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Rockland & Westchester County Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Divorce > Types of Alimony in New York State

Types of Alimony in New York State


Alimony, also known as spousal support or maintenance, is a type of payment made by one spouse to another after a divorce has been finalized. In New York, alimony payments made during a divorce are called spousal support, while payments that are made after the divorce has been finalized are known as spousal maintenance. The purpose of alimony is to allow one spouse the time and financial support they need to eventually become self-sufficient. In this article, the Westchester County divorce lawyers at The Law Office of Robert S. Sunshine will discuss different types of alimony and how they are calculated.

Types of alimony in New York State

There are two types of alimony available in New York State. Those are:

  • Temporary maintenance – Also known as pendente lite maintenance, this type of alimony is awarded while the divorce is being settled and terminated when the divorce is finalized.
  • Post-divorce maintenance – This type of alimony is paid after the divorce decree is finalized. These payments are often determined by the length of the marriage and based on the income of both spouses.

Calculating temporary maintenance 

When a court awards temporary maintenance, it will use a formula that calculates a suggested amount of alimony. The formula helps the courts calculate a consistent amount of alimony based on statutory guidelines. However, judges do have the authority, in some circumstances, to award a figure outside of the guidelines. The court must show that the calculated amount would be considered unjust. The calculation for temporary maintenance considers two factors:

  • The income of each spouse
  • Whether the spouse paying temporary maintenance will also be paying child support

Calculating post-divorce spousal maintenance 

Similar to temporary maintenance, the courts use a formula to determine how much post-divorce spousal maintenance is to be paid from one spouse to the other. However, in terms of post-divorce maintenance, judges have more discretion to award a payment outside of the formula as more long-term factors need to be considered. Judges want to be sure that the payments are just and appropriate. Factors that judges take into consideration when calculating post-divorce spousal maintenance include:

  • The age and health of the spouses
  • What the spouse’s present or future earning capacity looks like
  • Whether the spouse will need further education to improve their earning capacity
  • Whether or not there are child support payments
  • How marital property was divided during the divorce settlement
  • Any acts by either party that impact the other spouse’s ability to earn income
  • Availability and cost of benefits such as health insurance
  • Tax consequences post-divorce that either party could face
  • The standard of living the spouse enjoyed during the marriage

Talk to a Westchester County Divorce Lawyer Today 

The Law Office of Robert S. Sunshine represents the interests of divorcing couples in Rockland and Westchester Counties. Call our office today to schedule an appointment and we can begin discussing your divorce right away.

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