Select Page

Spousal Maintenance, aka Alimony, Variations on Long Island

by | Aug 21, 2018 | divorce, divorce lawyer long island ny, News and Events, spousal support

Spousal Maintenance, otherwise or formerly known as Alimony, plays a significant part in a majority of Divorce Proceedings handled on Long Island. Spousal maintenance is a creature of statute, and, as such is typically determined by following a formula. However, in certain cases, the courts in Nassau and Suffolk counties can deviate from the statute in a few different ways.

Divorce Attorney Consultation

New York State Domestic Relations Law

In order to understand the possible variations your spousal maintenance may take, it’s important to understand the basics. As a starting point, the courts recognize that there is a presumption that the less-monied spouse is entitled to be financially supported by the monied spouse. When determining temporary spousal support, courts will adhere to the lower of the following two formulas:

  • 30% percent of the monied spouse’s income, minus 20% of the less-monied spouse’s income; or
  • 40% percent of the parties’ combined income, minus the less-monied spouse’s income.

Long Island Courts Can Deviate from the Spousal Support Formula

When determining Post-Divorce Maintenance, there are a variety a formulas utilized, depending on whether child support is also being paid.

It is also important to note that there are conditions under which the court may deviate from the formulas above. There is a list of 15 factors that the court may consider if it believes the maintenance award arrived at through the formulas is unjust or inappropriate.

Duration of Spousal Support on Long Island

Although the Domestic Relations Law puts forth a schedule for the duration of maintenance, it is only advisory. However, most courts will utilize that schedule if the parties cannot agree on a duration. If the parties are married 15 years or under, maintenance will last 15%-30% of the length of marriage; for marriages lasting 15-20 years, maintenance will last for 30%-40% of the length of marriage; finally, for marriages lasting over 20 years, maintenance will last for 35%-50% of the length of marriage. In determining the duration of maintenance, the judge will consider the same 15 factors mentioned above.

Income Above the Cap

When determining maintenance according to the formulas above, both parties’ income is currently capped at $184,000. If a party earns an income above the cap, the court will apply the above formulas to income up to the cap. For example, if the monied spouse is earning $300,000 per year, the formulas above would cap his or her income at $184,000 for the purposes of determining spousal maintenance. This would obviously drastically alter the spousal maintenance award, as $116,000 of the monied spouse’s income is not being considered.

However, the court may also, within its discretion, consider any income earned over the cap. Courts often consider the age and health of the parties, the present or future earning capacities of the parties, and the homemaking, parenting and income earning contributions of the less-monied spouse, among other factors, in order to determine whether it should consider income over the statutory cap. If the court finds that the circumstances of a case warrant considering the income over the statutory cap, it must state its reasons and factors considered in its decision.

Have Questions About Spousal Support/Alimony on Long Island? We Can Help

Spousal Maintenance can quickly become a very complex issue in your Long Island Divorce. In order to protect your rights and financial interests, it is important to have an experienced Long Island Divorce Attorney by your side. Contact our Long Island Divorce & Family Law firm at 631-629-2545 to set up your free consultation with one of our experienced Family Law attorneys.


Call 631-923-1910 or fill in the form below

Schedule your complimentary consultation and case evaluation with our experienced attorneys today. When you call, you’ll speak to our friendly Client Services Director, who will be able to answer your general questions and set up your appointment with an attorney who specializes in your unique case.

At your meeting, your attorney will describe the many options available and determine together which is the right solution for you. By the end of this meeting we’ll all understand how we can best help you to move forward.

No Cost or Obligation

There is no cost or obligation for this initial consultation. It is simply an opportunity for us to get to know each other, answer your questions and learn if Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. is right the right law firm for you. Give us a call at 631-923-1910 or fill in the short form below to schedule your free consultation and case evaluation.

All Fields Are Required

Divorce Lawyer Attorney Long Island NY Courts Open
Divorce Lawyer Long Island New York



Google Review of divorce longisland
Anastasia R
Anastasia R
22:45 17 Dec 20
I went to see Rob for a modification for my child custody agreement to relocate, I can honestly say that working with Rob and Christine has been the best experience. I cannot recommend them enough I only wish I had seen them sooner. They are prompt with communication, and they are honest which I appreciate so much. They do not give you fake promises and they do their best to fight for what you want which they do amazingly well! You can tell they are passionate about what they do and care about their clients. A very important aspect of lawyer client relationship for me is an open line of communication, the anxiety of the unknown always gets the best of us. The fact they were always available whether it be phone call or email to answer any question was extremely comforting and exactly what I needed. I am not well versed with laws and regulation so knowing I had Rob and his partners there when I was unsure or conflicted was extremely needed and greatly appreciated.When it comes to family court it's never easy but having Rob and his partner by my side I felt extremely comfortable and he helped me have realistic expectations. Please TRUST HIM!! If you're looking for a lawyer (at least for my end from child custody/Family Court) don't look any further you will not be disappointed. I hope to never have to use them again but in the event I have to, they are going to be my forever first call.
Sam Berg
Sam Berg
15:42 16 Sep 20
I hired Robert to handle a child custody and child support matter. He was prompt and professional and was able to achieve a result that 3 prior attorneys could not. He and his staff made a stressful situation easy. I highly recommend his office.


  • 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!!



divorce questions answered



Long Island Divorce Guide

Fill the form to download Guide

* indicates required


Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., P.C. respects your right to privacy. We will never sell your information to any third party. Follow this link to read our full privacy policy.


Child Support & Spousal Maintenance Tools
Spousal Maintenance Calculator
Child Support Calculator

Pin It on Pinterest