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What you need to know about spousal support

One of the final steps of a divorce is often the determination of spousal support.

Typically, this is because other issues - such as identifying, liquidating, and dividing assets - must be handled first in order to get a clear picture of a couple's finances before the calculation of spousal support can be completed.

Needless to say, the calculation and final determination of what the monied spouse will pay to the lower earning, or non-earning, spouse can be a contentious process.

Without proper and experienced representation, a monied spouse can find themselves paying what they believe to be excessive amounts in spousal support, and have little recourse after a final support amount is fixed by the Court given that downwardly modifying support obligations is a difficult and expensive process in and of itself. 

If you are contemplating divorce, or are currently divorcing your spouse at this time, Bashian P.C. can not only guide you through the divorce process as a whole, but ensure that your spousal support obligations will be reasonable and fair within the meaning of the law. 

What factors go into determining whether spousal support should be awarded, and how much, in New York and elsewhere? They generally are:

  1. Spouse A's ability to pay support
  2. Spouse B's need for support
  3. How long the marriage lasted
  4. The lifestyle the couple shared
  5. Personal information about each spouse, such as health and age

Additionally, courts will usually consider any nonmarital assets the spouses might have and if they have minor children.

A court might award what's called rehabilitative maintenance, which is short-term support while a spouse can go back to school or get other training to learn the skills for a new job.

A longer-term award can end upon the death of either party or the remarriage of the recipient spouse. If the financial situation of either person drastically changes, they can return to court to discuss modifying the spousal support order.

The topic of spousal support is just one of the many emotional issues that can arise in a divorce. Whether you are being asked to pay spousal support or you think you should receive it, an experienced divorce attorney and perhaps a financial adviser can provide valuable guidance.

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