How is Alimony Determined in New York?

When you get a divorce as a dependent spouse, you are most likely worried about your financial situation in the future. Will you have to move out? Will you be able to pay your bills? These are all very serious and pressing issues, and they can mean a dramatic shift in your way of living. This is why in New York, we have an alimony system in place that will help you, and, if applicable, your children maintain your way of life. If you wish to learn more about alimony obligations, here are some of the questions you may have:

How is alimony calculated?

New York courts consider several things when determining alimony obligations. For example, your child custody and child support terms will almost certainly impact your alimony payments. Our courts seek to achieve a balance between providing dependent spouses and children with the support they need without overburdening the paying parent. A court will also consider marital property, obligations to family members, each spouse’s earning potential, and education.

How long do I have to pay alimony in New York?

Generally, in New York State, spousal maintenance or alimony 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

You should also note that while the cap on how much spousal support can be paid based on the payor’s annual income was $543,000/year, it is now $175,000/year.

Does marital fault impact alimony?

Despite the fact that New York is a no-fault state, many spouses will seek to hold the other accountable for wrongdoing by citing fault grounds. However, this very often has little to no impact on the outcome of your divorce, and can in some cases even hurt the party seeking justice. However, if you can prove that your spouse was wastefully dissipating, transferring, or encumbering the marital property, you may receive more significant alimony payments. Additionally, if the independent party inhibited the earning capacity of the dependent spouse or became unemployed or underemployed to limit the obligation for support, you may also receive more significant alimony payments.

Contact our experienced Suffolk County firm

We understand how stressful the divorce process can be. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our experienced and compassionate firm who you can trust will fight for your rights.

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.