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New York Rehabilitative Alimony

With many divorces alimony is part of the process. Under New York divorce law, either party to the divorce can request that the other party pay alimony- also referred to as spousal maintenance. The purpose of alimony is for the person who has the greater income to provide financially to the person who has less of an income. However, alimony typically is not meant to be permanent, but rehabilitative. In other words, it is meant to provide help to the dependent spouse for a fixed period in order to help that spouse become financially stable. Alimony is not automatic simply because one spouse makes more money than the other spouse. Just like when a court determines child support or child custody, there are a number of factors that a court will consider in determining whether either spouse is entitled to alimony, the amount and the duration of the payments. If you are contemplating divorce and are unsure if alimony will be ordered, it is important that you contact an experienced New York rehabilitative alimony lawyer who will explain to you the factors the court may consider in determining whether or not alimony will be ordered and who will help ensure that any support order issued is both consistent with New York Domestic Relations law as well as your financial situation.

What is the difference between rehabilitative alimony and permanent 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.

Rehabilitative alimony is financial support that will not be paid indefinitely, but for a fixed period of time. During the fixed period of time the dependent spouse is supposed to take steps to become financially independent and stable. For example, the court may order that the supporting spouse pay the dependent spouse alimony until the dependent spouse earns a degree. Thus, the length of the alimony payments could be 2 or even 4 years or more. Or, the court may give the dependent spouse a certain time period to find full-time employment. Rehabilitative is often awarded to stay-at-home spouses (wives or husbands) who will need some time to get back into the job force.

Permanent alimony, on the other hand, can last until the dependent spouse’s death. However, other events may cause permanent alimony to end such as if the dependent spouse remarries, the supporting spouse becomes unemployed or has a significant decrease income, or the supporting spouse becomes ill. The supporting spouse could petition the court to request that permanent alimony end if there is a significant change in his or her circumstances.

Are there other types of alimony besides rehabilitative or permanent?

Yes. Another type of alimony is temporary alimony or temporary support. This type is paid to the dependent spouse during the pendency of the divorce proceedings. Divorce proceedings are often lengthy. Support orders typically are issued at the end of the proceedings. However, in cases where one spouse can show a financial need, that spouse can ask the court to issue a temporary support order so that he or she can receive support payment while the divorce proceedings are being finalized.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

For many people the end of a marriage means the beginning of financial problems. The law makes provisions for alimony based on the spouses’ relative financial positions as well as other factors. However, New York’s rules related to alimony and support are open to interpretation. Thus, it is important that you are represented by someone who is familiar with New York divorce law to help ensure that your interests are protected. 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 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.

Client Reviews
My ex-husband hadn't paid child support or the mortgage on the house as he was supposed to. Stephen Bilkis and his team of lawyers were amazing. They stopped the foreclosure on the house, Got a judgment against him and most importantly kept me and my children in the house. Can't say enough good things about him in the firm their compassion hard work and dedication were exceptional. I.G.
From the very first phone call to Stephen Bilkis' office, the staff was extremely polite and helpful in assisting me. Mr. Bilkis was honest and upfront with me from the beginning in what he projected the outcome of my case would be; in the end we got better results than either of us anticipated. He was very genuine and compassionate in understanding my situation and how this legal matter could effect not only myself but my family as well. I highly recommend this law firm and will most definitely continue using them for any future legal needs. Jarrett
Stephen has handled numerous estate matters, criminal matters and family court matters effectively and with a goal-oriented approach. He gets great results and is a results-oriented attorney. Dustin