Spousal maintenance, which some people call alimony or spousal support, can be the most contentious aspect of a divorce. If one spouse asks for spousal maintenance and the other feels that it isn’t appropriate, the couple may have an acrimonious court battle ahead of them.
However, litigation isn’t necessary for one spouse to receive maintenance from the other when they legally separate or divorce. How do people settle spousal support issues without involving a New York family law judge?
They have a pre-existing agreement
When spouses drafted a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that discusses spousal maintenance, that marital contract can guide the spouses and courts through an uncontested divorce. If the two of you have already agreed that one of you should receive maintenance for their services as a stay-at-home parent or homemaker, that agreement will likely prevent extensive court battles over the issue. While an agreement can impose a maintenance obligation, people can’t waive maintenance in such contracts.
They resolve the issue with one another
Whether through mediation, arbitration or collaborative negotiations, divorcing spouses can reach a mutual agreement about what they think would be most appropriate for spousal maintenance.
You can potentially agree to terms that are different from what the state would establish if you were to litigate. You could arrange for a different duration than would be standard given your circumstances or a different amount of support, either less or more, as long as both of you agree it is appropriate.
Exploring the ways to resolve your disputes about spousal maintenance in your New York divorce can help you limit how much time you must spend in court.