When a New York divorce is finalized, the parties to the ended marriage are returned to their single status and are free to marry again if they so choose. The parties are no longer obligated to each other as they were when they were married, though agreements and orders created during their divorce proceedings may continue to bind them for many years into the future.
For example, if the parties shared minor children at the time of their divorce they may be required to work together to co-parent their kids and support them through custodial and financial agreements. If the parties owned a business together they may choose to continue their business relationship even after their marital relationship has ended.
Another form of enduring obligation that formerly married people may have is that of spousal support. Spousal support is the payment of money from one former partner to the other to assist the recipient with creating a life on their own. Often during marriages one partner may forego working for an income to support the family. In cases such as this the spouse who has not built a career for themselves may find that their earning capacity is insufficient to meet their post-divorce needs.
When a party to a divorce asks a court to consider a spousal support award in general there are a number of factors that the court may weigh in deciding if it is an appropriate action. The court may consider the standard of living that the partners enjoyed as a couple and it may also evaluate what, if any, training the recipient spouse would need to be able to financially care for themselves.
A court may review other factors in its decision to award spousal support pursuant to a divorce, such as the length of the couple's marriage and the amount of time it may take for a recipient spouse to become self-supporting. As different couples arrive at their divorces with different backgrounds and experiences it is important that readers discuss their spousal support questions with their divorce lawyers.