Does Alimony in New York End if My Ex Marries a Millionaire?

In New York, alimony is called “spousal support” and “spousal maintenance.” Spousal support is paid to a lower-earning spouse while the divorce is pending and spousal maintenance is paid after a divorce is final. If you have been ordered to pay spousal maintenance and your ex is engaged to a millionaire, you may be wondering if the spousal maintenance will end on the wedding day.

As you probably know, maintenance is not automatically awarded in a New York divorce. Much of it depends on the dependent spouse’s need for maintenance and the wealthier spouse’s ability to pay it. If maintenance is awarded, under a law that was passed in January of 2016, a judge can set time limits on how long maintenance will last.

2016 Changes Setting Limits

The 2016 changes in the law created a formula for setting time limits on maintenance. For example, if a marriage lasted up to 15 years, then maintenance would typically last between 15% and 30% of the length of the marriage.

If the marriage lasted 15 to 20 years, maintenance would last between 30% and 40% of the marriage. Then, if a marriage lasted longer than 20 years, maintenance would last between 35% and 50% of the length of the marriage. So, what if your spouse marries a millionaire and you’re still on the clock for paying maintenance for more years?

Unless a prenuptial, postnuptial, or divorce agreement says otherwise, once a spouse remarries, whether the person is a millionaire or not, the maintenance payments will end. So, if your ex remarries before your time limit has run out, your maintenance payments will end on the wedding day unless there is a written agreement that says otherwise.

“What if my ex enters into a supportive relationship and moves in with their new romantic partner? Do I still have to continue paying maintenance?” In New York, if a receiving spouse moves in with a romantic partner (not just a roommate or family member), and the new boyfriend or girlfriend financially supports them, it is possible for the cohabitation to be reason enough to terminate the alimony payments.

To learn more about terminating or modifying spousal maintenance in New York, reach out to Jason M. Barbara & Associates, P.C.