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Spousal Support Lawyer

518-465-3444

Maintenance, sometimes known as alimony or spousal support in New York, is a payment of financial support made by one spouse to the other. Married persons are responsible for the support of their spouses and, if able to do so, may be required to pay support in a sum that the court determines.

Spousal Support & Maintenance in New York

Within a New York State Supreme Court matrimonial action, the court may order one spouse to pay either temporary support, permanent support or both. The New York State Family Court may also order such payments, even if a matrimonial action has not been commenced. These payments are generally called spousal support.

Temporary Spousal Support

In a matrimonial action, the Supreme Court may make an award of temporary maintenance or spousal support within certain guidelines and parameters to continue while the action is pending. The court must first determine the income of each party. A formula is then applied to the incomes to determine the guideline amount of temporary maintenance. That amount is considered to be presumptively-correct unless it is determined that it would be unjust or inappropriate to award the guideline amount. A Temporary Maintenance Guideline Calculator is available online here. Spousal support attorneys, spousal maintenance attorneys or alimony attorneys must be familiar with the formula and the calculator.

The formula is applied to all income of the payor up to
an income cap which is determined by statute.


When the income of the payor is more than the income cap, the court must determine the guideline amount of temporary maintenance for both the portion of income up to and including the cap, and also that in excess of the income cap, by consideration of a number of factors, including:
  • Length of the marriage
  • Substantial differences in the incomes of the parties
  • Standard of living of the parties established during the marriage
  • Age and health of the parties
  • Present and future earning capacity of the parties
  • Need of one party to incur education or training expenses
  • Wasteful dissipation of marital property
  • Transfer or encumbrance made in contemplation of a matrimonial action without fair consideration
  • Existence and duration of a pre-marital joint household or a pre-divorce separate household
  • Acts by one party against the other that have inhibited the other party's earning capacity or ability to obtain meaningful employment, including acts of domestic violence
  • Availability and cost of medical insurance for the parties
  • Care of the children or stepchildren, disabled adult children or stepchildren, elderly parents or in-laws that has inhibited or continues to inhibit a party s earning capacity or ability to obtain meaningful employment
  • Inability of one party to obtain meaningful employment due to age or absence from the workforce
  • Need to pay for exceptional additional expenses for children
  • Tax consequences to each party
  • Reduced or lost earning capacity of a party seeking temporary maintenance; and the contributions and services of the party seeking temporary maintenance as a spouse, parent, wage earner and homemaker and to the career or career potential of the other party
The court may also consider any other factor which it finds to be just and proper under the circumstances in awarding spousal support in New York.

Post-Divorce/Permanent Support 

A spouse may also be required to pay a post-divorce award of maintenance for a fixed duration or permanent maintenance which terminates upon the death of either party, upon the recipients remarriage, or upon modification by a court. In determining the amount and duration of such an award, the court must consider:
  • Income and property of each party;
  • Length of the marriage
  • Age and health of the parties
  • Present and future earning capacity of the parties
  • Need of one party to incur education or training expenses
  • Existence and duration of a pre-marital joint household or pre-divorce separate household
  • Acts by one party against the other that have inhibited or continue to inhibit a party s earning capacity or ability to obtain meaningful employment, including acts of domestic violence
  • Ability of the party seeking maintenance to become self-supporting
  • Reduced or lost lifetime earning capacity of the party seeking maintenance
  • Presence of children in the marriage in the respective homes of the parties
  • Care of children or step-children, disabled adult children or step-children, elderly parents or in-laws that has inhibited or continues to inhibit a party's earning capacity
  • Inability of one party to obtain meaningful employment due to age or absence from the workforce
  • Need to pay for exceptional additional expenses for the child/children
  • Consequences to each party
  • Equitable Distribution of marital property
  • Contributions and services of the party seeking maintenance as the spouse, parent, wage-earner and homemaker and to the career or career-potential of the other party
  • Wasteful dissipation of marital property by either spouse
  • Transfer or encumbrance made in contemplation of a matrimonial action without fair consideration
  • Loss of health insurance benefits upon dissolution of the marriage
  • Availability and cost of medical insurance for the parties.
The court may also consider any other factor that it finds to be just and proper in making an award of spousal support in New York. 

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Practice Areas
  • Divorce
  • Separation Agreements
  • Custody & Visitation
  • Property Division
  • Spousal Maintenance
  • Child Support
  • Prenuptial Agreements

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