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Can you ask for spousal support in New York?

| Jan 6, 2021 | Firm News

When you have concerns about financing an independent household after divorce, you may qualify for spousal support in New York. You can reach an independent agreement with your former spouse or ask the court to decide on your behalf. 

Review the factors that influence New York alimony (spousal maintenance) awards. 

Types of spousal maintenance

New York recognizes three types of spousal support as follows: 

  • Temporary support, paid from your separation date until the date of the final divorce decree 
  • Rehabilitative maintenance, designed to provide financial support while you seek job training or education if you have limited projected income and job prospects compared to your spouse 
  • Permanent support, possible when you had a long marriage, your spouse has a much higher income or you cannot work because of disability 

Maintenance calculation guidelines

The state calculates temporary support based on a financial model that accounts for both spouses’ income as well as child support payments. Generally, the court will count your spouse’s income up to $184,000 when you request spousal support except in circumstances when the judge agrees that additional income should influence the calculation. 

The same formula applies to ongoing support but the judge has wider discretion to adjust the amount of the award. 

New York usually assigns a time limit to spousal maintenance. In general, if your marriage ended before 15 years, alimony will last up to 30% of the length of the marriage. This increases to 40% for marriages up to 20 years and up to 50% for marriages longer than 20 years. 

If the court does not provide an end date for support, you will stop receiving payments if you remarry or move in with a new partner. Payments also end when either of you dies.