You're probably familiar with the terms "alimony" or "spousal support," which both refer to money a higher-earning spouse pays to a lower-earning
spouse after a divorce. In New York, we call alimony "spousal maintenance."
Why do we pay maintenance?
It is to help dependent spouses get back on their feet and become financially
independent after they get divorced. In New York, maintenance ends under
- Either party dies,
- The receiving party remarries,
- A date specified in the divorce agreement, or
- A date is specified by the court.
If a dependent spouse is asking for spousal maintenance and the court decides
to award it, the court shall award an amount it deems fair considering
the couple's individual circumstances.
When making such a decision, the judge on the case will consider:
- The age and health of the spouses.
- The duration of the marriage.
- The income and assets of both parties.
- The standard of living enjoyed during the marriage.
- If the dependent spouse has insufficient income and property to provide
for their basic needs.
- If the higher-earning spouse has the income and assets to provide for the
other spouse's reasonable needs.
Making the Financial Disclosures
Whenever spousal maintenance is an issue in a New York divorce case, both
spouses must disclose their full financial state of affairs to their spouse
and the court; this includes stating their net worth to the other side.
To calculate your net worth, you take all of your assets (the combined
total) and subtract all of your expenses and liabilities.
"What if my spouse cut me off? Do I have to wait until the divorce
is final to receive maintenance?"
Fortunately, the court can award temporary maintenance while a divorce
is pending. However, the court does follow a formula based on 20 factors
to arrive at an amount that is appropriate. To learn more about the 20
factors used by the court to calculate maintenance,
Contact our firm
to meet with a Long Island divorce attorney.
Is Spousal Maintenance Guaranteed in New York