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Alimony in NY

Ithaca, NY |

Are there new laws in the last few years regarding alimony? I am in the process of a divorce. I make a little more than my ex but it is only equivalent to a couple thousand dollars a year. She had an affair and moved in with her boyfriend who owns a well known business and makes twice as much money as we do. I decided not to file divorce under "abandonment" or "adultery" and instead decided to go the no fault route. My question is - will my ex be able to get alimony from me even though she is living a far more financially stable life than i am? A friend of mine told me a new law was passed a few years ago that says she gets alimony no matter what. My lawyer never said anything about this and i don't want to be surprised by a demand for alimony when we go to court to finalize the divorce.

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Attorney answers 5


Whether spousal support is an issue in any particular case is not simply an issue of whether someone makes more money than someone else, but based on a full analysis of the length of the marriage and its economics. The law has changed a bit in the past five years - but whether those changes will make any difference to you or not can't be analyzed without a detailed review of your situation. Your lawyer is in the best position to handle this.

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Review your situation with your attorney. Make sure that you complete the statement of net worth and include tax returns and pay stubs. If the income differs by a few thousand, then the new formula should not trigger spousal maintenance being granted.

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There are a number of factors that go into determining whether either party will get maintenance (alimony). There is no law that says she gets alimony no matter what. Keep in mind that people often demand various things they're ultimately found to be not entitled to. In any case, your lawyer is in the best position to advise you as they are most familiar with your case. Ask them.

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There was a law passed in October, 2010, that provided that during a divorce the "non-monied" spouse gets temporary maintenance (that is what it is called now, not alimony). There is a calculator online that can help you get an idea of what that might be.
(Note that this is just a rough idea). The judge can deviate from the statute based on many different financial considerations. Note that adultery does not typically factor in to maintenance (although the fact that someone's BF contributes to their financial stability may be a factor).
Whether a person gets maintenance AFTER the divorce is dependent on many factors such as length of marriage, ability of other person to work, age of parties, income disparity, whether the other person stayed home to care for a child and so forth, just to name a few.
Good luck and do speak further to your lawyer.

* This information is general legal information and is not intended to be advice on your particular case.


Even with the changes in the law, you really need a more careful review of the economics of your marriage, the length of the marriage etc. You can look at the New York courts website for the "temporary maintenance calculator" that will spit out a number for temporary maintenance ("alimony" that is limited to the duration of the divorce action). Talk to your lawyer!