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Types of Alimony in NY

Posted on September 3, 2019

Helping to reach the fairest spousal maintenance decision possible

Dividing life, property and money 50/50 is not always possible and is not always fair.

Often, one spouse is left at a financial disadvantage following divorce and may require support.

The terms alimony, spousal support and spousal maintenance all refer to this financial support, although New York State Law uses the term “maintenance.”

Spousal maintenance is never simple.

There are many factors that determine how much spousal support should be provided, including the earning capacity of both parties, the physical ability to work for an extended time, whether the payor is paying child support, and other matters.

While the concept of alimony has been around for a very long time, it can sometimes be difficult for a spouse who has worked hard in a supporting role to get the assistance they deserve, and other times a party is at risk for being ordered to overpay maintenance.

A fair support agreement is worth fighting for, and a New York City matrimonial attorney will help you do so.

Pendente Lite (Temporary Maintenance)

If one party earns less than 2/3 of the other party’s income, earns $60,000 then, according to New York law, temporary alimony may be awarded.

The purpose of this is to make sure that the spouse with a lower income is able to transition to cover any financial needs during the divorce and become financially independent during and shortly after the divorce proceedings.

This is not meant to be a permanent solution and may be a decision made very early in the divorce process.

Durational or Permanent Maintenance

Whereas temporary maintenance is intended to help one party gain financial independence during and immediately after the divorce, durational or permanent maintenance exists to provide ongoing support to the less moneyed spouse.

When people think of “alimony,” this is the kind of spousal maintenance that comes to mind.

Paid monthly, durational or permanent maintenance is usually ordered when there is a substantial pay gap between spouses so that the lower-earning party can enjoy the same standard of living enjoyed during the marriage.

Permanent maintenance is not necessarily permanent for life.

The support order could last a set duration as decided by the court, or maintenance could continue until either party gets remarried.

There is a cap on the presumptive maximum yearly income used to determine how much maintenance the higher earning spouse is responsible, which as of 2018 is $184,000.

A court in its discretion can use a higher cap if the facts and circumstances warrant a greater amount of spousal support.

The duration of spousal support payments is also based on the length of the marriage.

There is a formula and this calculator available, but both are complicated and leave a lot of wiggle room for the final decision, which is up to the court’s discretion.

Moreover, these tools may not consider child support payments, which have an impact on maintenance.

Maintenance discussions can become heated, and with the intricacies of planning your financial future, it is always best to have a skilled, knowledgeable New York City spousal support attorney to represent your best interests.

Get an experienced New York Spousal support lawyer on your team

At the Law Offices of Vivien I. Stark, P.C., we look at all financial factors to determine the fairest possible outcome for your spousal support.

Our firm has over 30 years of experience in divorce and family law in New York City and the surrounding areas.

Contact us online or call (212) 349-1600 today to schedule your initial consultation.

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