Pursuing Fair Maintenance Amounts in Rochester

A divorce can have profound financial implications, especially for the spouse who earned a lower wage than the other. After the marriage has ended, the lower-earning spouse might struggle to maintain the standard of living they were accustomed to and have difficulty covering essential needs costs. A court may grant maintenance, often referred to as spousal support, to the lower-earning spouse to provide the support they need for a set duration to become financially independent. Spousal support is not automatic in a New York divorce. The spouse seeking the award must request it and demonstrate their need by presenting financial and personal information to the court.

At Duke Law Firm, P.C., we recognize the importance of maintaining financial stability after a marriage. That is why our Rochester spousal support lawyers provide skilled legal counsel in cases where maintenance is at issue. We assist those requesting alimony as well as those who may be required to pay it. Our team is concerned with finding just solutions, which is why we scour financial data and learn everything we can about each party’s role during the marriage.

If you need help with a maintenance matter, please contact our spousal support attorneys in Rochester by calling (585) 449-4987 or contacting us online today.

What Is Spousal Support?

After a divorce, each spouse’s finances drastically change. The household might go from having two incomes to one or from one income to little or none. Spousal support, or maintenance, is money the higher-earning ex-spouse pays the other. It helps the lower-earning spouse have financial stability as they pursue avenues that will eventually allow them to support themselves.

Although one spouse might have earned less during the marriage, they are not automatically entitled to receive spousal support. They must ask the court to consider their circumstances and determine whether an award is appropriate, for what amount, and for how long.

How Much Spousal Support Can You Get in New York?

If the court awards spousal support, the amount the payor must pay will be determined by the particulars of the case. The judge may consider the annual income of the plaintiff and the defendant. They may also look at the requesting spouse’s need and the potential payor’s ability to afford the maintenance.

How Long Does Spousal Support Last?

The duration of spousal support depends on several factors, including the length of the marriage. According to the Advisory Schedule for maintenance, how long support lasts is a percentage of the number of years the couple was married.

Below are the percentage ranges for spousal support:

  • 0 to 15 years: 15% to 30%
  • More than 15 years and up to 20 years: 30% to 40%
  • More than 20 years: 35% to 50%

To illustrate how the ranges work, suppose a couple was married for 5 years. The percentage range for that amount of time is 15 to 30. The couple would multiply the length of their marriage by the upper and lower percentages (5 x 15% = .75, and 5 x 30% = 1.5). Thus, maintenance can last for .75 to 1.5 years in this scenario.

Other factors the court may consider when determining the duration of maintenance include, but are not limited to:

  • Each spouse’s age and health
  • Each spouse’s current and future earning potential
  • The costs for the receiving spouse to obtain the necessary education or training
  • Wasteful dissipation of marital assets
  • One spouse’s acts that prevented the other from making a living
  • Each spouse’s standard of living during the marriage
  • The property each spouse will receive in the divorce
  • The requesting spouse’s ability to support themselves because they did not receive or delayed receiving education or training during the marriage
  • The requesting spouse’s contributions to the home, family, and other spouse’s career

We Can Help Seek Fair Spousal Support

The spousal support amount the court orders should be fair for both the payee and the payor. Facilitating a just resolution requires accurately presenting details about your marriage and finances. Our team can gather the necessary data, prepare documents, and build your case for maintenance.

To speak with a member of our team, please call us at (585) 449-4987 or contact us online.