest amount of time possible. We believe every person deserves to live a happy and comfortable life, and that is why we are here to help.

To discuss your current situation, contact a New York divorce attorney from our firm today!