Spousal support involves a periodic payment from one spouse to another over a period of time. Besides being referred to as spousal support, this payment is also referred to as alimony or spousal maintenance. There are a number of factors which are to be considered in determining whether there is spousal support provided, how much and for how long. Unlike child support where there is formula pursuant to the Child Support Standards Act, there currently does not exist a specific formula for spousal maintenance other than on a temporary basis in a divorce action. Most commonly spousal support is a function of a legal separation or divorce agreement or court proceeding. However, it could also be sought by one spouse from the other in Family Court. There are certain factors to be considered by the court and/or the parties in determining the issue of spousal maintenance which include:
- the income and property of the parties
- the duration of the marriage and the age and health of the parties
- the present and future earning capacity of both parties
- the capacity of each person to be self-supporting
- the time and training necessary for either party to become self-supporting
- each party's prior standard of living
- tax consequences of any amounts of money or property exchanged, given or received
- contributions as a spouse, wage-earner, homemaker and to the career or career potential of the other spouse
- the wasteful dissipation of family assets by the other party
- the number of unemancipated children in the homes of the parties
- the physical and emotional health of the children
- the needs and best interests of the children
- the non-monetary contributions to the children that are or may be made by either party
- the available financial resources of the parties
- any transfer or encumbrance made in contemplation of a marital action without fair consideration
- all of the factors affecting dissolution of the marriage and the amounts of money paid and/or exchanged or given in this Agreement
- the reduced or lost life-time earning capacity of the party seeking maintenance as a result of foregone or delayed education, training, employment or career opportunities during the marriage.
- the standard of living the parties established during the marriage.
- the existance and duration of pre-marital joint household or pre-divorce separate household.
- acts by one party against the other, including, but not limited to, acts of domestic violence that inhibit a party's earning capacity or ability to obtain meaningful employment.
- the availability and cost of medical insurance for the parties.
- the care of the children or stepchildren
- disabled adult children or stepchildren
- elderly parents or in-laws that inhibits or continues to inhibit a party's earning capacity or ability to obtain meaningful employment.
- the inability of one party to obtain meaningful employment due to age or absence from the workforce.
- the need to pay for exceptional additional expenses for a child or children, such as schooling, daycare or medical treatment.
Our attorneys have extensive experience in dealing with issues of alimony and are happy to assist you if necessary.