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Spousal Maintenance in New York

Spousal maintenance, sometimes called Alimony in other jurisidctions, is a court-ordered payment that one spouse makes to the other after a divorce. The purpose of maintenance payments is to help the receiving spouse maintain their standard of living during the transition to being single.

Factors Affecting Maintenance Awards

A number of factors can affect the amount of spousal maintenance awarded in a New York divorce, including:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The income and earning capacity of each spouse
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • The age and health of each spouse

In addition, the court will consider whether the receiving spouse has made any contributions to the education or career of the paying spouse.

Calculating Maintenance

There is no one-size-fits-all formula for calculating maintenance in New York, though courts often use a guideline calculator that takes into account the factors listed above. This calculator is not a mandatory tool, but it is often used as a starting point for negotiations between the spouses.

Maintenance Alternatives

In some cases, spouses may agree to an alternative to maintenance payments, such as a property settlement or a lump sum payment. These options can be beneficial for both spouses, as they can provide the receiving spouse with a more stable financial future and avoid the uncertainty of ongoing alimony payments.

Modifying Spousal Maintenance

In some cases, a spouse may seek to modify spousal maintenance after a divorce. Modifying spousal maintenance requires a formal application to the court. For the court to grant the modification, you will need to demonstrate an extreme hardship that affects either the paying spouse’s ability to pay or the receiving spouse’s need for support. An example of an extreme hardship is the payor becomes disabled and is no longer able to work.

How to Get Help

If you are considering filing for divorce in New York, it is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney to discuss your alimony options. The attorneys at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP can help you understand the different types of alimony, how alimony awards are calculated, and how to modify alimony awards if necessary. Contact us today to request a consultation.