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Did you know You May Not be Entitled to Spousal Support?


Thinking of divorce? Are you worried about how you will survive financially? Not all spouses are entitled to support. Not everyone has to pay spousal support. Each circumstance is unique based on the details of your marriage.

So if you are trying to figure out if you are entitled to receive (or required to pay) spousal support if you divorce in New York, these are the factors that will be considered by the court and lawyers who are negotiating when determining the amount:

  1. The income and property of the respective parties including marital property distributed pursuant to Domestic Relations Law Section 236(B)(5);
  2. The length of the marriage;
  3. The age and health of both parties;
  4. The present and future earning capacity of both parties;
  5. The need of one party to incur education or training expenses;
  6. The existence and duration of a pre-marital joint household or a pre-divorce separate household;
  7. Acts by one party against another that have inhibited or continue to inhibit a party’s earning capacity or ability to obtain meaningful employment. Such acts include but are not limited to acts of domestic violence;
  8. The ability of the party seeking maintenance to become self-supporting and, if applicable, the period of time and training necessary therefore;
  9. Reduced or lost lifetime earning capacity of the party seeking maintenance as a result of having foregone or delayed education, training, employment, or career opportunities during the marriage;
  10. The presence of children of the marriage in the respective homes of the parties;
  11. The care of the children or stepchildren, disabled adult children or stepchildren, elderly parents or in-laws that has inhibited or continues to inhibit a party’s earning capacity;
  12. The inability of one party to obtain meaningful employment due to age or absence from the workforce;
  13. The need to pay for exceptional additional expenses for a child/children, including but not limited to, schooling, day care and medical treatment;
  14. The tax consequences to each party;
  15. The equitable distribution of marital property;
  16. Contributions and services of the party seeking maintenance as a spouse, parent, wage earner and homemaker, and to the career or career potential of the other party;
  17. The wasteful dissipation of marital property by either spouse
  18. The transfer or encumbrance made in contemplation of a matrimonial action without fair consideration;
  19. The loss of health insurance benefits upon dissolution of the marriage, and the availability and cost of medical insurance for the parties;
  20. Any other factor which the court shall expressly find to be just and proper.

In addition, depending upon the length of the marriage, there are suggested percentages for the length of support, which are:

  • If your marriage lasted up to 15 years, the duration of maintenance may be between 15% and 30% of the total time you were married; or
  • If your marriage was between 15 and 20 years, the duration of maintenance may be between 30% and 40% of the total time you were married; or
  • If your marriage lasted more than 20 years, the duration of maintenance may be between 35% and 50% of the total time you were married.

These are merely guidelines, and there are other factors which will influence the amounts and length of time.

Now I know this information is a lot to digest. I can give you more specifics after I hear the details of your marriage. So call me to set-up a spousal support evaluation. It is free when you schedule a consultation during the month of January. Call 212.734.1551 and we can get started.

Warm wishes,