Long Island Alimony Attorney

A ring and a piece of paper that says alimony

Dealing with spousal support, also known as alimony, can be one of the most challenging aspects of a divorce. It involves navigating complex formulas and guidelines, so having an experienced divorce attorney is crucial to protecting your interests. Whether you’re seeking alimony or may be required to provide spousal maintenance, Aiello & DiFalco is here to ensure you reach a fair outcome.

Our firm works to resolve intricate divorce matters across Long Island, including alimony and spousal maintenance. With thousands of cases under our belt, we have negotiated and, when necessary, taken cases to trial to defend our clients’ rights effectively.

We prefer to settle maintenance cases without conflict; however, our trial lawyers are ready to fight for your rights in court if needed. You can trust us to dedicate our efforts to protecting your interests throughout the process. Contact our Long Island alimony attorney to discuss your situation.

Understanding Alimony on Long Island 

Alimony, also known as spousal support or maintenance, is financial assistance one spouse may be required to provide the other during or after a divorce. Interestingly, the Family Court can also grant spousal support even if a divorce isn’t currently being pursued. However, it’s more commonly addressed within the divorce proceedings.

During the divorce process, the court can decide on temporary spousal support. The ongoing alimony post-divorce is finalized through mutual agreement or after a trial.

The calculation of spousal maintenance now follows a specific formula, particularly for the income up to $228,000 of the spouse responsible for payments. This formula adjusts the maintenance amount based on whether child support is also being provided (resulting in a higher alimony amount if no child support is paid and a slightly reduced amount if it is).

The core of this formula is to evaluate the income difference between the spouses to see if this disparity justifies the need for support.

For incomes that exceed $228,000, there are 17 factors the court may consider to decide if extra alimony should be awarded. Understanding these factors and how they’re applied, especially in high-income scenarios, is crucial to ensure the recipient gets a fair entitlement. Similarly, understanding these considerations is vital for protecting the payor spouse’s rights.

Temporary Spousal Maintenance

During a divorce, the court has the authority to grant temporary spousal support, also known as pendente lite relief, to the spouse earning less or no income. This support is designed to help cover living expenses throughout the divorce proceedings. It’s important to note that temporary spousal maintenance concludes once the divorce is finalized.

Understanding Post-Divorce Spousal Support

After a divorce, unless there’s a prenuptial agreement or the parties come to an agreement regarding spousal maintenance (also known as alimony), it’s up to the court to decide if post-divorce spousal support should be granted. Most of the time, these awards are durational, meaning they’re paid for a specified period. However, in certain circumstances, the court may award maintenance on a permanent basis, providing ongoing financial support to a spouse.

Types of Spousal Maintenance: Durational and Permanent

Spousal maintenance, or alimony, can be categorized into two main types based on the duration and purpose:

  • Durational Spousal Maintenance: This form of alimony is temporary and set for a predetermined period post-divorce. Its main goal is rehabilitative, helping the recipient spouse re-enter the workforce or pursue further education or training. Essentially, it’s designed to provide the necessary support until the receiving party can become self-sufficient.
  • Permanent Spousal Maintenance: Awarded under specific circumstances, such as after a long-term marriage or if the recipient spouse cannot work due to illness or disability, permanent spousal maintenance offers ongoing financial support without a set end date.

Factors Influencing Post-Divorce Maintenance Decisions

When deciding on post-divorce maintenance, the court examines various factors to make a fair judgment. These include:

  • Financial and Professional Backgrounds: The court looks at each spouse’s earnings, job history, education, and future job prospects.
  • Length of the Marriage: The duration of the marriage often impacts the maintenance decision.
  • Health and Age: Both spouses’ ages and health conditions are considered.
  • Self-Sufficiency: The court assesses if the spouse seeking maintenance can support themselves financially.
  • Children’s Needs: If children from the marriage live in the family home, their ages and the necessity of caring for them, especially young ones, are important factors.
  • Caretaking Responsibilities: The need to look after other family members, including adults, may influence the decision.
  • Contributions to the Marriage: Non-financial contributions, such as homemaking, that the receiving spouse made during the marriage are recognized.
  • Other Relevant Factors: Any additional aspects the court finds pertinent to the case.

At Aiello and DiFalco, we understand the complexities of spousal maintenance. We’re here to assess your situation, determine your eligibility for maintenance or the amount you might need to pay, and assist in reaching a mutually beneficial agreement.

How Nassau and Suffolk Courts Determine/Alimony

When determining both temporary and post-divorce spousal maintenance, courts use specific formulas to calculate the amount. Furthermore, the duration of alimony, which encompasses post-divorce maintenance and may also account for the period of temporary maintenance, is based on the length of the marriage as follows:

  • For marriages lasting up to 15 years, maintenance is typically set at 15-30% of the marriage’s duration.
  • For marriages between 15 and 20 years, the duration of maintenance increases to 30-40% of the marriage’s length.
  • For marriages exceeding 20 years, maintenance can be awarded for 35-50% of the marriage’s duration.

Spousal maintenance obligations cease if the recipient remarries or upon the death of either party.

Modifications to Spousal Maintenance

Once an alimony agreement is reached or a court order for spousal support is established, altering the terms of maintenance becomes significantly challenging. A party must demonstrate substantial hardship to modify, reduce, or suspend spousal maintenance. Retirement of the person paying support can be a basis to modify a prior order of maintenance, or a permanent order of maintenance. 

Why Aiello & DiFalco LLP Stands Out

At Aiello & DiFalco LLP, our track record speaks volumes. We’ve successfully managed thousands of divorce cases across Long Island, with spousal maintenance and alimony often playing a central role.

The complexity of high-income cases, combined with the historically sensitive nature of these settlements and the lack of guiding formulas until recent years, has led us to trial on numerous occasions. Our firm is recognized for professionally handling these delicate issues, ensuring fair and just outcomes for our clients.

Seek Guidance from Skilled Long Island Alimony Attorneys

With extensive experience navigating the intricacies of spousal maintenance, particularly in long-term marriages where stakes are high, Aiello & DiFalco LLP offers unparalleled legal support. Whether your case involves negotiating an equitable agreement or advocating for your interests in court, our seasoned attorneys are here to help. Reach out to schedule a consultation.