Key factors for spousal maintenance
In decades past, it was assumed men would provide alimony to women following a divorce and were often ordered to do so indefinitely. However, the court has recognized that society has changed and now employs a more balanced view on the issue of alimony, starting with the duration that it must be paid.
In New York, spousal maintenance can be ordered:
- For 15 to 30% of a marriage that lasted 15 years or under
- For 30 to 40% of a marriage that lasted between 16 to 20 years
- For 35 to 50% of a marriage that lasted 20 years or more
There is now also a cap on how much spousal support can be paid based on the annual income of the payor. Previously, that cap stood at $543,000/year. Now, it is at $175,000/year, a dramatic decrease.
The court also makes a number of important spousal maintenance considerations when child custody and child support are also factors in a divorce. These adjustments are aimed at making sure that dependent spouses and children get the support they need without overburdening the paying parent. In addition, a court will consider marital property, the earning potential, education and training of each party, and obligations to family members, just to name a few.
Marital fault’s impact on spousal maintenance
New York is generally a no-fault divorce state, but some choose to cite fault grounds to start a divorce because they believe that fault grounds will have a major impact on the decision. People believe that if their spouse cheated on them, the court will award them more support or decide to limit the obligation to the dependent party that was unfaithful. This is generally not the case and your spouse’s adultery will have little impact on your divorce if any. If one party was caught wastefully dissipating, transferring, or encumbering marital property, especially money, it can play a role in the obligation for alimony. If the independent party inhibited the earning capacity of the dependent spouse or became unemployed or underemployed to limit the obligation for support, this could be a significant matter for the courts.
Contact an experienced Suffolk County alimony attorney
Alimony is a significant matter in a divorce. It is important to consult with an attorney that can guide you through these complex matters. If you have questions about spousal maintenance is determined in New York, our firm is ready to assist you. Our knowledgeable, effective legal team knows what it takes to assert our clients’ needs in court and how to ensure that a spousal support determination is both fair and adequate. For a consultation, contact The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C.