Spousal maintenance is a key factor in many divorce cases. If you are going through a divorce and are concerned about your spousal maintenance arrangements, it is in your best interest to retain a knowledgeable New York divorce attorney at the Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. to help you navigate through these trying times. Our firm has over 25 years of family law and divorce under our belt, and we are more than ready to support you. Contact us today for a consultation.
What is spousal maintenance in New York?
Alimony, known as spousal maintenance, was crafted as a way to ensure that the dependent spouse is able to continue living with the same standard of life that they had when they were married. In previous decades, it was assumed that men would provide the alimony infinitely to women following the divorce. However, the court has modernized and adopted a more balanced view on spousal maintenance, starting with gender neutrality and customized durations.
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 has also been a change in the cap on how much spousal maintenance can be awarded based on the annual income of the payor. Previously, the cap stood at $543,000/year and now it is at $175,000/year.
The court will also take various other factors into account when determining spousal maintenance plans. Issues like child custody and child support are common factors. These considerations are aimed at ensuring that the dependent spouses and children get the support they need without overburdening the paying parent. The court will also consider earning potential, marital property, education and training of each party, and obligations to family members when making alimony arrangements.
Is New York a no-fault divorce state?
Generally speaking, New York is a no-fault divorce state, but some choose to cite fault grounds to start a divorce because they believe it will change the outcome of the court’s decision. For example, people believe that if their spouse cheated on them, then the court will award them more support or decide to limit the obligation to the dependent party that was unfaithful, but that is rarely the case. Your spouse’s adultery will have little to no impact on your divorce.
However, if one party was caught wastefully dissipating, transferring, or encumbering the marital property, especially money, it can impact the obligation for alimony.
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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.