Westchester Spousal Maintenance Lawyer
Pursuing spousal maintenance can be emotionally charged and intimidating, as the decisions you make today can have a far-reaching impact on your fiscal stability in the future. If you ever find yourself mired in the personal and financial struggles that often accompany a divorce in Westchester, our experienced lawyers are available to assist you.
Our Westchester spousal maintenance lawyers are committed to the successful outcome of your case, standing by your side during the proceedings as well as after the case concludes. We know that in many circumstances there are lingering issues that must be addressed after the final judgment has been issued. We work hard to protect your interests to secure the best future possible and help you think through the options to make the best decisions for you and your children.
Basics of Maintenance in Westchester
The purpose of spousal maintenance, also known as alimony or spousal support, is to allow a spouse who is placed at a financial disadvantage by reason of divorce to support themselves at a similar quality of life as they enjoyed during their marriage. Either spouse may be entitled to receive spousal maintenance.
In New York, maintenance can be paid to a current spouse prior to divorce or to a former spouse post-divorce. Maintenance is paid under the terms of a written agreement or by a court order. Payments made by a spouse pursuant to agreements signed prior to December 31, 2018, are tax-deductible, and payments received by a spouse are considered taxable income. Under the Tax Reform Act of 2017, maintenance payments made pursuant to agreements or orders entered on or after January 1, 2019, will not be deductible to the payor nor taxable to the recipient.
If a judge determines the question of maintenance, the court does a calculation on the income of both parties up to a cap and also assess several factors when determining if and how much spousal maintenance is appropriate. These factors may include but are not limited to:
- Income and financial resources of each spouse
- Length of the marriage
- Reasons for the divorce
- Accustomed standard of living
- Age and health of the parties
- Earning capacity of each spouse
- Occupation of each spouse
- Location of children
After gathering all the facts, a skilled Westchester spousal maintenance lawyer will have a firm understanding of how to find a fair amount for you.
Types of Spousal Maintenance
There are two stages to the process of establishing maintenance for divorcing partners in Westchester: pendente lite maintenance and a final order of maintenance.
Pendente lite maintenance—also known as temporary maintenance—is typically granted during the negotiating stage of the divorce process. As the name suggests, the purpose of this temporary support is to allow a lower-earning partner to support themselves financially during the period where they are separated but not yet formally divorced from a spouse whom they depended on for financial support.
Pendente lite maintenance is calculated based on the combined income and assets of both spouses, as well as the support needed for the lower-earning spouse to maintain the same standard of living as they had prior to the divorce.
Once the divorce process concludes, a judge ends any awards of temporary maintenance and replace them with a final order of maintenance that will continue into the post-divorce period. Final orders of maintenance can be either durational—set to end after a predetermined period of time—or nondurational. Nondurational maintenance often lasts for life and is generally reserved for special circumstances, such as when a partner who is unlikely to find work or when divorce occurs at an advanced age.
Consult with a Westchester Spousal Maintenance Attorney
Our skilled spousal maintenance lawyers in Westchester can work with you to discuss the rules of domestic relations and offer you options on how to proceed in your case. Your concerns become our concerns, and we fight hard for the best outcome possible to each case we face. To schedule an appointment with one of our dedicated family law attorneys, contact our firm today.