Heidi E. Opinsky

The Law Offices of Heidi E. Opinsky, LLC

Are you currently considering a divorce?
Schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your options.

How Long Do I Have to Pay Spousal Support in NY?

The Details of Your Spousal Support Payments Depend on a Variety of Factors — Including the Length of Your Marriage and the Income of Both Spouses

Making support payments to your spouse while you are still married is called spousal support. When you are divorced, the payments you make to help your ex-spouse financially are called maintenance.

Either the wife or the husband is entitled to receive spousal support depending on the circumstances. However, statistics reveal that the overwhelming majority of those receiving spousal support are women. Only 3% of men receive spousal support. (1)

There are many different factors that are examined by the court to determine who pays spousal support, how much they pay, and how long they have to pay it.

How Long Do I Have to Pay Spousal Support?

Spousal support and maintenance may be durational or non-durational based on your circumstances. Durational awards last a specific amount of time, while nondurational awards continue indefinitely.

When deciding how long your durational spousal support will last, the court will look at the length of your marriage. For a marriage that lasted 15 to 20 years, payments need to be given for 30%-40% of the length of the marriage. If the marriage lasted more than 20 years, payments would last 35% to 50% of the length of your marriage.

Other factors may be considered as well. If you are seeking spousal support, you should get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible to get assistance with your case.

How Much Spousal Support Do I Have to Pay?

The amount of spousal support you are required to pay is calculated using a formula. This formula considers the income of each spouse as well as the discretion of the court based on your personal circumstances. Each case is different and if you want to know exactly how much spousal support you are required to pay and what legal steps you can take to ensure you are not taken advantage of—speaking with a family lawyer is the best option you to pursue.

The total amount you have to pay may be influenced by factors such as:

  • The age and health of both parties
  • Need of a party to undergo further education or training
  • Whether child support is given
  • Acts of a spouse that have inhibited one party’s earning capacity
  • Medical insurance cost and availability
  • Standard of living established during the marriage

What is the Spousal Support Process in NY?

If you want to obtain spousal support and you are currently married, you will have to start by creating a spousal support petition in Family Court. In most cases, you can apply for both child support and spousal support at the same time. Once the petition is filed, you must serve the other party both the petition and the form of financial disclosure.

Both parties will have to appear at a court hearing where the judge will look at the financial situation of both parties in detail. Your pay stubs, tax returns, and financial disclosure affidavit will be taken into consideration before the judge makes a final decision about which spouse should pay support payments to the other.

Depending on your case, you will either be granted temporary maintenance or post-divorce maintenance. Temporary maintenance is awarded during the divorce process out of need and ends when a final order is given. Post-divorce maintenance is given when the judge finalizes the divorce and is based on the income of both parties and the length of their marriage.

Get Help with Your Spousal Support Case through a Family Lawyer in NY Today

If you need spousal support to help you cover your daily expenses, you should get in touch with a family lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can educate you on your legal rights and responsibilities and help you make the correct legal moves to ensure your well-being is prioritized.

Call experienced family lawyer, Heidi Opinsky, at the Law Offices of Heidi Opinsky, LLC, today to get help with your spousal support case and to get answers to your legal questions.

Visit our website to send us a message or call 203-653-3542 now and we will get back to you as soon as possible


1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/emmajohnson/2014/11/20/why-do-so-few-men-get-alimony/