When divorcing, you will likely have to face the hotly contested issue of alimony, also known as spousal support. When one spouse is financially dependent on the other, the court may order the higher-earning spouse to provide this type of maintenance to support the lower-income spouse financially. The court will consider many factors when determining whether or not a spouse should be awarded this type of financial support. If the court deems it appropriate, the higher-earning spouse must pay a certain amount to the lower-income spouse in monthly maintenance payments before, during, and after the divorce. That said, many people wonder how long they will be required to pay this type of court-ordered payment to their former spouse. Keep reading to learn whether alimony payments are dependent on the length of the marriage and discover how a skilled Suffolk County Alimony Attorney can help you.
Does the length of a marriage affect alimony payments in New York?
If you and your former spouse cannot mutually agree upon an alimony order, the determination on whether or not a dependent spouse is awarded alimony is left up to the court. As mentioned above, the court will consider several factors such as the length of the marriage, the age, and health of each spouse, the standard of living established during the marriage, etc. However, the court mainly looks at whether the spouse truly needs financial support and whether the payor can afford monthly maintenance payments.
In the past, the court typically ordered the husband to pay the wife this type of financial support in a divorce indefinitely. However, times have changed. The court now recognizes that alimony payments should be more balanced. Essentially, this means the court dictates the duration that alimony must be paid based on the length of a marriage. Therefore, alimony is dependent on the length of the marriage. In New York, alimony is typically ordered as follows:
- If the marriage lasted 0-15 years support should be paid for 15 to 50% of the marriage.
- If the marriage lasted 16 to 20 years support should be paid for 30 to 40% of the marriage.
- If the marriage lasted 20 years or more support should be paid for 35 to 50% of the marriage.
It is important to note that New York has a cap on how much alimony can be paid based on the payor’s (the higher-earning spouse’s) annual income. The cap stands at $175,000/year. Previously, it stood at $543,000/year.
If you are dissolving your marriage, you need a determined Suffolk County alimony attorney on your side. Our firm is committed to helping our clients protect their financial security. Allow our firm to represent your interests today to help you achieve a favorable outcome.