The parties to a divorce must make several important decisions about how they  will separate their lives and manage their ongoing shared responsibilities. Often those responsibilities relate to the care and support of children, but in some New York divorces the parties must determine if spousal support should be awarded. Spousal support is the payment of money from one person to their ex after their marriage is over, and is often referred to as alimony in other states.

Spousal support can look a lot like child support. It may be ordered to be paid each month on a set date and in a set amount. Those payments may last the entire lifetime of the recipient or they may be ordered for a shorter period of time if the spousal support is only meant to help the recipient get back on their feet financially after their divorce.

However, spousal support can also be paid in a lump sum. When a lump sum spousal support payment is ordered, the paying party provides their ex with a single sum of money and only once. As soon as that transfer of money is made, the paying spouse has fulfilled their obligation to the other and the recipient spouse is entitled to no more support from their ex.

Whether spousal support will be awarded and in what form are decisions that must be made based on the individual facts of unique family law cases. A court may look at a number of different issues to decide just how best to serve the needs of the parties who arrive in their chambers to secure divorces. Those who want more information on spousal support or other family law topics can seek the professional guidance they need to better understand these issues.