Determining Spousal Maintenance in New York

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When a couple goes through a divorce, they have to settle many legal matters before the divorce is official. An important part of divorce proceedings is determining spousal maintenance. This is also known as alimony. Spousal maintenance is court-ordered financial support from one spouse to another. These payments are made for a period of time once a divorce is final in order to support a dependent spouse. Sometimes, there are situations in a marriage that leave one spouse in an unfair financial situation after a divorce. This may be if one spouse is a caretaker while the other the family provider. In the event of this, the caretaker may not have a salary of their own to start fresh with. Spousal maintenance allows the dependent spouse an opportunity to rebuild their lives without experiencing financial difficulties.

Determining Spousal Maintenance

Divorce can often be very difficult and marriages do not end with spouses on good terms. This can cause the topic of spousal maintenance to become difficult if one spouse does not want to support the other. Because of this, spouses do not determine alimony. The court makes all decisions regarding support payments. In order to reach a decision regarding maintenance, there is a tentative system in place to determine an amount. In the state of New York, spousal maintenance may be ordered:

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

When determining spousal maintenance, the court also considers several different factors besides the length of a marriage. This may include:

  • The income of each spouse.
  • Any property that is owned between the two, marital and separate.
  • The health and age of each spouse can affect the amount of support
  • The earning potential of both spouses determines how support should be decided
  • If the dependent spouse needs funding to pursue further training or education in order to obtain independence from the other spouse
  • If the dependent spouse deferred their life goals in order to support and better the family through the other spouse’s education and success
  • If a spouse has an obligation to take care of another family member, this can affect the amount of maintenance

Marital Fault

When spouses file for divorce, they often wonder if fault grounds will affect the outcome of their marital issues. It is a common misconception that if one spouse is at fault for the end of the marriage, a judge’s decisions will be swayed. Despite this, in New York, courts usually do not consider fault grounds while determining spousal maintenance. However, a judge may consider if there is an economic fault. It a spouse is irresponsible in handling finances or properties, it may play a part in determining spousal maintenance.

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If you are going through a divorce and wish to know your options regarding alimony, contact The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. today.

Matters of divorce and family law should be navigated with the guidance of an experienced attorney. If you need strong legal representation regarding matters of divorce, family law, and estate law, contact the Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. to schedule a consultation today.

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What Our Clients Are Saying

I hired Susan to represent me in a divorce matter where I was fighting for custody and to limit my wife's equitable share of our assets. I won custody of our son, kept the marital residence, kept my professional practice, kept my building and paid less than half to my wife. This was after a long-term marriage. She could persuade the court that equitable is not equal and sometimes the man does deserve to win!

‐ Dave

I first must say that I had been represented by two prior attorneys both of whom had simply taken my money and left me nothing to show for it in my custody case. They kept telling me what they were doing for me but I found out they were lying. Susan on the other hand had gotten me temporary custody and support for my children and myself within two months of hiring her. I cannot say enough about her.

‐ Craig

After talking to a few other attorneys, I hired Susan to represent me in my divorce and custody dispute. I was reluctant to go with her because she was the cheapest out of all the other attorneys I met with, but I'm so glad I did. I am 100% positive no one else would have done such a great job with my case as Susan and her staff. Her work is quality, her staff is reliable and her character is honorable. There...

‐ Linda

I had a very difficult case where I had already burned through two attorneys who were unable to get me custody of my children and complete my divorce. Susan was able to rapidly work out an agreement and not let it just malinger on like my previous experiences. She was also considerate of my financial situation unlike all of the other lawyers I had spoken to. I highly recommend her if you want complete and caring service with an in-depth knowledge of...

‐ Joanne


The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. proudly serves clients throughout Suffolk County, New York in their divorce, family law, and estate planning matters. If you require the services of an experienced Suffolk County attorney, schedule a consultation with The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. today.

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