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Long Island Spousal Maintenance (Alimony) Questions Answered

by | Feb 6, 2018 | divorce, divorce lawyer long island ny, Family Law Attorney, Family Law Lawyer, News and Events, spousal support

As experienced Long Island Divorce and Family Law Attorneys, some of the most often asked questions surround the issue of Spousal Maintenance or Alimony. Our clients are very concerned about this issue and routinely ask if they are entitled to it, will they be required to pay it, and if so, how much will they be required to pay. This post will provide you with an outline of the topic of Spousal Maintenance, or Alimony as the rest of the country calls it, so that some basic questions are answered.

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What is Spousal Maintenance?

Spousal Maintenance, also known as Alimony, requires one spouse to make regular payments to the other spouse. These payments may be made during the course of your divorce, as well as after the conclusion of your divorce, dependent upon the particular circumstances of your case. The purpose of these payments is to provide financial support to the other party so that they can afford necessities such as food, clothing, and shelter. The public policy behind these payments requires that a spouse who has supported the family throughout the marriage continue to support the family, possibly even after a divorce.

Temporary Maintenance

According to New York State Domestic Relations Law (DRL), which governs matrimonial actions on Long Island, either spouse may request temporary maintenance. These payments are made by one spouse to the other during the pendency of the divorce only. The court may set a time-frame that is less than the actual pendency of the action, such as 6 months even though your divorce takes a total of 12 months, or for the entire pendency of the divorce.

New York state has adopted different formulas to determine the amount of temporary maintenance to be paid. These formulas differ dependent upon whether the payor spouse (the one who is obligated to make maintenance payments) is also required to make child support payments. Temporary maintenance is calculated prior to child support and is subtracted from the payor’s income, thus reducing the total obligation of the payor spouse. Additionally, the court may deviate from the strict statutory formula upon consideration of certain factors set forth in the DRL. These factors include the age and health of the parties, the need of one party to incur educational or training expenses, the wasteful dissipation of marital property without fair consideration, the tax consequences to each party, and the standard of living of the parties established during the marriage. If the court finds that, given the factors laid out in the law, the formula-derived maintenance award is unjust, they may increase or decrease the award accordingly.

Post-Divorce Maintenance

For newer divorce actions (those commenced after January 23, 2016) the new provisions contained within the DRL apply. Under these newer provisions, there is again a strict formula that Long Island courts will adhere to in determining post-divorce maintenance. Also, as with temporary maintenance awards, either party may request a post-divorce maintenance award. Post-divorce maintenance is also be calculated prior to a child support calculation, and is subtracted from the payor spouse’s income.

Long Island courts again have discretion with regards to the post-divorce maintenance award, given similar factors stated above. If the court finds that the formula-derived post-divorce maintenance award is unjust, it is allowed to modify the award.

Also included in the new provisions of the DRL is an advisory schedule regarding the duration of a post-divorce maintenance award. This schedule suggests durations of maintenance that are relative to the length of the marriage itself. Thus, a party married for 0-15 years would be paying maintenance for 15-30% of the length of the marriage, while a party married for over 20 years would be paying maintenance for 35-50% of the length of the marriage.

Have Questions About Spousal Maintenance (Alimony) on Long Island? Contact Us

To learn more about what you need to know about spousal maintenance (alimony) on Long Island and how to get help to protect yourself and your future visit this page: Spousal Maintenance / Alimony on Long Island, NY. While this post was meant to serve as a brief introduction to the topic of Spousal Maintenance, it is a very particularized issue within your divorce that requires a careful review of the circumstances surrounding your case. If you have further questions regarding your maintenance obligation, or what you are entitled to, contact our Long Island Divorce and Family Law Firm at 631-923-1910 to schedule a complimentary consultation with our experienced Long Island Divorce and Family Law attorneys.

Check out our Divorce Guide for Dads for more information about divorce issues specifically related to fathers.

See this page for Your Guide to Preparing for a Contested Divorce.



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Everett Roberts
Everett Roberts
14:30 18 Mar 20
Going through a divorce was very challenging and emotional. Searching for an attorney can be challenging as well when you consider everything that is at stake. The choice I made to work with Rob Hornberger was surely the best choice available. His professionalism, expertise, and understanding made him and the entire team perfectly suited to achieve the outcomes I desired. Rob was always available to answer my questions and give me advice and legal considerations that affected my situation. The support I received from his staff was exemplary as well. The staff was courteous, kind, and also very professional. Thank you so much Rob and team for a worry free experience.
Annemarie Cusumano
Annemarie Cusumano
21:41 17 Mar 20
Being in family court especially when your children are on the line is extremely emotional and stressful but working with Robert and Christine put me at ease and made the process as pleasant as a situation like that can be. I have a now 3 year old daughter (who is the most important person in my life) and I've been working with them for over two years since my daughter was 7 months old, the case has been up and down and through it all Rob and Christine have never given up. My original case was due to a neglect charge. Cps is not easy to work with, but Rob and Christine were vigilant and I ended up getting my daughter back within 8 months and did not have to plead guilty to the neglect. Currently I am in family court to figure out a custody agreement. They are professional, empathetic, and patient. They have always explained everything thoroughly, informed me of all my options and advised me of what my best option would be. They always respond quickly when I contact them with questions or concerns and most importantly they fight for me in court and don't give up even when things get rough. Before hiring Rob and Christine I met with other attorneys who did not make me feel confident or comfortable at all about my case, so I am very grateful to have found Rob and Christine and to be represented by such great attorneys. I highly recommend them for any family court matters and will definitely continue to use them in the future if needed.
Steven Frierman
Steven Frierman
02:25 07 Mar 20
After meeting with 3 different lawyers, we felt Robert understood us best and he genuinely had our best interests at heart. This helped us resolve a few minor issues in a timely fashion and make a potentially stressful situation go more smoothly.Thank you
Randi Gottlieb
Randi Gottlieb
18:47 03 Mar 20
Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. - Mr. Robert Hornberger and his staff are beyond professional, they quickly gave me my consultation appointment, and helped me with an after-Divorce issue. Mr. Hornberger was empathetic and explained to me what I should expect. Mr. Hornberger was extremely professional and advised me of my options, he helped me proceed with accurate and smart decisions. I wish I had Mr. Hornberger and his highly recommended staff when I was getting divorced. I would highly recommend Robert and his staff to anyone who is getting a divorce or in need of help with situations after the divorce!
Rob Spielmann
Rob Spielmann
22:15 27 Feb 20
They made our process so easy. They were there to answer and help with any questions that came up. Very friendly


  • I have known Robert for more than 8 eight years. Robert has represented many of my family and friends. Each and every one has raved about Robert’s professionalism and expertise. He is knowledgable, friendly and truly cares about his clients. I would not hesitate to continue to refer Robert and his firm in the future!
  • I’ve known Robert for most of my life, and feel very fortunate that I have been able to turn to a good friend for various kinds of legal advice. He is very intelligent, straight forward, and professional. Most importantly though, Robert always finds the fastest resolution, and will not waste your time or money. He is NOT in the habit of dragging things through litigation if there is no need for the added expense. I have referred a few of my friends to Robert, and they have all been more than satisfied in their experience with him. Highly recommend!!



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