SPOUSAL SUPPORT & MAINTENANCE IN New York

Temporary, Durational, or Permanent Spousal Support

Apart from equitable distribution, or the ultimate division of assets, spousal support or maintenance is often the most contentious issue in any Columbia County divorce. Whether you are facing a contested or uncontested divorce, this issue will need to be addressed. Your divorce attorney will play a key role in the outcome of this, which is why it is so important to choose legal representation whose experience and dedication will best serve you during negotiations or in court.  In New York State, the court can award maintenance to one spouse. 


Maintenance, which can alternatively be called "alimony” or “spousal support”, is a monetary payment from one spouse to another. Either spouse, male or female, can be ordered to pay maintenance to the other spouse by the court. The monetary payment can be awarded as a lump sum or over time. If you are facing a divorce, and support is an issue, our law offices are experienced in assisting clients with spousal support cases, and together, we will develop the legal strategy you need to help you win your case.   


The supreme and family courts in New York State have broad discretion to award any amount of money necessary to support the recipient spouse, provided the court’s decision is based on the facts and the circumstances existing at the time the award is granted. The facts are essential and carefully reviewed. With our legal support, the judge in your supreme court or family court case will be presented with the necessary information and facts you need to reach the goals you are seeking in regards to maintenance payments. Prior to awarding spousal support, the supreme court or family court judge in your Columbia County Divorce will examine:  


  • The length of the marriage
  • The conduct of the parties during the marriage
  • The age and health of the parties
  • The occupations of the parties and their incomes
  • The sources of income
  • The vocational skills and employability of the spouses
  • The assets and debts of the parties
  • Any special needs of the parties
  • The opportunity of the parties to acquire future income and assets.

Furthermore, in New York State, the supreme or family court judge may consider three types of spousal support: permanent, rehabilitative, and restitutional. 


Permanent Alimony is a payment for daily requirements such as the food, housing, clothing of a spouse. A spouse who requests permanent alimony must prove the need for support. Permanent alimony, once awarded by the supreme or family court, is in effect indefinitely, or until there is a change in circumstances, upon which there may be a review of the arrangement. 


Rehabilitative Alimony is a payment intended to provide the support necessary for a spouse to refresh or develop job skills that will allow him or her to secure a vocation (or job). This is a common form of temporary alimony awarded by the New York supreme or family court to allow a spouse to "get back on their feet." 


Restitutional Alimony is a repayment of support given to one spouse by the other while he or she was pursuing educational opportunities or enhancing vocational skills. Supreme or family court restitutional alimony awards are temporary. Supreme or family court spousal support matters are frequently the most contested situations to deal with in the divorce process, because they affect both the current and future lifestyles of both spouses, as neither wants to be financially handicapped by a crippling payment or the lack of alimony. If you are encountering problems with spousal support, contact us today for experienced legal representation and the determination to fight for the spousal maintenance or support that provides you with your fair share.  

The court may require the monied spouse  to support the other during or after the pending action.

The court may require the monied spouse to support the other during or after the pending action.

Contact Us

Legal Inquiry

The Law Offices of Heidi T. Cochrane

PO Box 117, 2602 Route 23, Hillsdale, New York 12529, United States

(518) 965-1077