A determination of how assets and liabilities obtained during the marriage must be made in order to dissolve a marriage. “Equitable distribution” is not necessarily the same as equal distribution. A variety of factors are used in analyzing what assets and liabilities are marital vs. separate and in what fashion they are to be distributed.
Maintenance (New York’s term for “alimony” or “spousal support”) may be awarded to a spouse who is presently not self-supporting, consistent with the marital lifestyle and the parties’ financial means. Such an award varies in amount and duration with the intention to allow one party to get back on their feet.
Courts are guided by a formula set forth in recently enacted legislation in determining an award of temporary and permanent maintenance based on the parties’ incomes and depending on who has custody of the children. Courts are afforded a certain amount of discretion in any award for maintenance.