A significant concern for many people going through a divorce or separation is the matter of maintenance commonly referred to as spousal support or alimony.

Understanding when and how New York courts determine spousal support can help you set reasonable expectations and allow you to prepare financially for the road ahead.

Since 1984 Venzon Law Firm PC, has a history of guiding clients through support matters in both family and divorce courts. We pride ourselves on helping those facing challenging family matters, particularly in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and the broader Western New York region.

New York’s Approach to spousal support or maintenance is not automatically ordered in divorces. The court looks at the statute and must consider a range of factors outlined in the Domestic Relations Law.

The amount and duration of spousal support takes into consideration many factors.

  • The income and property of both spouses, including the marital property distributed in the divorce.
  • The length of the marriage and the age and health of both parties.
  • The present and future earning capacity of each spouse.
  • The ability of the receiving spouse to become self-supporting and the time and training necessary to achieve that goal.
  • The reduced or lost earning capacity of the receiving spouse due to their role as a homemaker or parent during the marriage.
  • The presence of children and the need for the custodial parent to stay at home or work part-time.
  • The tax consequences to both spouses.
  • The contributions and services of the receiving spouse to the career or education of the other spouse.
  • The wasteful dissipation of marital assets by either spouse.
  • The transfer or encumbrance of marital property in anticipation of divorce without fair consideration.
  • The existence and duration of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
  • Any other factor that the court deems just and proper.

New York State has guidelines as to the duration of payments.

For marriages from 0 to 15 years, it is 15-30% of the duration of the marriage.

If you have a 15-20-year marriage, it is 30-40% of the duration of the marriage. And more than 20 years, it is 35-50% of the duration of the marriage.

However, these are just guidelines because all the calculations are subject to deviation based on several factors. Factors include, among other things, such as age, health, and any other factor so the court can take into consideration anything they choose to deviate from the guidelines.

Post-divorce spousal support can be either durational or permanent. Durational alimony is paid for a fixed period. Permanent alimony is paid indefinitely and usually occurs in cases of long marriages, significant income disparity, or poor health of the receiving spouse.

Support can be modified or terminated if there is a substantial change in circumstances, such as remarriage, cohabitation, death, or retirement.

Why Venzon Law Firm PC?

Deciphering the statutes and understanding the factors that influence spousal support decisions requires legal experience. This is something Venzon Law Firm PC offers. Our dedicated Buffalo divorce lawyers, including attorneys Catharine Venzon and Chad Pidanick, have vast experience in representing the interests of not just the parties in a divorce but also the children. This comprehensive approach ensures that every aspect of a divorce, including the often-challenging issue of maintenance, is handled with the utmost care and professionalism.

Whether you’re in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, or any part of Western New York, our conveniently located office in Buffalo, near the courthouses, ensures you have easy access to our services. With amenities like ample parking and a dedicated driver for court appearances, we prioritize your comfort and convenience throughout the legal process.

Contact a New York State spousal support Lawyer

At Venzon Law Firm, we are guided by the idea that it’s never too late to live happily ever after. If you are going through a divorce where maintenance (alimony) may be at issue – or otherwise – it is highly advisable to retain a lawyer as soon as you can.

For legal guidance, reach out to Venzon Law Firm PC online or call 716-854-7888. We’re here to provide strength through the divorce process so you can live happily ever after.