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The Different Types of Spousal Support in a New York Divorce

Published: Jul 13, 2018 11:40:24 AM // Topics: Spousal Maintenance
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If you’re going through a divorce, there is a long list of to-dos you must go over with your lawyer and eventually address with your former spouse. One is discussing spousal support.

First, the term is actually “spousal maintenance” in New York State. Furthermore, there are two types of spousal maintenance you could pay or receive.

1. Temporary Maintenance

Temporary maintenance is paid to one spouse from another during actual litigation, or pending divorce cases. As revealed in the name, this type of spousal maintenance is not supposed to be permanent. Instead, its purpose is to provide the dependent spouse, who is receiving the funds, financial help while the divorce is underway.

Certain mathematical formulas are used to calculate a “guideline” for the Court to use as the amount of temporary maintenance. However, the Court is then permitted under the Law to deviate upward or downward from the guideline amount, based upon a number of factors. 

During the divorce process, the judge will review key financial data that both parties will provide, and decide if more maintenance is necessary after the divorce. The judge’s final order will let the temporary maintenance come to an end, and will then determine the amount of maintenance the dependent spouse receives in the future, which is the second category of maintenance.

2. Post-Divorce Maintenance

Spousal maintenance ordered by a judge once a divorce is finalized is known as post-divorce maintenance. Similar to temporary maintenance, its purpose is explained in the name. It is awarded to the dependent spouse by the supporting spouse, which refers to the party paying the funds, after a divorce.

The amount of money the supporting spouse pays the dependent spouse each month, and the length of time he or she is required to do so, vary on a case-by-case basis. Certain factors, such as non-monetary contributions to the marriage, the current child custody arrangement, equitable distribution of assets and the number of years the couple were married, play important roles in the determination of post-divorce maintenance. Some of these factors are different than those considered when calculating temporary maintenance.

The Court, once again, will apply certain mathematical formulas based upon the parties’ incomes to calculate the “guideline” for the amount of post-divorce maintenance. However, the Court will then apply numerous factors and can choose to deviate upward or downward from the guideline amount, based upon those numerous factors. It is critical that you employ experience divorce attorneys who understand how courts tend to apply those factors, as it can substantially affect the amount of maintenance you pay or receive.

However, there are times when post-divorce maintenance could cease prior to the expected end date. For instance, the arrangement would come to an end if the dependent spouse remarried. Each case is different, so nothing is guaranteed.

Schedule a Consultation Now

Sunshine & Feinstein, LLP is a divorce and family law firm located on Long Island. Our experienced and reputable attorneys are dedicated to helping our clients navigate through their divorces, which includes going over spousal maintenance guidelines. Contact us today to schedule a consultation so you can find out what we can do for you.

Sunshine & Feinstein, LLP, 666 Old Country Road, Suite 605, Garden City, NY  11530. (516) 742-6444. This is Attorney Advertising.

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