After years of marriage, some people may become financially dependent on their spouses. While some people may stay home to take care of the children, others may put a career on hold while their spouse furthered their education.
Once the marriage ends, however, they are unable to support themselves. Alimony is designed to help former spouses achieve financial independence and get back on their feet, according to New York Courts.
Types of Alimony
There are several types of alimony, which the court awards after carefully considering the circumstances surrounding the situation. Spousal maintenance offers support to a spouse during the divorce process. It can begin at any time after the couple separates and usually terminates once the divorce is finalized.
At that point, the court may choose to extend alimony through temporary or permanent financial support. Temporary support allows a spouse to find a job, go through school and get to a point where they can support themselves. Permanent alimony, on the other hand, only dissipates once a spouse remarries or passes away.
The court may take into consideration several factors before making a decision as to whether alimony is needed and what type of alimony would best suit the situation. These factors include the following:
- Each party’s financial condition, including income and debt
- Each party’s financial needs
- Each party’s earning capacity, including education level
- How long the marriage lasted
- Whether there are children involved and which party has primary custody
It is important for divorcing couples to understand how the process works to ensure they are able to get back on their feet after the court finalizes the settlement.