A Guide to Spousal Support (Alimony) in New York

Alimony, referred to as “Spousal Support” or “spousal maintenance” in New York, is a key issue in many divorces that requires careful consideration. Whether you are obligated to pay spousal support or entitled to receive it, you likely have many questions and concerns. That’s why we’ve prepared this comprehensive guide.


Before addressing alimony or Spousal Support in your divorce, it’s important to understand the basics of these topics under New York law, including familiarizing yourself with the state’s spousal maintenance guidelines. The duration of the marriage, the health, income, and financial circumstances of both parties, and the standard of living during the marriage are just some of the factors that will be used to determine the amount and duration of spousal support payments.

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to negotiating spousal support payments. You should have a thorough understanding of your current financial situation, including income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. Additionally, you should be thinking about how income and expenses may change in the future. For example, will there be changes in employment? What do you expect the new housing costs will be? This information will be instrumental in determining how much spousal support is needed by the lower-earning spouse and what the higher-earning spouse can afford to pay.

When looking for guidance regarding spousal support payments, it is crucial that you seek the expertise of both legal and financial professionals who are experienced in New York divorce law. An experienced family law attorney will help you understand your legal rights and obligations and provide valuable insights to help you make informed decisions during negotiations. Additionally, a seasoned financial professional can offer guidance on the long-term financial implications of various alimony arrangements. At Vacca Family Law Group, we regularly work with Certified Divorce Financial Analysts (CDFAs) to assist our clients with spousal support payments, in addition to the various other complex financial aspects involved in a divorce.

Consider non-adversarial methods for your divorce, such as Collaborative Divorce or Mediation. Your collaborative team or mediator will help facilitate constructive discussions between you and your spouse, guiding you toward a spousal support arrangement that is mutually agreeable. While New York guidelines will be used to start the analysis whether you’re in court or not, a couple can have more flexibility if they stay out of court. Additionally, non-adversarial methods allow for more creativity based on your situation and promote a more fair and amicable resolution compared to a courtroom battle.

Effective communication is key to any negotiation process. When addressing spousal support, it is especially important for you and your attorney to clearly articulate your needs, concerns, and expectations to your soon-to-be ex-spouse and their attorney and be ready to hear theirs. Be open to compromise and find common ground by keeping the lines of communication respectful and constructive.

Spousal Support in New York can be complex, but through strategic planning, open communication, and the right professional guidance, you and your ex-spouse can reach a fair and equitable resolution that works for both of you. By having a thorough understanding of your rights and responsibilities at the negotiating table, you will feel empowered to address and agree upon terms for spousal support with confidence and clarity. Remember, you have the tools to shape your post-divorce financial future through thoughtful and non-adversarial negotiations.

At Vacca Family Law Group, we help our clients find creative divorce solutions without going to court. Our attorneys are well-versed in divorce and family law and possess a deep understanding of the intricacies of spousal support in New York. We know that the orders imposed by a court in a litigated divorce often don’t align with the unique circumstances of most divorces, especially when it comes to spousal support.

Are you seeking a more tailored approach to spousal support that adequately considers your contributions to your marriage? The attorneys at Vacca Family Law Group can help. Call us at (646) 502-8591 or contact us online to schedule your free introductory call.

Vacca Family Law Group is located at One Grand Central Place, 60 E. 42nd St., Suite 764, New York, NY 10165.