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Who Decides Spousal Maintenance in a New York Divorce?

Who Decides Spousal Maintenance in a New York Divorce?

Your divorce is going to be comprised of a variety of factors, many of which you might not have ever anticipated being a problem until the divorce papers were first filed. In particular, deciding on spousal maintenance can lead to the biggest arguments of all.

People generally do not want to give money, especially not considerable amounts, to their exes. It is no surprise that spousal maintenance can hit a nerve. You might be less-than-shocked to find that your soon-to-be ex-spouse does not want to provide you any spousal maintenance. Is it really their decision to make, though?

Courtroom Spousal Maintenance Calculations

Ultimately, spousal maintenance is not something that one spouse gets to decide. When there is a clear need for spousal maintenance — such as when only one spouse was earning income while married — the New York family law court handling your divorce will step in and calculate a “fair” amount of spousal maintenance for you and your spouse. The calculation is not as intimidating as it might seem, though, as New York has a handy spousal maintenance calculator that can shed light on how the court may set spousal maintenance in your divorce. However, it is worth noting that spousal maintenance in New York stopped being tax deductible at the end of 2018, which means the court now has to also consider the tax consequences brought by spousal maintenance payments.

Other factors that determine how much spousal maintenance is paid and for how long include:

  • Age and typical health of both spouses
  • Duration of marriage
  • Spouse of lesser income’s ability to financially support themselves
  • Standard of living both spouses enjoyed while married

The court will only look at numbers and data. To this end, the court can try to make the right spousal maintenance decision and still fall short of the ideal. In order to do your best to get the best outcome, it is encouraged to try to talk things out with your spouse first, or even use a collaborative approach to your divorce. If you both agree to work together one last time, then the decision of spousal maintenance is up to you both.

Need help sorting out your spousal maintenance? Unsure of what would be a fair amount to pay or receive, and for how long? Not to worry — you can come to Friedman & Friedman PLLC, Attorneys at Law for all the guidance and counsel you need from an award-winning team of Westchester divorce lawyers. With nearly 80 years of combined experience, we have the insight and know-how necessary to overcome any obstacle in your case, all the while upholding your best interests.

Call us at (516) 688-0088 for more information about your options and our representation.

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