What Factors Do Courts Use When Calculating Spousal Support?

Spousal support, which you may hear called alimony, is one form of support ordered during a divorce by a New York court. Regardless of whether you will receive or pay it, it is helpful to understand how the court calculates it. The different factors the court considers will allow it to properly formulate how much you may pay or receive and for how long.

The New York City Bar explains the main basis for figuring spousal support is income. This not only includes the current income of you and your spouse but also earning potential. The court may look at who worked during the marriage. It may consider if one spouse worked to put another spouse through schooling or training. It may also consider how one spouse staying home with the children during the marriage could impact his or her ability to find work now. The court looks into any issue that may impact earning ability, along with the property received as part of the divorce settlement, which qualifies as income.

Beyond income, the court also considers how long you were married. It looks at minor children and who they live with, along with any costs associated with care and who pays them. The property you and your spouse receive during the divorce and the tax consequences of support are other factors the court considers. The court also thinks about your ages and health statuses, whether either of you have to care for a family member.

The court is thorough in its assessment to determine spousal support. The goal is to ensure you both are financially stable after the divorce. This information is for education and is not legal advice.