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Can Men Win Spousal Support in NY?

There was a time when spousal support, then almost universally known as alimony, was unidirectional — husbands paid wives. This was based on the traditional view of marriage, where women were either solely housewives or employed at far lower-paying jobs, thus making them financially dependent on their husbands even after divorce.

Today, the courts look at about 20 different factors, not gender, to determine which spouse owes the other spousal support, if any is required at all. The intent of this support (often referred to as spousal maintenance after divorce) is to make a gender-neutral determination to maintain both spouses’ standard of living as it was during the marriage.

While not many men seek financial assistance after divorce from their spouses, a man who can demonstrate he lacks the income and property to support himself may indeed be awarded support. Indeed, as more same-sex marriages end in divorce, the likelihood of one man requiring support from his former spouse may result in an increase in the number of men receiving spousal maintenance long-term.

Beyond the income and property of each spouse, some of the 20 factors the court will consider include the following:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Ages and comparative health of the spouses
  • Actions taken by one spouse to deliberately prevent the other from earning a living
  • If children are involved, which parent receives physical custody
  • Wasteful behavior by one or the other spouse resulting in significant reduction of the value of marital assets (dissipation)

In addition to these and the other expressly listed factors, the court is allowed to consider any other factor it finds just, proper and relevant to the particular divorcing couple at hand. For more information, speak to one of our experienced spousal support attorneys about your specific concerns.

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