How is Alimony Determined in Dutchess County?
Through a recent change in New York law, there are new guidelines for determining the amount and duration of spousal maintenance that a person receives through a divorce proceeding. The revised guidelines affected both temporary and post-divorce maintenance awards. In both situations, there is a formula for determining an appropriate payment given the payor’s income and other financial obligations. Under DRL 236B(5-a)(a), either party can make an application for temporary maintenance when a divorce proceeding is ongoing. Post-divorce alimony orders are a bit more complicated.
In determining the equitable amount and duration of a post-divorce maintenance award, the court typically can consider numerous factors, including but not limited to the following:
- Income and property of the spouses;
- Length of the spouses’ marriage to one another;
- Age and health of the spouses;
- Current and future earning capacities of both spouses;
- Need for one spouse to incur expenses for education or professional training;
- Length of cohabitation before marriage, and separation before divorce;
- Actions by one spouse that have affected the other spouse’s ability to earn an income or to obtain meaningful employment;
- Ability of payee spouse to become self-supporting;
- Reduced earning capacity due to one spouse’s delayed education or career opportunities for the sake of the marriage;
- Children’s living location; and
- Need for a spouse to care for family members other than children.
How Long Do New York State Maintenance Payments Last?
As we noted above, the new guidelines provide the court with a basic formula for determining duration of the support. In brief, the court multiplies the length of the marriage by a percentage to determine the duration of support. These are the general guidelines:
- 0 to 15 years of marriage = 15 percent to 30 percent;
- More than 15 to 20 years of marriage = 30 percent to 40 percent; and
- More than 20 years of marriage = 35 percent to 50 percent.
Regardless of the other terms of an alimony award, the following are also ways in which maintenance payments can come to an end:
- Upon the death of either spouse;
- Upon the remarriage of the party who is receiving support; and
- Agreement between the parties about the length of time of the maintenance.
Contact a Dutchess County Alimony Lawyer
If you have questions or concerns about alimony, a spousal maintenance lawyer in Dutchess County can help. Contact The Colwell Law Group, LLC for more information.