New York Rehabilitative Alimony Lawyer
In many divorces, alimony is part of the process. Many states allow either party to a divorce to request the other party to pay alimony, also known as spousal maintenance. The idea behind alimony is to have the person earning a greater income to offer financial support to the person with a little income. In most cases, alimony is not permanent, it is rehabilitative. This means it is withdrawn after the dependent spouse gains financial stability. Alimony does not apply automatically because one spouse is earning more than the other. There are several factors that the court needs to consider before ordering alimony. If you are in the process of being divorced and are not sure whether you will get alimony, you should contact a New York rehabilitative alimony lawyer to review your situation and to determine your best course of action.
How Does The Court Determine Whether To Award Rehabilitative Alimony?
Some of the factors the court will consider before ordering rehabilitative alimony are
- The financial needs of the dependent spouse
- The supporting spouse’s ability to meet the dependent spouse’s expenses
- Presence of other monetary awards or settlements
- The level of the dependent spouse’s financial dependency
- Age and abilities of the dependent spouse
- Whether the dependent spouse abandoned employment or educational opportunities during marriage to raise the children or care for their spouse
How is Rehabilitative Alimony Requested?
The spouse seeking rehabilitative alimony has to present the court with a plan that describes the education, skill, or rehabilitation that will be acquired, the process of acquiring such skill, and the purpose or end use of the skill. For the court to award alimony, it has to be convinced that there is a probability and capacity for self-sufficiency when the rehabilitative period expires.
How Long Does Rehabilitative Alimony Last?
Typically, when rehabilitative alimony is ordered, the court will state the guidelines associated with the goals, purposes, and time frame of the alimony. The court will consider the circumstances of the spouse and the divorce when creating these guidelines. The court will set the duration of rehabilitative alimony on the time required to achieve the set goals. It is worth noting that rehabilitative alimony is dependent upon a spouse’s good faith in attaining the prescribed goals. If the court finds that the spouse is not demonstrating good faith effort in rehabilitation, the alimony may be terminated.
Can the Court Change The Terms of Rehabilitative Alimony?
The court can change or extend the amount of rehabilitative alimony under compelling circumstances. Some of the reasons the court may change alimony are if:
- An unexpected incident occurred and stopped the dependent spouse from gaining financial stability at the end of the set period for alimony
- The dependent spouse has tried to achieve financial freedom but it was impossible to do so within the initial set period for alimony
- The supporting spouse is still in a position to support the dependent spouse
The court may also change the amount of alimony payments if there is proof of a material change of circumstances. A change of circumstances can occur where one of the spouses loses their job, or where one of the spouse’s income changes.
The Take Away
Rehabilitative alimony is meant to get you back on your feet and help you become independent. However, there is no guarantee you will be entitled to rehabilitative alimony but if you are, there are measures you need to take to claim it. Consult a New York rehabilitative alimony attorney for advice and help navigating the legal waters of claiming alimony.