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How Much Alimony Will I Get In Ny

How Would The Calculations Work On The Second Example

How much alimony will I get after my divorce in New York?

Lets say the husband makes $100,000, and the wife makes $20,000. Were going to do this with no children involved.

The deductions for Social Security and Medicare are taken from both parties. Thats a combined deduction of 7.65% on each. Then, if we look at that, it produces what we call the adjusted gross income for spousal support purposes.

In the husbands case, the adjusted income would be $92,350. In the wifes case, it would be $18,470. Those are the numbers we work from.

Then, on the husbands side, well take 30% of his income, up to including the cap, minus 20% of the payees income. The husband would have $27,705 on his side. Then, the wifes 20% of her income would be $3,694. You subtract them, and you have $24,011. Thats result number one.

The second calculation is the payors income, up to the cap. Its $92,350, plus the payees income of $18,470.

That equals a total income combined of $110,820. We use 40% of that, which is $44,328, minus the payees income, and it equals $25,858 per year.

The lower of the two results was the first calculation of $24,011. Therefore, after you divide by 12, the monthly alimony payment would be $2,000.92. Thats how it breaks down without children.

I am not going to get into it with children, because thats going to blow your head apart. Its ridiculous.

Keep in mind that the court is not required to use the amount of alimony that the calculator spits out. The judge can deviate from the guideline amount.

Duration Of Spousal Maintenance

As of January 1, 2019, on the federal level, alimony is no longer deductible by the payor spouse, nor is it considered income to the payee spouse.

For your federal returns, if youre paying spousal support, you do not get to deduct it. If youre receiving spousal support, you do not declare it. In that regard, its like child support always was a non-taxable event on either side.

However, in New York state, as for the state returns, its still deductible by the payor. It is tax-deductible to the payee. New York state did not change the law, but the federal government did.

Couple Is Divorced Or Divorcing

If the spouses are divorced, the financial support one ex-spouse gets from the other ex-spouse is called maintenance. Maintenance is decided in Supreme Court during a divorce case.

If there is an order for spousal support from Family Court before a divorce case is started in Supreme Court, the order for spousal support will end once a final judgment of divorce is signed unless the judgment of divorce specifically states that the spousal support continues as maintenance.

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There Are Two Formulas To Calculate Maintenance In New York: One For Couples With Children And One For Couples Without Children

The law contains two formulas: One for couples with children and one for couples without children. These formulas are constructed to calculate the amount of maintenance that should be paid, and an advisory schedule for determining how long the maintenance should be paid for. Those with children will have an added component to their maintenance in the form of child support.

Like I said before, the formula is different for marriages where there are children or no children. By children, I mean children who are going to be subject to a support order, which are generally unemancipated children under the age of 21. Unemancipated means they are not married themselves or in the military or self-supporting.

Old Law: New York Alimony / Maintenance Laws : The Basics



The law changes for all divorces filed on or after January 25, 2016.


For Information on the NEW LAW please

A common question is about New York Alimony Laws. We dont use the term alimony anymore, it has been replaced with Maintenance. So, when you ask about alimony you are really looking for information about Maintenance Law. To avoid confusion I will use both terms in this posting, as for practical purposes, they mean the same thing. We will sometimes refer to this as spousal support laws.

This is no easy way to say this, the Maintenance laws in New York are difficult and not easy to understand. First, we have something new: Temporary Maintenance. This temporary maintenance only occurs while the divorce is pending. Further, you must make a motion to the court and ask for it. Spousal support is not automatic. It is also not available in an uncontested divorce. .

Temporary maintenance is actually much easier to calculate than permanent maintenance .

1. Spouse has stolen $500,000 in marital assets. She is living with her boyfriend and doesnt work as she now pregnant with his child. The husband earns $100,000 a year. She probably wont get maintenance at the end of the divorce, however, while the divorce is pending the court will order $2,500 a month in temporary maintenance.

Maintenance at the end of the divorce.

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Alimony Get The Spousal Support Youre Entitled To

Alimony is, to put it mildly, a greatly contested area of family law that requires a hard hitting attorney. A divorce is essentially the dissolving of a legal, physical and spiritual contract between two people. The dissolution of marriage is rarely a smooth, painless experience. There are many consequences of divorce, not least of which are financial. Property settlements, custody of children, child support and alimony should all have final determinations by a judge before the separation can be truly complete.

Inevitably, both spouses will feel the financial strain of divorce. In New York State, if a couple has been married for ten or more years a marriage is considered long term. In cases of the dissolution of long term marriages, several combined factors may result in an entitlement of spousal support, or alimony.

Alimony Lawyers will Get the Compensation that You Need

For the payee, alimony may feel like a punishment for breaking a marriage contract, but it isnt. The purpose of alimony is to ensure one spouse or the other has the ability to maintain their standard of living and support themselves and the children until such a time when they can do it on their own. In order to determine entitlement and amount of alimony payments, several factors will be taken into account:

The reigning judge has the power of discretion to credit or discredit several factors in the determination of an alimony case.

New York Child Support Add

In addition to ordering the noncustodial parent to pay basic child support, the court can also order either parent to provide medical insurance for the child. A judge can also order parents to cover other expenses related to their children. The court can order a parent to pay:

  • A portion of the child care expenses that a parent pays in order to go to work or school
  • A portion of the child’s health insurance and medical expenses that are not covered by insurance
  • A portion of the child’s educational expenses

The amounts for these expenses are in addition to the basic child support amount but are still considered part of the child support obligation. While basic support is intended to cover expenses such as shelter, food, clothing and other basic living expenses, the add-ons cover other costs often associated with raising a child.

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How Are Alimony Awards Enforced

As soon as a divorce order requiring alimony is signed by a judge, the alimony begins. A spouse who refuses to make the alimony payments on the due date is held in contempt of court, and the supported spouse can file a motion. A hearing is set to determine the reason the alimony is not paid, missed alimony payments have penalties and fines. The court can order backdated payments to make up for the missed alimony payments.

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How Do New York Courts Calculate Temporary Spousal Maintenance

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New York law requires courts to use a statutory formula to calculate a suggested amount of temporary support. The fixed formula helps to keep temporary awards consistent and uniform. However, if the guideline support would be unjust or inappropriate, the judge has discretion to deviate from the guidelines.

To arrive at an amount for the temporary award, New York’s temporary support calculator considers:

  • each party’s income , and
  • whether the paying spouse will also pay child support.

The amount of any temporary maintenance award will not affect the court’s decision regarding postdivorce maintenance. Temporary maintenance ends no later than when the divorce is final or either party dieswhichever occurs first.

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Alimony And Your Taxes

Over the course of the past 70-80 years, alimony has always been a tax deduction for the paying spouse and reported as income to the recipient. However, on December 22, 2017, the President of the United States signed significant changes into the tax law impacting alimony.

The new tax law became effective on January 1, 2019, and for divorces finalized after December 31, 2018, alimony payments are no longer tax-deductible or reportable income to the recipient.

For example, a paying spouse earning $50,000 and paying $10,000 would historically write-off the payments of alimony, thus potentially placing the spouse into a lower tax bracket. Presently, the paying spouses income will remain at $50,000 for tax purposes despite paying $10,000 in alimony. Meanwhile, the recipient spouse will receive an extra $10,000 in unreported income.

Before negotiating an alimony settlement, both spouses should meet with an experienced tax attorney to discuss the tax repercussions of the new law.

What Are The Factors That The Court Looks At When Determining Spousal Support

The court will consider 20 factors when calculating maintenance. Several of the key factors include:

  • The income and property of both spouses.
  • The length of the marriage.
  • The age and health of both spouses.
  • Present and future income of both spouses.
  • The ability of the receiving spouse to become self-supporting.
  • Acts by one spouse which inhibit the other from achieving employment. For example, if there was a domestic violence incident that caused an injury.
  • The existence of a premarital joint household.
  • Loss of income of the receiving spouse as a result of giving up a career. For example, if one spouse stayed home to care for the children instead of working a full-time job.
  • Whether there are children from the marriage that live in the marital home.
  • Whether there are disabled children, adult children, elderly, or in-laws that require care.
  • Additional child-related costs, such as schooling, daycare, and medical expenses.
  • Contributions made by the receiving spouse, for example, if the spouse was a homemaker and did not receive a fixed income.
  • Waste of property by either spouse, for example, if one spouse has wasted or lost marital funds as the result of gambling addiction, or also, say, an extramarital affair.
  • The loss of health insurance benefits as a result of the divorce. Any transfer of property, for example, where one spouse hides assets.

Then, the last factor is any other factor the court believes is relevant to the decision.

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How Do I Calculate Alimony Payments

New York courts use two different formulas to calculate alimony awards or payments. The spouse alimony calculator is as follows:

Formula 1

  • 20% of the paying spouses annual net income
  • Minus 25% of the recipients annual net income
  • Split into 12 monthly payments

Formula 2

  • 40% of the spouses combined income
  • Minus the recipients annual net income
  • Split into 12 monthly payments

While these formulas may sound relatively simple, there are added layers of complexity and most divorcing spouses in Albany need to consult with a spousal support lawyer to get it right.

First, its not uncommon for couples to disagree about their choice of formula. If youre going to have to pay alimony, you probably want the lowest amount possible especially since its no longer tax-deductible on your federal income taxes. If youre planning on getting spousal support, youll probably want the highest amount possible, especially if youve sacrificed work opportunities or education to support your spouse or need to care for your children.

This innate tension can lead to heated disagreements and disputes.

Alimony Not Just For Women

Endre Boksay

At one time, alimony was meant for women who dedicated their lives to being house wives and mothers. With time and the womens liberation movement, laws on the books came to be interpreted differently. A new, more gender equality based interpretation of family laws came into play. Today, either spouse can receive spousal support or maintenance payments.

In todays court, sacrifices of both spouses that were made for the good of the marriage and children are taken into account. According to New York Domestic Relations Laws Article 13 Section: 236, alimony may be ordered if:

  • You sacrificed higher pay during the marriage or now have a reduced earning capacity due to the sacrifices made, such as delayed higher education, job training, employment opportunities, etc.
  • The marriage resulted in children who currently reside in the homes of the respective divorcees.
  • Contributions to the marriage made by each spouse, which can be defined as the role of respective spouses during the marriage as primary caretaker of the children, housewife or house husband, wage earner, etc.
  • It can be proven that either spouse wastefully spent marital funds and assets.
  • One spouse or the other was unfairly burdened with upkeep of the marriage or fair consideration of efforts was not extended during the marriage.

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Types Of Alimony Available In New York

New York courts can order two types of maintenance:

  • Temporary maintenance. Also referred to as “temporary support pendente lite,” temporary maintenance typically is paid to a spouse during the divorce process and ends when the judge issues a final order of divorce. In New York, temporary maintenance is awarded upon a showing of a spouse’s actual financial need, and the court will use statutory guidelines to determine a suggested baseline of support.
  • Postdivorce maintenance. This support is a payment from one spouse to the other after the court finalizes the divorce. Typically, the award is based on the parties’ incomes and the length of the marriage. Like temporary maintenance, New York courts use statutory guidelines to determine a suggested baseline of support.

There’s no guarantee of a maintenance award in any divorce case. If the court decides that maintenance is appropriate, it can award one or both of temporary and postdivorce maintenance.

What Are The Types Of Alimony In New York

There are two types of alimony in New York: temporary spousal maintenance and post-divorce spousal maintenance.

Temporary maintenance refers to the alimony paid while a divorce is ongoing.

Post-divorce maintenance, on the other hand, refers to the alimony ordered by the final judgment which is paid after the divorce.

Post-divorce maintenance can be divided into two buckets:

  • Durational spousal maintenance
  • Permanent spousal maintenance

Durational spousal maintenance is paid after divorce for a limited period of time. It is designed as rehabilitative support, allowing a spouse the opportunity to gain skills to re-enter the workforce.

The idea is that if youre the spouse receiving the support, you will be able to become self-supporting in the future and not require spousal support.

In some cases, it may not be feasible for one spouse to become self-supporting. In these situations, there may be permanent spousal maintenance. Permanent maintenance is paid when a long marriage ends, there is a large discrepancy in your incomes, or youre not healthy, unable to work or otherwise support yourself.

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How Long Should I Be Married To Receive Alimony In New York

There is no timeframe on that. The statute is phrased that the longer you are married, the longer the presumptive duration of maintenance that you may be entitled to claim. The statute sets up a presumptive formula and they look at short, medium, and long-term marriages. A short-term marriage is defined in the statute as zero to 15 years, medium is 15 to 20, and long-term marriage is anything more than 20.

Why the legislature decided that way does not make any practical sense to me. It really should have been zero to 10, 10 to 20, and then 20 or more. Nevertheless, the statute is as it is. In short term marriages the presumptive duration of maintenance is 15 to 30 percent of the length the of the marriage, for medium term divorces it is 30 to 40 percent, and long-term marriages its 35 to 50 percent.

And while the presumptive duration still applies in an extremely short-term marriage , it may not make sense as a practical matter to go for maintenance because the marriage was so short. But, that doesnt mean in an extremely short term marriage one cannot get maintenance especially if the monied spouse is making into the millions of dollars or high six figures. Lets say the non-monied spouse left a job or career opportunities to get married and the anticipation was that the person would be essentially supported for the rest of their life by the monied spouse. There may need to be some short-term maintenance to compensate for that.

If You Have Children Calculate Maintenance In New York Using The Formula For Couples With Minor Children

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Moving onto the formula. With minor children, the formula is similar, the percentages are just a little different.

With minor children, you take 25% of the lower-earning spouses net income. So here its $50,000. 25% of that is $12,500. Take 20% of the higher-earning spouses income. $100,000 times 20% equals $20,000. The difference is $7,500 . So you hold that number.

Then use the same Step 2 formula as above. You take the combined income of $150,000 times 40% equals $60,000. $60,000 minus the lower-earning spouses net income of $50,000 equals $10,000.

So in this example, the $7,500 is lower, so that is going to be the annual maintenance. $7,500 divided by 12 is $625 per month. That would be the monthly maintenance order in that case. Of course, the reason it is lower is because then you go on and calculate what the child support would be.

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