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What does the court in New York consider for spousal support?

On Behalf of | May 4, 2021 | Spousal Support

New York law states that spouses have the responsibility to take care of each other. Spousal support isn’t just for divorced couples. Some married people go to court to obtain spousal support when their spouses aren’t fulfilling their legal duties. In New York, the legal term for financial assistance after divorce is spousal maintenance. It is also known as alimony. The type that occurs during a marriage is spousal support. There are a few factors that a judge will consider when requiring spousal support.

Ability to pay

If paying spousal support to the other spouse would cause financial hardship, then it’s unlikely the judge will make this ruling. When both spouses earn around the same income, it’s also not likely for either to receive spousal support.


When one of the spouses has a disability, there is a high chance that a judge will order the other spouse to pay spousal support as long as it wouldn’t put the paying person in a position so that he or she can’t take care of his or her own affairs. Judges also consider both the physical and mental health of each person when making a decision.

The recipient’s ability to support themselves

A major factor that judges consider is the recipient’s ability to support himself or herself. If the individual can take care of his or her own needs, then there is no reason to require the other spouse to provide financial assistance.

It’s not only your current income that a judge checks. The court takes into consideration an inheritance that you may receive in a few years. You may still receive spousal support but only up until receiving your inheritance. Spousal maintenance would end when the recipient marries again as well. The new spouse becomes the one who is legally responsible for the needs.

Spousal support and maintenance are not lifelong stipulations in most cases. The purpose of these legal orders is to help the recipient develop his or her skills enough to find a job that is adequately supportive.

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