All spouses are obligated to take care of one another—even after the marriage ends. Alimony—also known as spousal support and maintenance—is designed to allow the lower-earning spouse to continue living the way he/she did before the divorce, as well as provide financial means to obtain a degree or go through vocational training and eventually become self-sufficient.
There are two types of alimony in New York: “pendente lite” maintenance and post-divorce maintenance.
“Pendente lite” is also known as temporary maintenance, which is paid while the divorce is still pending. The purpose of this type of spousal support is to provide the receiving spouse with immediate financial assistance during the transition into the end of a marriage. Once the divorce is finalized, this maintenance stops.
The family law courts use the following statutory formula to calculate temporary maintenance:
- Subtract 20 percent of the receiving spouse’s income from 30 percent of the supporting spouse’s income
- Multiply the total income of each spouse by 40 percent and subtract the income of the receiving spouse
- The court will use the lower amount of either Step 1 or 2 to determine temporary maintenance
By contrast, post-divorce maintenance is given to the receiving spouse once the divorce is final. This type of alimony ends either on a specified date in the final order, when either of the spouses passes away, or when the receiving spouse remarries. In addition, permanent alimony could end if the receiving spouse is cohabitating—habitually living—with someone of romantic interest.
If there is a substantial change in circumstances, either spouse can ask the court to modify the permanent order.
If you are interested in filing for divorce in Manhattan, contact Goldweber Epstein LLP today and schedule a confidential consultation today.