Spousal Support: What is it? When is it Appropriate? How Much and for How Long?

Spousal support, maintenance, alimony, "New York Divorce Mediation Group"In our Divorce Mediation practice, we often come upon situations where one spouse will need to provide financial support to the other spouse for a period of time and, far less often, permanently. This type of spousal support is called “Maintenance.”

Spousal support is meant to help the non-working spouse or the lower income spouse become self supporting and to live as close as possible to their pre-separation standard of living. Among the factors that judges consider when calculating spousal support are the age, health, education, work history and length of marriage.

A few scenarios where Maintenance would be appropriate:

a) young, stay at home parent with small children
b) a stay at home parent who is re-entering the work force after many years of child rearing
c) a spouse with permanent health issues
d) a spouse who is nearing retirement age and has never worked
e) a spouse who is seeking to upgrade career credentials
f) a spouse, who because of a lack of education, is in a minimum wage job

In situations where the spouses have agreed to Spousal Support/Maintenance for a specified number of years,they can also agree that Maintenance will be reduced as the recipient’s income increases or terminate when the recipient’s income reaches a certain level. Maintenance will also typically end when the recipient remarries.

While this article offers an overview of the many factors that go into determining the calculated amount and duration of Spousal Support/Maintenance, the mediation process will look at your particular circumstances to determine whether Maintenance is appropriate. At New York Divorce Mediation Group we will provide guidance in a non-adversarial environment, and answer all your questions on Maintenance.

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