Spousal Support & Spousal Maintenance (Alimony)

In New York, the higher monied spouse can be required to pay the less monied spouse financial support, referred to as spousal support or spousal maintenance. The amount of spousal support/maintenance is governed by a statutory formula in New York’s Domestic Relations Law, and there is an obligation to award the guideline amount of maintenance on income up to $228,000.00 to be paid by the party with the higher income (the maintenance payor) to the party with the lower income (the maintenance payee) according to a formula, unless the parties agree otherwise or waive this right.

There are two (2) formulas to determine the amount of the spousal support/maintenance obligation. If you and your spouse have no children, the higher formula will apply. If there are children of the marriage, the lower formula will apply, but only if the maintenance payor is paying child support to the other spouse who has the children as the custodial parent. Otherwise, the higher formula will apply.

Lower Formula:

1) Multiply Maintenance Payor’s Income by 20%
2) Multiply Maintenance Payee’s Income by 25%
3) Subtract Line 2 from Line 1 = Result 1
4) Subtract Maintenance Payor’s Income from 40% of Combined Income* = Result 2
5) Enter the lower of Result 2 or Result 1, but if less than or equal to zero, enter zero. This is the calculated guideline amount of maintenance with the lower formula.

Higher Formula:

1) Multiply Maintenance Payor’s Income by 30%
2) Multiply Maintenance Payee’s Income by 20%
3) Subtract Line 2 from Line 1 = Result 1
4) Subtract Maintenance Payor’s Income from 40% of Combined Income* = Result 2
5) Enter the lower of Result 2 or Result 1, but if less than or equal to zero, enter zero. This is the calculated guideline amount of maintenance with the higher formula.

New York Domestic Relations Law § 236(B)(6) also provides guidelines for the duration of post-divorce maintenance, which are based on the length of the marriage. The Court can consider various factors when determining whether to vary from the durational guidelines.

Our firm is well-versed in all issues related to support – including the difficulties that come with calculating the true income of a self-employed spouse, a spouse who works for a cash-based business, or a spouse who attempts to minimize his/her income to avoid paying support or spousal maintenance.

Copps DiPaola Silverman, PLLC practices primarily in the following counties:

  • Albany County
  • Columbia County
  • Fulton County
  • Greene County
  • Montgomery County
  • Rensselaer County
  • Saratoga County
  • Schenectady County
  • Schoharie County

If you have questions about New York spousal support or New York spousal maintenance, or would like to set up a consultation appointment, please contact office@theCDSLawFirm.com or (518) 436-4170.

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