If you are going through a divorce on Long Island, you probably have questions about alimony. Given that it’s now common for both spouses to have jobs, alimony is no longer guaranteed; however, state law provides for specific types of spousal maintenance. Whether you are the receiving or paying spouse, Aiello & DiFalco LLP can help.
With a comprehensive knowledge of New York Domestic Relations Law and an unwavering commitment to our clients, you can depend on us to protect your rights and interests. With offices in Garden City, we are available for in-person or video consultations. Contact us today.
Understanding Spousal Maintenance (Alimony) on Long Island
In New York, “alimony” is called spousal support or spousal maintenance. While the divorce process is ongoing, the court can decide on temporary support for a spouse. Once the divorce is finalized, either through agreement or trial, long-term spousal support may come into play.
How much spousal support is given is decided using a specific formula, along with considering various factors. This formula takes into account the income of the spouse paying, but only up to $203,000. Above that income, the calculations become discretionary and more complicated. If no child support is being paid, the spousal support is higher. If child support is being paid at the same time, the spousal support could be a bit less because some of the payor’s income is being used to pay child support.
The formula looks at the incomes of both parties to see if there’s a disparity. If one spouse earns more than $203,000, the court will consider various factors to decide if more spousal support should be given. It’s crucial to understand these factors (see below), especially in high-income cases, to ensure the spouse seeking support gets what they deserve and protect the rights of the spouse who is paying.
Temporary Spousal Support
During the divorce, the court may award temporary support to the lower-earning spouse to maintain their lifestyle, which ends once the divorce is settled.
The court may also award durational or permanent spousal maintenance. Durational spousal maintenance is paid for a set period after the divorce. Also referred to as “rehabilitative maintenance,” the purpose is to help the receiving spouse get back into the workforce or obtain additional education or job training to become self-supporting. By contrast, permanent spousal maintenance is only awarded in long marriages or in cases where the receiving spouse cannot work due to illness or disability.
How New York Courts Determine Spousal Maintenance/Alimony
The courts consider various factors to arrive at a final award:
- The income, employment history, education, and employability of both spouses
- The duration of the marriage
- The age and health of both spouses
- The receiving spouse’s ability to become self-supporting
- Whether children from the marriage live in the marital home
- The children’s ages and the need to care for young children
- The need to care for other adult family members
- Contributions to the marriage by the receiving spouse (e.g. if they were a homemaker and did not receive income)
- Any other factors the court deems relevant
In addition, the court relies on a formula to determine the duration of post-divorce maintenance and may also consider the period of temporary maintenance:
- Up to 15 years = 15-30 percent of the marriage
- Between 15 and 20 years = 30-40 percent of the marriage
- 20+ years = 35-50 percent of the marriage
Spousal maintenance will end if the receiving party remarries or either party dies.
When you consult with us, our Long Island alimony attorney can help determine whether you are eligible for spousal maintenance or the amount of support you may be required to pay. Our objective is to reach an agreement that works for both parties.
Why Choose Us?
At Aiello & DiFalco, we recognize that each divorce case is unique, and alimony arrangements must be tailored to individual circumstances. Our attorneys work closely with clients to gather a comprehensive understanding of their financial situations, contributions to the marriage, and future needs. With this information, we formulate effective strategies to advocate for fair and equitable solutions. Whether you’re seeking spousal maintenance or are concerned about potential financial obligations, we will work to protect your rights and financial well-being.
Our approach is characterized by a commitment to open communication, negotiation, and, if necessary, litigation. We aim to resolve spousal support matters through amicable discussions and settlements whenever possible, as this often leads to more satisfactory outcomes and reduced emotional strain. However, if litigation becomes inevitable, our skilled litigators are prepared to vigorously represent your interests in court.
Throughout the entire process, our goal is to achieve the best possible resolution. When you partner with us, your alimony case will be handled with professionalism and dedication, allowing you to move forward with confidence.
Contact Our Experienced Long Island Alimony Attorney
At Aiello & DiFalco LLP, we have extensive experience resolving the most challenging alimony cases. We are well-prepared to go the distance and protect your rights and interests. Contact us today to discuss your case in confidence.