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New York Spousal Support Changes under the No-Fault Divorce Law Enacted in 2010


When the New York legislature enacted no-fault divorce in 2010, it also provided new guidelines for temporary maintenance (spousal support or alimony). The guidelines established temporary spousal maintenance based on the spouses’ incomes and used a formula to determine amounts. For temporary spousal maintenance awards, a significant income disparity must exist between spouses. The spouse seeking maintenance must earn less than two-thirds of the other spouse’s income.

The temporary spousal support award will continue until your case settles or the Court issues an order.

The guideline’s standard formula applies to spouses whose annual incomes are $524,000 or less. When a spouse’s income is greater than $524,000, the court will consider 19 other factors in determining its award of temporary spousal maintenance.

The factors that courts consider when incomes exceed $524,000 include:

  • Marriage length
  • Income disparity
  • Standard of living during marriage
  • Age and health
  • Present and future earning capacities
  • Allowed time for education or training
  • Wasteful dissipation of marital property
  • Transfer or encumbrance without fair consideration
  • Pre-marital or pre-divorce joint households
  • Acts inhibiting the other spouses employability, such as domestic violence
  • Medical insurance costs
  • Children or stepchildren that inhibit other spouse’s earning capacity or employability
  • Age or workforce absence affecting employment
  • Exceptional expenses for children
  • Tax consequences
  • Marital property
  • Reduced or lost earnings due to foregone or delayed education resulting from marriage
  • Contributions or services of the spouse seeking maintenance
  • Other factors the court considers just and proper

Figuring out calculations is complicated.  New York Courts do provide a calculator for temporary support that gives you some idea of how the formula works.  If your income exceeds $524,000, it can be even more tricky to calculate the formulaic support award and therefore you should have an experienced divorce lawyer help you.

If you have questions or concerns about temporary spousal maintenance, contact a skilled New York divorce lawyer.