How are alimony payments determined in New York?

Contact Us Today!
wooden figures money magnifying glass gavel

When a couple decides to end their marriage, it is imperative to understand that alimony is not automatically granted. If both parties are employed and have similar incomes, the court may not see a need for alimony. Typically, alimony also referred to as spousal maintenance, is only awarded in cases where one spouse has a significantly higher income or earning potential than the other. In such situations, if you are a lower or non-earning spouse, the court may order the higher-earning spouse to provide this type of court-ordered financial support to help maintain the standard of living previously established during the marriage. While most people assume that alimony payments are determined solely by the financial needs of the former spouse, the court takes several other elements into account to determine whether a former spouse should be granted alimony. Regardless of whether you are the spouse obligated to pay or entitled to receive this support, it is in your best interest to contact a skilled Suffolk County Alimony Attorney who can help you ensure that a spousal support determination is fair and sufficient. 

What is alimony?

Alimony is a periodic predetermined payment that is a legal obligation on a person to provide financial support to their spouse before or after marital separation or divorce. Nowadays, it is common for families to follow a stay-at-home parental structure where one spouse is the “breadwinner” while the other raises the children and cares for the home. While this is a noble sacrifice, giving up a career to take care of their children, this arrangement puts the caregiver at a substantial financial disadvantage during a divorce. Even when a spouse earns less than their partner, it creates a significant financial discrepancy in the event of a divorce. Alimony aims to reduce some spouses’ unfair economic disadvantages during a divorce.

Are alimony payments determined solely on the financial needs of the former spouse in New York?

Often, couples are misled to believe that alimony payments are solely based on the lower-earning spouse’s financial needs. However, this is not necessarily true. The court considers various factors to determine if alimony should be awarded, the duration of the payments, and the amount. Despite a former spouse’s financial needs, one of the key factors the court finds is whether the higher-earning spouse can provide this financial support and support themselves. The following include but are not limited to some of the factors the court will consider when making alimony decisions:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The age, mental state, and physical well-being of each spouse
  • The couple’s standard of living during the marital relationship
  • The earning capacity and potential of each spouse
  • The contributions by one party to the education or earning capacity of the other party.
  • The duration of time the recipient spouse has been out of the workforce
  • The length of time the recipient spouse would need for education or training to become self-sufficient.
  • The tax ramifications of alimony payments
  • The contributions each spouse made to the marriage
  • Any other relevant factors

As you can see, the court will consider more factors than just the financial needs of a former spouse when making an alimony decision. Alimony is a complex matter to resolve in a divorce. It is wise to consult with an experienced attorney from The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C., who can help protect your rights and interests during this process.


Why choose our firm?

We have an excellent AVVO rating from our many happy clients

We will tirelessly pursue a favorable resolution to your case

We offer aggressive and effective representation

We treat our clients with the compassion, patience, and respect that they deserve

We have more than 20 years of dedicated legal experience

We have the legal knowledge necessary to help you obtain the outcome you desire

We tailor our practice to the representation of your divorce case

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.

Recent Blogs


Contact Us Today!