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Can an inheritance can affect spousal maintenance in New York?

On Behalf of | Jan 12, 2024 | Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance, also called alimony, is a financial arrangement in which one spouse provides financial support to the other after a divorce. The intention is to address any economic disparities between the spouses that may arise due to the divorce.

However, an inheritance can significantly influence the determination of spousal support.

Factors influencing spousal maintenance

Various factors determine the amount and duration of spousal maintenance in New York. These factors include the length of the marriage, the financial resources and earning capacities of both spouses and the standard of living during the marriage.

Inheritance as a financial resource

One important element is the financial resources of each spouse. Inheritances fall under this category. Their impact on spousal maintenance can hinge on the timing and usage of the inherited assets.

Timing of the inheritance

New York has a divorce rate of 2.2 divorces per 1,000 people. When an inheritance occurs after a divorce is final, it typically does not factor into spousal maintenance calculations. However, if the inheritance significantly alters the financial landscape of one ex-spouse, it may be a factor in adjusting spousal maintenance to ensure an equitable outcome.

If the inheritance occurred during the marriage, its influence on spousal maintenance may vary. New York courts may consider whether the spouses commingled the inheritance with marital assets or kept them separate, as this can impact its treatment in the divorce proceedings.

The intersection of inheritance and spousal maintenance in New York divorces can be a complex matter. Understanding the impact of inheritances is important for divorcing couples seeking a fair resolution to their financial arrangements.