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New York Durational Alimony Lawyer

During a divorce, one spouse can request the other to pay alimony, also known as spousal maintenance. Alimony is paid by the spouse who earns a greater income and for the benefit of the spouse who earns little or no income. In many cases, spousal maintenance is limited to a fixed duration. There are several factors that the court will consider before ordering a spouse to pay alimony. If you are in the process of filing for divorce, or if your spouse wants to divorce you, contact a New York durational alimony lawyer to determine your legal options and to help you secure an order that represents your financial situation.

What Factors Are Considered When Granting Alimony?

When deciding whether to issue an order for spousal support, the judge will consider the needs of the spouse petitioning for support and whether the other spouse is financially capable of providing financial assistance. The court will also consider the following factors:

  • How old each spouse is and their current health status
  • The earning potential of the parties (both current and future)
  • Whether taking care of children prevented one spouse from earning
  • The need for one spouse to pay for training or education costs
  • The duration of the marriage
  • The contributions that one spouse has made as a homemaker in an effort to improve the other spouse’s earning potential
  • Whether the actions of one spouse have prevented or continue to prevent the other spouse from obtaining employment. For example, in cases of domestic violence, if one spouse’s abuse towards the other affected the victim’s ability to secure a job, the court will take this matter into consideration when issuing a support order.
  • Equal division of marital property

What is the Difference Between Durational and Non-Durational Alimony?

If the court orders the supporting spouse to pay alimony to the dependent spouse for a fixed duration of time, this type of support is durational alimony. However, if the court orders the supporting spouse to pay alimony to the dependent spouse for the rest of their life, this type of support is non-durational alimony.

Since the purpose of spousal maintenance or alimony is to help the dependent spouse get training or transition to a new career, or take any other steps to be self-sufficient, it is usually durational. The main exception is when the marriage lasted for a long time and the dependent spouse is old, ill, or incapable of eking out a living. In such circumstances, the judge will order non-durational support.

How Long Does Durational Alimony Last?

When determining the length of time for durational alimony, the court will consider several factors including the needs of the dependant spouse and the ability of the supporting spouse to pay. The court will also determine the cost of caring for any children that the two parties share. Typically, durational alimony cannot last longer than the duration of the couple’s marriage.

In special circumstances, the court may modify the terms of a durational alimony order. This applies to situations where the dependant gets a well paying job, or where the supporting spouse loses their job. In such cases, the court may either reduce the support payments or withdraw the support order.

The Take Away

If you are facing a divorce and are concerned about your financial situation after the divorce is finalized, you need to petition the court to order your spouse to pay durational alimony. Durational alimony is meant to help you get on your feet and become financially independent. Consult a New York durational alimony lawyer to help you secure a spousal support order that is consistent with your financial needs.