Aside from dividing any marital property or assets, another financial consideration that many couples face is the subject of maintenance or spousal support. Spousal support, which dictates an amount of money one spouse must pay to the other during the marriage, can sometimes continue after divorce as maintenance.
Formerly known as alimony, these maintenance payments are a temporary measure to ensure that each party in the divorce has the financial support needed during the transition to living separately. Especially if one spouse had been primarily contributing to the marriage by taking care of the home or children rather than through a traditional job in the workforce, the court might determine that spousal support maintenance is necessary.
What is the difference between maintenance and child support?
Unlike child support, which is a legal obligation for both parents to financially support their children until those children turn 18, maintenance payments may have a shorter time frame. Additionally, child support payment calculations will take into account the custody arrangement. In contrast, the court calculates maintenance primarily based on the financial situation of each party in the divorce.
Depending on the financial arrangements, assets, health and earning capacity of each spouse, the court may determine that one party should pay the other maintenance payments or that neither spouse must pay.
What documents do New York Courts use to determine the spouses’ financial situations?
The judge or Support Magistrate presiding over a divorce hearing will use the following documents to measure the financial situation of each spouse:
- The most recent tax return
- Pay stubs
- Financial Disclosure Affidavit Form
Even if there was previously spousal support during the course of the marriage, maintenance payments will not automatically continue unless the judgment of divorce specifically notes that the payments must continue after the finalization of the divorce.