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Matrimonial and Family Law Blog

Monday, February 27, 2017

Who is eligible for spousal support in a divorce?

Going through a divorce is often a messy ordeal. One tricky aspect of a divorce is the dispersal of financial support paid by an ex-spouse to the other, known in matrimonial law as spousal support.

There is an obligation for people who are legally married to support each other, which means either party in a marriage can receive spousal support. Working with an established family lawyer will help you make sense of any financial obligations.

What Is Spousal Support?

Spousal support is usually determined as part of the divorce agreements. It usually is decided after a judge reviews the income and assets of each person, while taking into account factors like:

  1. Healthcare and age of each person
  2. Present and future earning capacity
  3. If any children are involved
  4. Any inhibiting factors which may hinder employment (e.g., domestic violence)

Overall, a decision is based upon the standard of living within a marriage, and whether there is a lack of property or income by one person, which would not allow them to provide for their reasonable needs. The ability of the other party to pay a fair and reasonable amount of spousal support is also taken into account.

Generally, you may be eligible for spousal support if your income is significantly less than your spouses.

Spousal support can be determined in either Family Court or a Supreme Court. A support magistrate will decide the case if it goes to Family Court, while a judge will preside if the case is in a Supreme Court.

You can get spousal support if you are still living with your spouse, or while you are in the middle of a divorce case. It can also be modified if there is a significant change in finances.

What Is The Law In New York?

New York spousal support laws can be a bit difficult navigate on your own. In addition to the myriad spousal support laws on the books, new legislation was enacted in early 2016 to establish a formula for calculating the amount of support. The New York spousal support laws do give power for any side to build a case to challenge the calculation.

It is important to note that New York law stipulates if one gets public assistance in cash, they give up the right to receive spousal support directly from the other. The money instead goes to the New York Human Resources Administration or the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.  

Are you looking for spousal support?

A reputable and professional family lawyer will serve as a great asset to you if you are working through a divorce. They will help you build your case for support as you navigate through the divorce process. Our New York spousal support lawyers will help you fight for your rights.  If you are considering a divorce call the law offices of Gassman Baiamonte Betts, PC today at 516.228.9181.


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