What Are New York’s Alimony Guidelines?

When you’re a party to a divorce, you likely have some questions about alimony and how it’s determined in the state of New York. While alimony is not granted in every case, it’s worth understanding how the court considers needs and how it decides when alimony is applicable and under what circumstances it should be paid.

Temporary maintenance may be awarded when the divorce proceedings begin. It takes into account the immediate financial needs of one spouse by evaluating the standard of living before the divorce and the reasonable needs of the spouse to be supported.

After divorce, alimony or spousal support can continue for a specific period or it can stop when certain life events happen. Examples of these life events including the supported spouse living with someone else, the supported spouse getting remarried, or the death of either spouse.

New York uses a specific formula to determine what amount of spousal support will be awarded. There are situations, however, when a judge may not use that formula. If the formula is, for some reason, found to be “unjust” or not appropriate in the determination of New York spousal support, the judge then considers other factors. These include the age and health of each spouse, the standard of living for the spouses during the marriage, and the earning capacities of each spouse.

Courts can consider many different factors in determining whether spousal support should be awarded at all. This includes the existence of a joint household before the marriage, the future and present income of both spouses, the length of the marriage, the income and property that each spouse has, and the ability of the receiving party to become “self-sufficient” at some point in the future.

Need more information? A New York family law attorney will be able to further explain the intricacies of the guideline.