Alimony, also known as spousal support, is hotly contested in many divorces. In some marriages, a significant financial discrepancy places one party at a substantial disadvantage during a divorce. To maintain the standard of living established during the marriage, New York courts may order the higher-earning spouse to provide the lower-income spouse with this type of financial support. If a divorce is imminent and you’re concerned about your spousal support determination, it’s in your best interest to enlist the help of an experienced Rockland County Alimony Attorney who can help you fight for a fair and just agreement. Please continue reading to learn how alimony is determined in New York. 

How do New York courts determine alimony?

It can be challenging for couples to reach an agreement outside of court regarding alimony. When this happens, the courts will be left to determine a fair spousal support obligation. The formula to determine spousal support in New York is based on the $175,000/year cap. It previously stood at $543,000/year but has had a drastic decrease. However, the obligation will ultimately depend on the duration of the marriage. Essentially, the longer the marriage, the more substantial the award:

  • If the marriage lasted up to 15 years, maintenance could be ordered between 15-30% of the years married.
  • If the marriage lasted 16 to 20 years, maintenance could be ordered between 30 and 50% of the married years.
  • If the marriage lasted 20 years or more, maintenance could be ordered between 35 and 50% of the years married.

It’s imperative to understand that the court considered other factors alongside this formula. The following factors can impact a judge’s deicsion:

  • The age and health of both parties
  • The earning capacity of each party
  • The duration of the marriage
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • The length of absence from the job market of the party seeking maintenance
  • The parental responsibilities for the children
  • The actual needs and abilities of the parties to pay
  • The division of assets
  • The tax consequences
  • Any history of domestic violence
  • Any other relevant factors

When does this obligation end?

If alimony is granted, you may wonder when this obligation will end. Sometimes, a couple may agree on a specific date to end this obligation, or the court will provide a date on which this obligation will cease. In other cases, if a date is not agreed upon, remarriage of the receiving party is grounds for requesting a modification to an existing alimony order. Furthermore, the death of either party will also terminate this obligation.

If you and your spouse are headed for divorce and want to know what you may be entitled to receive or ordered to pay, contact the dedicated legal team at The Law Office of Peter L. Jameson, PLLC. We are prepared to help you fight for the best possible outcome for your case.