New York Equitable Distribution Law provides for the maintenance and temporary maintenance of a spouse. See New York Domestic Relations Law section 236 Part B(2).
In any action or proceeding brought (1) to annul a marriage or declare the nullity of a void marriage, or (2) for a separation, or (3) for a divorce, the court may direct either spouse to provide suitably for the support of the other as, in the court's discretion, justice requires, having regard to the length of time of the marriage, the ability of each spouse to be self-supporting, the circumstances of the case and of the respective parties.
The court may require the payment of a sum or sums of money either directly to either spouse or to third persons on behalf of the spouse.
Payment is generally effective as of the date of the application for maintenance. The court may direct that any retroactive amount of alimony due shall be paid in one sum or periodic sums. The court may order maintenance payment despite the fact that the parties continue to reside in the same house and despite the misconduct of the spouse seeking maintenance unless such misconduct would itself constitute grounds for separation or divorce.
Factors That The Court Must Consider in Granting Maintenance
In determining the amount and duration of maintenance the New York court must consider the following factors:
- the income and property of the respective parties including marital property distributed pursuant to subdivision five of this part;
- the duration of the marriage and the age and health of both parties;
- the present and future earning capacity of both parties;
- the ability of the party seeking maintenance to become self-supporting and, if applicable, the period of time and training necessary to become self-supporting;
- reduced or lost lifetime earning capacity of the party seeking maintenance as a result of having foregone or delayed education, training, employment, or career opportunities during the marriage;
- the presence of children of the marriage in the respective homes of the parties;
- the tax consequences to each party;
- contributions and services of the party seeking maintenance as a spouse, parent, wage earner, and homemaker, and to the career or career potential of the other party;
- the wasteful dissipation of marital property by either spouse;
- any transfer or encumbrance made in contemplation of a matrimonial action without fair consideration; and
- any other factor which the court shall expressly find to be just and proper.
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