Does Having Children Affect How Much Alimony Is Paid?

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If you are divorcing with children, you may wonder whether it will impact the amount of alimony you are entitled to pay or receive. Please continue reading to learn whether having children can affect how much alimony is paid and why connecting with a knowledgeable Suffolk County Alimony Attorney is in your best interest. 

If I Have Children, Will It Affect How Much Alimony is Paid?

New York courts examine several factors to determine whether spousal maintenance should be awarded, including the recipient’s need for monetary support and the payor’s ability to pay. It’s important to note that alimony is not guaranteed. If awarded, the person who pays alimony is referred to as the payor, and the person who receives it is the payee.

Like many other states, New York law provides guidelines outlining how much spousal maintenance should be paid and for how long. Generally, two formulas are used to calculate alimony: one for couples with children and one for couples without children.

If you have minor children, the court will use the following formula to calculate alimony:

  • 20% of the payor’s income – 25% of the payee’s income = $
  • 40% of combined net income = $
  • The maintenance awarded is the lesser of the two figures

If you have no children:

  • 30% of the payor’s income – 25% of the payee’s income = $
  • 40% of combined net income = $
  • The maintenance awarded is the lesser of the two figures

It’s crucial to understand that New York law imposes an income cap based on the U.S. consumer price index for urban consumers. The current cap is $203,000 as of March 1, 2022. If the payor or the combined net income is more than $203,000, the maintenance calculation will be based on all income up to the cap of $203,000.

How Long is Alimony Paid in New York?

Alimony is decided on a case-by-case basis. Depending on the unique circumstances of your case, alimony may be temporary or permanent. Temporary awards are typically lump sums or payments with a specific end date. However, permanent spousal maintenance can last until either spouse dies, remarries, or is modified with a court order. Ultimately, the length of your marriage will determine how long you are eligible to receive post-divorce spousal maintenance in New York:

  • For marriages lasting 0-15 years, alimony should last for 15%-30% of the length of the marriage.
  • For marriages lasting 15-20 years, alimony should last 30%-40% of the length of the marriage.
  • For marriages lasting 20+ years, alimony should last 35%-50% of the length of the marriage.

Nevertheless, the court has discretion when setting the duration of alimony. Courts have the authority to deviate from the above-listed criteria if necessary. However, it’s pretty rare.

At The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C., we understand how complex these matters can be. If you are facing issues with spousal maintenance, please don’t hesitate to contact our legal team today. They can help you fight for a fair and adequate alimony order.

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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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