Call Today 516.324.3138
Long Island Divorce Law Serving Clients with Compassion and Integrity

Spousal Support Lawyer in Long Island

Qualifying for Spousal Maintenance in New York State

Following a divorce, one of the partners may be entitled to spousal support, also known as alimony or spousal maintenance. Although there may be a bias towards rewarding the wife in a marriage spousal support – prompting the creation of men's or father's rights practices – there are no laws in place that say men cannot be granted alimony. The amount of maintenance is most closely tied to the incomes of each party and his or her financial independence.

If spousal support is not agreed upon between the parties, a family law judge will make the determination for them. Our opinion here at Jonathan E. Kroll & Associates, PLLC is that it is in your best interests to attempt to work it out ahead of time rather than let the judge make the decision, if this is a reasonable possibility. You should not feel as if you are giving up your rights to come to an agreement, though.

Are you encountering spousal support problems in your divorce? Contact our Long Island divorce attorney today for the guidance you need.

Determining Spousal Support in New York

As aforementioned, it is usually to everyone's benefit if matters can be resolved outside of court, perhaps through mediation or talks with a divorce attorney. It is completely understandable to not want to give up more than you believe your spouse requires; inversely, you should not be afraid to ask for as much maintenance payments as you deem necessary for you to continue living comfortably and similarly as to how you lived while you were married.

The entire point of spousal support is to maintain and upkeep that standard of living for both spouses, at least until the receiver of the benefits remarries or other major life changes occur.

If spousal support is decided by the court, the primary considerations are:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Age, health, and any special needs
  • Disparity in incomes
  • Accustomed standards of living
  • Child-rearing responsibilities

Unlike property distribution, the conduct of a spouse and the grounds for divorce may be considered in determining spousal support, even though New York is a no-fault divorce state. If you are worried that freestanding circumstances that might actually affect how maintenance is determined in your divorce, be sure to let your lawyer know right away.

Governor Cuomo's Changes to Alimony

In October of 2015, the Governor of New York State, Mr. Cuomo, signed a bill into law that made some major alterations to spousal support. Previously, the court's considerations were, more or less, based on discretion only. The alterations to the law has provided judges a formula to approach each situation, hopefully eliminating any biases or oversights.

The two most-impactful changes are:

  • Maintenance duration: Spousal support payments will only be paid out in direct relation to how long the marriage lasted. The shorter the marriage, the fewer number of payments the benefactor must make.
  • Enhanced earning capacity: Advancements in education, obtaining licenses, or finding celebrity status no longer count towards marital assets during the equitable distribution of assets. In layman's terms, you will pay out less of what you earn solely due to your own hard work and devotion.

Consult with a Long Island Divorce Lawyer Today

Spousal support requires the skill and talent of a dedicated family law attorney in order to negotiate successfully. Our law firm believes that the spouses should attempt to work out the spousal support figure outside of court. Having the decision in your own hands is preferable, as you have more control of the outcome rather than allowing a judge and a formula make the decision for you. With our support and direction, we can obtain a spousal support figure that works for everyone.

Dial (516) 324-3138 to request your free consultation today.