Everything You Need to Know About Types of Alimony in New York

In New York, alimony is referred to as spousal maintenance or spousal support. When determining spousal maintenance, the court considers several factors, including the duration of the marriage, the income and earning capacity of each spouse, the health and age of the parties, and their respective financial needs. While there are no specific types of alimony defined in New York law, the court can order different forms of spousal maintenance based on the circumstances of the case. Here are some common forms of spousal maintenance in New York:

1. Temporary Maintenance

Temporary maintenance, also known as pendente lite maintenance, is awarded during the pendency of the divorce proceedings. Its purpose is to provide temporary financial support to the lesser-earning spouse until a final determination on spousal maintenance is made. The amount and duration of temporary maintenance are usually calculated based on a formula established by New York’s Domestic Relations Law.

2. Post-Divorce Maintenance

Post-divorce maintenance is awarded after the divorce is finalized and can be of various durations, including short-term or long-term maintenance. The court considers factors such as the length of the marriage, the income and financial resources of each spouse, and the standard of living during the marriage when determining the amount and duration of post-divorce maintenance.

3. Rehabilitative Maintenance

Rehabilitative maintenance is designed to support the recipient spouse while they acquire education, training, or skills necessary to become self-sufficient and financially independent. The court may order this type of maintenance for a specific duration, allowing the recipient spouse time to obtain education or vocational training to enhance their earning capacity.

4. Durational Maintenance

Durational maintenance is awarded when a specific duration of support is appropriate, considering the length of the marriage and other relevant factors. Unlike post-divorce maintenance, which does not have a specified end date, durational maintenance has a predetermined duration.

5. Permanent Maintenance

Permanent maintenance is typically awarded in cases where the parties have been married for a long duration, and there is a significant disparity in the earning capacities or financial circumstances of the spouses. It does not necessarily mean lifelong support but can be awarded for an indefinite period or until certain events occur, such as the recipient spouse’s remarriage or cohabitation.

It’s important to note that the court has discretion in determining the type, amount, and duration of spousal maintenance in New York. The specific factors and circumstances of each case play a significant role in the court’s decision. It is advisable to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law to understand the specific guidelines and considerations relevant to your situation.