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How Long Does Spousal Support Last After a New York Divorce?

How Long Does Spousal Support Last After a New York Divorce?

The end of a marriage often signifies more than just the loss of a long-term relationship. For some people, a divorce can be devastating both emotionally and financially. This is especially true in cases where one spouse earned a significantly higher income than the other spouse, or if one spouse stayed home to raise children. In the state of New York, it is possible for a spouse to be awarded spousal support (alimony) payments after a divorce depending on the details of the case. Similar to child support, the court will determine if spousal maintenance is necessary, and it will set the amount of the payments. A judge will weigh several different factors when deciding who gets what.

Types of Spousal Maintenance

It is important to note that spousal support is not automatically given to one spouse over the other. A judge must review the reasons for the request when deciding if and how much will be awarded depending on the circumstances of a divorce. Some of the factors considered include the financial status of each spouse, the needs of the requesting party, the age and health of each partner, and if children are involved.

According to New York law, there are three types of spousal support typically awarded:

  • Temporary: Durational payments made to a spouse during the divorce process that end when the divorce is finalized or a more permanent award is issued.
  • Rehabilitative: One spouse receives payments for a certain period of time after the divorce. This type of durational support is common for parents who stayed home to raise kids.
  • Permanent: This relief is considered non-durational and made after the divorce is final. It is generally for long marriages with large income disparities or for partners who are ill, unable to work, or cannot become self-sufficient.

Duration of Spousal Payments

For durational payments, there is a limit to the amount of spousal support payments a person can receive depending on the length of the marriage:

  • For marriages that lasted up to 15 years, support lasts 15-30 percent of the length of the marriage.
  • For marriages that lasted 15-20 years, support lasts 30-40 percent of the length of the marriage.
  • For marriages that lasted more than 20 years, support lasts between 35-50 percent of the length of the marriage.

Non-durational or permanent support only ends if either spouse dies, the receiving spouse remarries, or he or she lives with another person and represents that individual as a spouse. In some cases, a couple may agree to one lump sum payment or monthly installment payments. If the paying spouse becomes delinquent on payments, a court can order the amount to be garnished from his or her wages.

Contact a Brooklyn, NY Divorce Attorney

A divorce can be difficult in more ways than one. The thought of being alone can be daunting, and you may need to start a new career if your financial situation warrants it. If you and your spouse are considering a divorce, it is important to seek professional legal counsel to understand your options for receiving the financial support that will allow you to maintain your standard of living. A qualified New York City spousal support lawyer will fight for your rights to support payments and help you secure your financial future. To schedule a free consultation, call Goldberg Sager & Associates today at 718-514-9516.


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