Very little about divorce is simple, but the complexity of marital property distribution and spousal support can be overwhelming. In New York, if the parties involved in a divorce cannot agree on these issues, the state Supreme Court will order support from one spouse to another based on the circumstances of the case.
New Yorkers who are involved in a divorce might be interested to learn about spousal support, also known as alimony. During divorce proceedings, alimony may be awarded to one of the former spouses in order to mitigate the effects of losing the higher-wage-earning spouse's financial support. Alimony is usually paid on a temporary basis while the payee gathers the resources to become self-sufficient.
The end of a marriage is often accompanied by strong emotions. Feelings of hurt and anger and thoughts of revenge are hardly uncommon among spouses during, and sometimes long after, divorce. Most spouses, even those blindsided by a partner's decision, usually regain perspective and emotional control eventually.
The more marital assets a couple owns, the more likely the property will become part of a contested divorce. The financial stakes are higher in a high-asset break up. Divorce for a wealthy couple often means lengthy negotiations and multiple trips to court to resolve asset disagreements.
The 2010 New York no-fault divorce law includes a disputed formula that calculates temporary alimony. Opponents of the current law do not argue with the need for blameless divorce but criticize the alimony formula as unfair to wealthier spouses forced to pay spousal support.
Unlike child support, paid alimony is tax deductible. For recipients, payments are taxed as income. Legal experts say federal tax deductions for paying spousal maintenance are not automatic.