In the state of New York, alimony is no longer a legal term. Although many residents still use the terms alimony and spousal support, the official term is now “spousal maintenance.” Other than its name, spousal support or maintenance functions essentially the same way as it does in other states.

At one time, most divorcing couples expected spousal maintenance to be a factor in their divorces. In this more contemporary world, spousal support is not always ordered by the court. Instead, family law judges consider the matter much more carefully than they did in past eras. Some of the issues that courts examine when making spousal support decisions include:

  • The level of financial need a spouse may experience
  • The paying spouse’s ability to afford spousal support
  • The length of time a spouse may need maintenance for training or education
  • The length of the couple’s marriage
  • The standard of living to which both spouses are accustomed
  • The age of each spouse
  • The physical condition and overall health of each spouse
  • The mental and emotional health of each spouse

Those who have been married for a long time typically worry quite a lot about their finances in the wake of a divorce. For many, receiving spousal support can make a world of difference in their ability to become financially stable after the marriage ends. However, many spouses fight aggressively to avoid an order to pay the other spouse any form of maintenance.

When spousal maintenance would help ensure your ability to meet your financial obligations, it is unwise to leave the matter to chance. It is much better to take immediate steps to show a New York court why you need and deserve spousal support. An attorney can help you reach this critical financial goal.