Guide to Spousal Support in New York
How is Spousal Support determined in New York?
Spousal Support in New York follows both standard calculating factors and unique, strict deviation considerations. If a judge feels the formula for calculating spousal support in New York is unfair, they may consider up to 17 factors that will influence the final settlement. These deviation factors are located under the New York State Law Revision Commission.
As always, you may be able to obtain a rough estimate for your spousal support by using the calculator on this website, but also note that a judge stands as the final determining factor for spousal support in New York. The calculator uses both standard formulas similar to New York and factors within the Law Revision Commission’s Preliminary Report on Maintenance Awards in Divorce Proceedings of May, 11th, 2011.
The AAML Formula
A judge may use the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyer’s standard formula in some cases. He or she may want to reach a rough estimate before making a final judgment, or, if the two parties are cooperative and wanting a quick divorce, the judge may finalize the results of the formula as well. Whatever the case, the AAML’s formula calculates both the total reward and duration of the payments for spousal support in New York:
Spousal Maintenance= (30% of supporter’s gross income) – (20% of the supported party’s gross income)
The total income of the supported spouse including their gross income and support received cannot exceed 40% of the combined gross income of the parties.
1) Marriage of 0-3 years X 30%
2) Marriage of 3-10 years X 50%
3) Marriage of 10-20 years X 75%
4) Marriage of 20 years or more may result in permanent support
Some family law attorneys dislike the idea of a standard formula because they believe the calculation, along with a number of easy, self-representative divorce forms leads to over-simplification for a process that is too complex. Regardless of simplification or not, there are number of factors that the can influence the total amount of spousal support in New York.
A judge will often consider the following for reaching a settlement for spousal support in New York:
• Standard of living during marriage
• Age and health of both parties
• Each party’s earning capacity
• Need for education from one party
• Unreasonable sale of marital property
• Knowing about the likelihood of divorce and transferring financial liability on other spouse
• Any pre-marital joint households or pre-divorce separate households
• Either party prohibiting the education or earning capacity of the other spouse
• Need for medical insurance
• The custodial and non-custodial responsibilities of each parent that inhibit earning potential
• Inability to enter workforce because of age or health
• The need to pay for custodial or non-custodial parenting duties such as schooling, daycare, or medical treatment
• Tax consequence for each party after the divorce
• The final settlement on joint marital property
• The contributions as a homemaker
• Any other factors the court may find proper
How do I file for spousal support in New York?
There is not a specific form for spousal support in New York, but there are a couple of important steps involved in asking for support. During the hearing after filing the petition and summons, a Support Magistrate will hear each party’s evidence of income and expenses. It is important to have witnesses in case a magistrate needs more evidence.