Spousal support, also referred to as maintenance or alimony, is money that one spouse pays to another after a divorce. The goal of this monetary support is to enable the receiving spouse to maintain their standard of living initially after a divorce. These funds can be awarded to one spouse from the other in one large sum or can be distributed over time.
Spousal support is generally intended for couples in which one person is less financially well-off than the other. For instance, if one spouse is untrained and has been out of the workforce for a long period of time, and would not likely be able to obtain employment immediately after getting divorced, the other spouse would likely be ordered to pay alimony to help their former spouse maintain their standard of living initially after their divorce.
Spousal support is awarded in Family Court, generally as a part of a final divorce judgment or decree. In New York State, only approximately 10 to 15 percent of final judgments include spousal support. If you are seeking alimony, contact an experienced divorce attorney from Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. for help.
Starting on January 23, 2016, New York will have new standards and policies for determining spousal support. You can find the new formulas on our spousal support page.
The duration of spousal support has also changed. Permanent support is no longer allowed. The length of spousal support will now be guided on a new advisory schedule, with judges making the final decision.
Spousal support can now last:
- After marriages of zero to 15 years: between 15 and 30 percent of the length of the marriage.
- After marriages of 16 to 20 years: between 30 and 40 percent of the length of the marriage.
- After marriages of over 20 years: between 35 and 50 percent of the length of the marriage.
While there are new standards for determining spousal maintenance, the court still has the ability to address special considerations on a case-by-case basis. That is why having proper and assertive legal counsel during this process remains a priority for divorce clients. Contact our office for specific concerns about your potential support agreement.