How Do New York Courts Determine Maintenance Amounts?

By The Law Offices of Paul A. Boronow, PC on March 16, 2015

In New York, alimony payments are known as “maintenance.” Maintenance is not awarded in every divorce case, but it may be included in a divorce settlement if the spouses have been married for a long time and one spouse needs help meeting basic needs while he or she builds independent financial stability. An experienced New York divorce attorney can help you determine whether you should receive maintenance or can expect to pay maintenance – and can help you reach a fair amount.

New York courts may award either “temporary” maintenance, “post-divorce” maintenance, or both. “Temporary” maintenance, also called “pendente lite,” is paid while the divorce is being negotiated. It is based on a formula set by New York law. The court may also consider factors like the couple’s standard of living, their health and age, the earning capacity of each spouse, and whether either spouse is currently in school or receiving training for a job or career.

“Post-divorce” maintenance is paid for a limited period of time after the divorce becomes final. Traditionally, this type of maintenance (popularly known as “alimony”) was intended to maintain the standard of living of the spouse who received it. Today, however, courts focus more on the support that the lower-earning spouse needs in order to become self-sufficient. Courts thus look at how long it is likely to take for the spouse to become self-sufficient. They also consider factors like the length of the marriage, the health of each party, their present and future earning capacities, whether either spouse has physical custody of their minor children, and the tax consequences of paying or receiving maintenance for both parties.

If you wish to receive your rightful share of maintenance during or after your divorce, you need a skilled attorney to fight on your behalf. For exceptional divorce representation, contact The Law Offices of Paul A. Boronow, P.C.

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