Alimony: How It Works in New York

Alimony: How It Works in New York

If you are about to go through a divorce, one of the aspects a divorce lawyer Garden City will educate you on and help you with is alimony. In New York, alimony is referred to as spousal maintenance or maintenance. This is the payment to one spouse after another after a divorce. It is also only obtainable when there is an income disparity between divorcing spouses. Here is how it works in New York.

The Spouse Earning More Money Is the One Paying the Maintenance

It is important to note that the higher-earning spouse will be the one paying the alimony.

New York has 2 Types of Maintenance

There are two (2) types of maintenance, namely:

  • Pendente lite maintenance
  • Post-divorce maintenance

All these are calculated on the same formula, with the difference being the time the payments are made. Pendente lite maintenance is paid once the divorce has been filed. It is also called temporary maintenance. Once the divorce is finalized, the higher-earning spouse starts paying post-divorce maintenance. In all these types of maintenance, consult with Garden City divorce attorneys whether you are the higher-earning spouse or the lower-earning spouse. The lawyer will ensure you are either getting or sending the right amount.

In Accordance With New York Laws, Maintenance Is Calculated in A Two-Step Formula

All New York courts have to adhere to the stated guidelines on calculating maintenance unless the results are inappropriate or unjust based on factors such as health, age, and standard of living. And while it may look easy, a lot of couples often fight over this. For instance, if the wife has a business, is she being honest about what she is doing? Or is she working to her full potential? Since such matters often lead to arguments, couples are encouraged to work with Garden City lawyers. Because they have experience, they can advise you on the best way to handle such situations.

When Children Are Involved

There are two formulas used to calculate maintenance. One applies to couples with children and the other one to couples without. Also, note that if couples have children who are supporting themselves or emancipated, the maintenance formula used here will be the same as for couples without kids.

Formula Based on Parties’ Net Incomes

To determine maintenance, start by calculating your and your spouse’s income. This is your most recent income, whether from your business or employment. New York laws permit one to subtract certain things from the gross income, such as local taxes, social security, and Medicare. Whatever is left is what is used to calculate maintenance.

The Formula Only Considers Income Up To $203,000.00

The court will not include combined additional income after $203,000.00 unless there are special considerations such as health, age, difference in earnings, and standard of living.  For high income earners, i.e., income above $250,000.00, the court will frequently calculate the amount of support above the cap, but rarely will it consider a cap above $350,000.00.

How To Calculate Alimony

Take a situation where the higher-earning spouse earns $250,000.00, and the lower-earning spouse earns $50,000.00 and there is one child involved.

Take 20% of the spouse earning more, (up to a cap of $203,000), which is $40,600.00, and subtract 25% of the spouse earning less, which is $11,543.75, and you are left with $29,056.25 then hold on to that.

The second part is where you take 40% of the combined income, which is 40% of $249,175.00 and you get $99,670.00. Now subtract the income of the lower-earning spouse, and you get $53,495.00.

The first step was $29,056.25 and the second was $53,495.00. You take the lowest number between the two, divide it by 12 months, and there you have monthly spousal support.

If the cap on the payor’s income was increased to $250,000.00, the amount of maintenance would increase to $35,870.53.

If there were no children involved, the 20% figure used above would increase to 30% of the payor’s income, and the amount of support up to the cap would be $51,665.00.  If the court were to increase the cap to $250,000, the amount of maintenance would increase to $61,886.42 per year.

While this may be a calculation you can do on your own, Divorce Law Garden City NY is never that straightforward. There will be arguments, and spouses are not always honest about their income.

How An Attorney Can Help

You should hire separation attorneys Garden City NY, whether you are the higher-earning spouse or the lower-earning spouse. Matters of spousal maintenance always led to arguments and deceit. Lawyers ensure that you are paying or receiving the right amount. In addition, they walk you through any special considerations that may help you receive more maintenance than what your spouse is offering.

If you are looking for a Family Lawyer Garden City NY, get in touch with Fass & Greenberg, LLP. We are a NY family law firm that can help with issues with alimony. Call us today and let us walk you through the process to ensure a better outcome.

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