New York’s New Spousal Support Law

Regardless of whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, there are several issues that will need to be addressed during your divorce proceedings, including alimony. Alimony, or spousal maintenance, is an agreement between both spouses that outlines the amount of payment and how often the payments must be made.

A bill signed into New York law regarding changes to temporary spousal support and post-divorce maintenance became effective this year. Bill A-7645 works towards establishing a maintenance order that fairly and accurately calculates alimony between couples. The biggest provisional change to the bill is in the cap of allowable payment from the payer’s income – the cap was lowered from $543,000 to $175,000.


Before the bill, alimony was supposed to last one year for every three years the marriage lasted. With the new law in effect, the guidelines are as follow:

  • 15 years of marriage or less: the duration of maintenance will be between 15-30% the length of the marriage
  • 16-20 years of marriage: duration of maintenance will be between 30-40% of the length of the marriage
  • 20 years of more of marriage: duration of maintenance will be between 35-50% the length of the marriage

In addition to alterations in the length of maintenance, the bill also implements a new formula to calculate maintenance. The court will look at whether the person paying maintenance is a custodial or non-custodial parent. Furthermore, during asset and property division, the courts no longer consider the earning capacity that is associated with any degree or license that was acquired during the marriage.


At the Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. we have more than 20 years of experience and have represented thousands of individuals – whether they’re filing for divorce or on the receiving end of divorce papers. Our founding attorney maintains a Superb Rating on Avvo and is a member of several prestigious organizations including the Suffolk County Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York. Clients who come to our firm can trust that their best interests will be prioritized from start to finish.

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.