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How is New York Alimony Calculated?

How is New York Alimony Calculated?

Alimony in New York

In New York, alimony is referred to in three different ways: as alimony, spousal support, and maintenance. “Temporary maintenance” is an order that one spouse must financially support the other while the divorce is being finalized. Once the divorce is finalized, the temporary maintenance stops, and the judge decides whether permanent alimony is appropriate.  

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How is Alimony Determined in NY?

To decide whether spousal support is appropriate, the judge will look at the needs of the spouse asking for support and whether the other spouse has the financial ability to provide financial assistance. NYS alimony laws require courts to use a statutory formula to calculate support. 

The court will also look at the following factors when making a decision about spousal support:

  • Length of the marriage

  • Each spouse’s age and health

  • Each spouse’s earning capacity

  • Whether one spouse will need education or training expenses

  • Whether the spouse seeking maintenance can become self-supporting

  • Whether caring for children might decrease one spouse’s earning capacity

  • Distribution of marital property

  • If there are contributions one spouse has made as a homemaker in order to help enhance the other spouse’s earning capacity

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How Long Does Spousal Maintenance Last in New York?

Alimony in NY can be “durational” or “non-durational” depending on the unique details to your case. The court orders durational maintenance for a fixed period, usually in cases where the supported spouse can become self-supporting after several years.

Typically, in New York, the court will determine the duration of alimony by using the following guidelines:

  • Marriages lasting 0-15 years, support should last 15%-30% of the length of the marriage

  • Marriages that lasted more than 15 years to 20 years, support should last 30%-40% of the length of the marriage, or

  • Marriages more than 20 years in duration, the court should order support to last between 35%-50% of the length of the marriage.

For non-durational support, typically the decision is permanent and doesn’t end until one of the following occurs:

  • Either spouse dies

  • The recipient spouse remarries, or

  • The recipient spouse habitually lives with a partner while representing that person as a spouse.

Applying NY's alimony laws to your specific case can be confusing and overwhelming, but Friedman & Friedman PLLC, Attorneys at Law is here to assist you with your case. Call us today at (914) 873-4410 to set up a consultation with our Westchester lawyers.

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