How Alimony is Determined in Brooklyn

Feb 23, 2018

Are you dealing with an alimony case in New York? If so, a Brooklyn divorce attorney from the Levitsky Law Firm may be able to help.

In New York state, alimony is referred to by an alternate term, “maintenance.” It is paid from one spouse to another to make sure that the latter can live reasonably close to their usual standard during and/or after a divorce, so that, for example, a former housewife is able to support herself before she finds a new job.

There are two types of maintenance. The first, pendente lite, or temporary maintenance, is meant to support a spouse during the divorce process; it ends at the judge’s order.

The main kind of maintenance lasts after the divorce and ends with the death of either party, or if the supported spouse remarries or is found to be involved in an arrangement comparable to a common law marriage, such as a long term, live-in relationship with a new person who is offering support.

How much money is given in a maintenance case varies; the general goal is that the supported spouse is living near the same standard of living that they had while together with the supporting spouse.

For pendente lite cases there are two specific formulae used: either subtract 20 percent of the supported spouse’s income from 30 percent of the supporter’s, OR multiply the combined incomes by 40 percent and then subtract the supported spouse’s income from that. Whichever answer yields the lower amount is the maintenance. Deviations from this rule can be made in extenuating circumstances.

For post-divorce cases the rules are less strict, and many factors can apply, including: how long the marriage lasted, if the spouses lived together beforehand, how many children are still living with the supported spouse and their needs, loss of insurance or other benefits with the marriage’s end, or virtually anything that the judge finds relevant.

These are complex issues, so please allow Levitsky Law Firm to help you make sure that you get the fairest deal possible in your case.