Dependent spouses have a lot to worry about when they get divorced. On top of the emotional stress that very often ensues after a divorce, dependent spouses are now forced to reevaluate their financial situation as well. As a dependent spouse, you may be asking yourself if you’ll have to move away, particularly to a smaller home, or whether you will be able to pay your bills. Rather obviously, such a dramatic shift in your way of life can take a huge toll. This is why New York has an alimony system in place designed to assist you and your child’s way of life. To learn more about alimony payments and your legal options going forward, please read on.

How is alimony calculated in New York State?

The primary factor in determining alimony obligations is whether you and your spouse have children. The child custody and child support terms of your divorce will most likely have a significant impact on your alimony obligations. However, New York courts will also consider any obligations to family members, each spouse’s earning potential, marital property, each spouse’s age and physical condition, tax consequences, income and property, and more.

When can I stop making alimony payments?

In New York State, spousal maintenance or alimony can be ordered for:

  • 15 to 30% of a marriage that lasted 15 years or under
  • 30 to 40% of a marriage that lasted between 16 to 20 years
  • 35 to 50% of a marriage that lasted 20 years or more

Additionally, while the cap on how much spousal support can be paid based on the payor’s annual income used to be $543,000/year, it is now $175,000/year.

What is marital fault and will it affect alimony payments?

Many former spouses will cite fault grounds to hold the other party accountable for wrongdoing. Unfortunately, citing fault grounds will very rarely impact the terms of your divorce, and, in some cases, it may even hurt you. However, if you can prove that your spouse wastefully dissipated, transferred, or encumbered your marital property, you may receive a significant amount more in alimony payments. It is also worth noting that if you can prove the financially independent party inhibited your earning capacity or became unemployed or underemployed to limit the obligation for his or her support, you may also attain greater alimony payments in the future. Please do not hesitate to contact our knowledgeable and aggressive attorneys if you feel you are being taken advantage of.

Contact our experienced Rockland County firm

The Law Office of Peter L. Jameson, PLLC is an experienced divorce and family law firm located in New City, NY. It is essential to retain effective legal guidance during such pivotal times in life. Contact our firm today to discuss your legal matter and get the quality legal representation you deserve.