Most couples who are divorcing want to know whether they will be able to receive, or be forced to pay, alimony. Unless otherwise stipulated by a valid and fair prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, whether or not one spouse will be liable to the other for alimony payments is dependent upon the income and resources of each party, and whether or not one party does not have the economic means to reasonably support themselves.

At The Colwell Law Group, LLC, our Schenectady County alimony lawyers can assist you in understanding alimony – also known as spousal maintenance – laws in New York, and help you fight for, or defend yourself against, a request for alimony.

Factors a Court Considers When Awarding Alimony

If one spouse does not have the income necessary to reasonably provide for their needs, and the other spouse does have the income or property to provide for those needs, then spousal maintenance will probably be awarded. However, maintenance is designed, in most cases, to provide the dependent spouse with the financial support they need until they can acquire income or the education or training needed for income. As such, how much alimony a court will order a spouse to pay, and for how long, are dependent upon factors such as:

  • The current income and earnings of both spouses;
  • For how long the couple has been married;
  • The amount of time it would take the dependent spouse to acquire education or training for employment;
  • Ability of maintenance-seeking spouse to become self-supportive;
  • Tax consequences; and
  • Any other factors that the court finds relevant.


Temporary Maintenance vs. Post-divorce Maintenance

Again, in most cases, a court will only award maintenance as a bit of a buffer for the supported spouse until the point that they are able to achieve self-sufficiency. However, this should not be confused with temporary maintenance, which is spousal support that is ordered by a judge while the divorce case is pending. This type of maintenance ends when a final order of maintenance is issued by a judge.

Post-divorce maintenance, then, is the type of spousal support that is paid after a divorce has been finalized. A post-divorce maintenance order can be durational, which means that it will end after a certain amount of time has elapsed. If it is non-durational – which is rare – it will be awarded until either spouse dies, or the receiving spouse remarries.

Contact Us Today for Information About Alimony

If you have questions about spousal maintenance, our smart Schenectady County alimony lawyers can provide you with informed answers, as well as legal guidance as you navigate the court system. Do not cheat yourself out of a maintenance award, or get stuck paying way more than you should, as a result of not having competent legal representation. Instead, contact our law firm today to meet with one of our team members as soon as possible.

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