Finances are a huge factor following a divorce. Alimony, also known as spousal support or spousal maintenance, is the payment of money from one former partner to the other. It is intended to make fair any economic disadvantages one partner may experience as a result of going through a divorce as it is not uncommon for one partner in a marriage to forego gainful employment for the sake of becoming the primary caretaker of the family. There are a variety of factors that a New York court can look at when deciding if one spouse should receive alimony from the other.
Particularly a court will evaluate if the spouse requesting alimony will suffer a drop in his or her standard of living as a result of the divorce. Even if the spouse requesting support is employed, he or she may receive alimony payments if the divorce will result in that party suffering financial burdens he or she cannot overcome.
A party's earning potential may also support his or her request for alimony from a former spouse. One's earning potential relates to his capacity to secure gainful employment, and some individuals suffer losses of their earning potential when they stay out of the workforce for the sake of caring for their families. If a person can work but does not have the potential to earn as much as he needs to live on then he may have a good case for seeking alimony.
There are many different factors that can influence a court's decision to grant alimony to a divorcing individual. Some divorcing couples agree to alimony arrangements on their own; however, as every divorce is different it is not possible to provide a complete generalization of how employment will impact all alimony requests. Readers of this family law blog may wish to discuss their alimony questions directly with their family law or divorce attorneys.