Among the many concerns surrounding a divorce, there is the issue of paying support. There are already fears about how much someone must pay or receive, but there is also confusion about how long it lasts.
Fortunately, there is an easily accessible chart that New York uses to make these determinations. The length of time you pay spousal support is directly related to the length of the marriage.
- If the marriage lasted less than 16 years, support lasts between 15% and 30% of that marriage’s duration. If you were married for eight years, you can expect to pay spousal support for 1.2 and 2.4 years, and so on.
- If the marriage lasted between 15 and 20 years, support lasts between 30% and 40% of that marriage’s duration. If you were married for 17 years, you can expect to pay spousal support for 5.1 and 6.8 years, and so on.
- If the marriage lasted over 20 years, support lasts between 35% and 50% of that marriage’s duration. If you were married for 25 years, you can expect to pay spousal support for 8.75 and 12.5 years, and so on.
How Much Will I Pay?
Unlike many other states, New York has a chart for determining spousal support amounts. First, it looks at the overall household income, both spouses combined. There is a cap for the higher-earning spouse, $184,000. Even if someone makes more than that, the state assumes they don’t.
From there, New York uses one of the following formulas:
- It subtracts 25% of the payer’s income from 20% of the recipient’s income.
- It subtracts 20% of the recipient’s income from 30% of the giver’s income.
- The couple’s combined income is multiplied by 40%. Then, the recipient’s individual income is subtracted from this amount.
The state uses whichever formula produces the lowest number, but it isn’t done there. This figure is only the baseline.
Courts can use any of the following to raise or lower the amount of spousal support:
- Evidence of abuse in the marriage
- How much child support each parent pays
- The current standard of living each spouse enjoys
- How much property each has after it has been divided
- Each spouse’s future earning potential, including their age, health, and career prospects
- How much each person contributed to the marriage or helped support the other financially
Seeking a Family Attorney
If you’re concerned about how much you will pay or receive in spousal support, talk to a lawyer. They will have options to help make sure payments are fair for both parties. For instance, if you and your spouse can work together, you can consider attending mediation. If you cannot agree, you may have to settle the matter in court. A legal professional will help guide you, no matter which path you take.
If you need help with spousal support decisions, contact our firm today for a free consultation. You can call us at (347) 343-5467 or reach us online.