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Long Island Family Lawyer > Blog > Spousal Support > Frequently Asked Questions About Spousal Support In New York

Frequently Asked Questions About Spousal Support In New York


Alimony, known as spousal support in the New York Statutes, is money paid by one spouse to another during or after a divorce. Many people think that spousal support is ordered by a judge in all divorce cases, but this is not true. In fact, spousal support is only ordered in approximately ten percent of divorce cases today. This is just one aspect of alimony that is highly misunderstood, but there are others, as well. To clear up any confusion, our Long Island spousal support attorney answers some of the most frequently asked questions about alimony below.

How Do Judges Determine the Amount of Alimony to Award?

The statutes in New York were revised several years ago to ensure that alimony amounts remained consistent from case to case. Today, the formula is based on the incomes of the two spouses. When a divorce case involves child support, the formula used is different from cases that do not involve child support.

Under the law, there is a cap on the income of the payer for the purposes of calculating spousal support but when a person’s income is greater than the cap, the court has an obligation to consider other factors so it can arrive at a fair amount. Even when the income of the person paying support is lower than the cap, judges can still consider other factors if it will result in a fair amount.

Can I Receive Spousal Support Before My Case is Final?

It is true that a divorce case can take many months and sometimes, even years. To prevent one party from experiencing hardship during this time, a judge may issue a temporary support order at the beginning of the case. The temporary order will end once the divorce is final, or before. At that time, a judge may issue an order for post-divorce support.

How Long Does a Spousal Support Order Last?

In most cases, spousal support is durational. This means it is paid for a certain period of time, often until the recipient is able to financially support themselves. Sometimes, alimony is permanent, but this is much rarer and is only appropriate when the duration of the marriage was 15 years or more or when the recipient cannot support themselves.

Can I Change an Alimony Order in the Future?

Yes, if there has been a significant change in circumstances, it is possible to modify a spousal support order. To do this, however, one has to petition the court and the order must be legally modified by a judge. Changing a spousal support order before this, such as paying a lower amount than what was ordered without the court’s permission is considered a violation of a court order and that has serious consequences.

Do You Need a Spousal Support Attorney in Long Island?

There is no requirement under the law that you work with a Long Island spousal support attorney to resolve an alimony issue. However, because alimony is so rarely awarded, having strong legal representation will give you the best chance of a successful outcome. At the Law Office of Joshua Adam Kittenplan, P.C., our seasoned attorney can guide you through the process and help you remedy your alimony issue in a timely manner. Call us now at 631-499-0606 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more.




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