New York Alimony Lawyer

When a couple divorces either party can request that the other party pay alimony- also referred to as spousal maintenance. The purpose of alimony is for the party who has the greater income to provide financially to the spouse who has less of an income. Based on a number of factors the judge will determine the type of alimony the supporting spouse must pay. Alimony can be paid in a one lump sum or over a period of time. A judge may order that the supporting spouse pay alimony for a few months, or for his or her lifetime. In some cases the length of the alimony payments is tied to a specific goal such as the dependent spouse obtaining a degree or finding a job. If you are in need of a New York divorce lawyer because you are contemplating filing for divorce, or if your spouse filed for divorce it is important that you contact an experienced New York alimony lawyer who will explain to you your legal options and who will ensure that any support order issued is consistent with your financial situation, and who will also represent you in other aspects of your case such as child custody disputes as well as issues related to child support.

Types of alimony

Alimony is cash payments made from one former spouse (the “supporting spouse”) to the other former spouse (the “dependent spouse”). Alimony is paid either in a lump sum or in weekly or monthly payments. While traditionally the husband was the one who paid alimony, nowadays the determination is based on the comparative gross incomes of the spouses. Typically the spouse that makes more money will end up being the supporting spouse regardless of whether that person is the husband or wife.

  • Durational. If the supporting spouse is required to pay the dependent spouse alimony for a fixed period of time, the alimony is durational.
  • Nondurational. If the alimony is permanent—meaning for the lifetime of the dependent spouse, the alimony is nondurational.
  • Permanent. Permanent support is the same as nondurational support. It is awarded for the lifetime of the dependent spouse.
  • Rehabilitative. Rehabilitative alimony is a type of durational. It is awarded in circumstances where the dependent spouse can become self-supporting within the rehabilitative time frame. For example, if the dependent spouse will be to earn a college degree or graduate degree within 1 year, the court may order the supporting spouse to pay alimony for 1 year.
  • Reimbursement. Reimbursement alimony is designed to reimburse the dependent spouse for contributions to the supporting spouse’s education or business. In some cases the contributions made by the dependent spouse was financial, while in other cases it may have been time or energy.
  • Temporary. Temporary alimony, also called, “pendente lite” maintenance, can only be awarded when requested by a party to a divorce action during the divorce action. Temporary maintenance may end before the end of the divorce action if the judge so orders, upon the issuance of the final judgment, or upon the death of the party paying.
Length of alimony payments

The timeframe for alimony payments varies based on a number of factors. For example, durational or rehabilitative support will last for a discrete period of time which in some cases is tied to a particular goal such as the dependent spouse finding a job or earning a degree. In the case of nondurational or permanent support, it may for the lifetime of the supporting spouse.

Support payments may cease if the dependent spouse remarries or cohabitates. In addition, the supporting spouse may ask the judge to stop or reduce payments if his or her circumstances change. For example, if the supporting spouse becomes disabled or if his or her income decreases significantly, the judge may modify the support order.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

For many people the end of a marriage means the end of emotional support as well as financial support. Without the financial help of the supporting spouse the dependent may fall into serious financial distress. Even though the law provides guidelines related who is entitled to alimony, how much and for how long, these rules are open to interpretation. Thus, it is important that you are represented by someone who is familiar with New York divorce law. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully representing clients New York Supreme Court and Family Court who are seeking spousal support or maintenance. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529)