Carton & Rosoff PC-Attorney at Law

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Spousal support basics in New York

Spousal support can be an important concern for divorcing couples to resolve. Because of its importance, it is helpful for divorcing couples to understand how spousal support is determined so the spouses know how long they will need to pay spousal support and how long they will receive spousal support.

Spousal support may be awarded by the court, requiring one of the former spouses to pay the other spouse following the divorce. The couple may also agree to spousal support which they may reach through a mediated divorce process. Spousal support is available to ensure both spouses are as financially secure as possible following the divorce. In some instances, one spouse may have remained out of the work force to care for the home and family and may lack the training or skills necessary to obtain a job outside of the home.

There are several factors that courts use to guide them in determining whether to grant spousal support, for how long and for how much. Factors that the court will consider when evaluating spousal support include the ages, physical conditions, emotional conditions and financial conditions of the former spouses; the length of the marriage; the couple's standard of living during the marriage; the length of time the recipient spouse would need to obtain the training needed to become self-sufficient; and the ability of the paying spouse to pay spousal support to the recipient spouse and support themselves.

Spousal support may be awarded by different lengths such as if it is rehabilitative to help a lower earning or non-wage-earning spouse obtain the skills and training necessary to become self-sufficient. It may also be awarded as a lump sump or in other ways. Because of the significance of spousal support to both spouses, it is useful for divorcing couples to understand how spousal support is determined and the different family law resources available to help.

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