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Spousal Maintenance – NY

New York Spousal Maintenance Lawyers Help Obtain Financial Support During and After Divorce

Divorce attorneys help spouses seeking or contesting maintenance orders in Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess counties as well as New York City

If you fear that you won’t be able to support yourself after a divorce because your spouse has been the breadwinner of the family, court-ordered spousal support payable by your spouse may be the solution you need to avoid an intolerable hardship while you live on your own. Whether you are the paying or supported spouse, the divorce attorneys of Needle | Cuda are ready to help you maintain your standard of living or protect your income from unfair demands during and after the divorce proceeding. Our Brewster-based attorneys will give you the personalized attention and aggressive advocacy you need to help you through this difficult time.

What types of spousal maintenance are available in New York?

New York recognizes two types of spousal maintenance:

  • Temporary maintenance — This consists of periodic payments ordered by the court while the divorce is pending. The payments terminate when the proceeding ends, based on your actual financial need.
  • Post-divorce maintenance — This type of maintenance consists of periodic payments, awarded as part of the divorce decree, and is based on a weighing of a number of factors, including the parties’ incomes and the length of their marriage.

We will present the strongest case possible to persuade the court to award what you need. On the other hand, if you are the higher paying spouse, we will aim to avoid or limit the amount that the court obligates you to pay.

How do New York courts determine spousal maintenance (a.k.a. alimony)?

Temporary and permanent maintenance calculation guidelines appear simple at first, taking into account the following two factors:

  • Each spouse’s income, up to $203,000 for the paying spouse;
  • Whether either makes child support payments;

However, the court will consider whether the guideline amount of maintenance would be unjust or inappropriate.  And if so, the court can award maintenance that deviates from the guidelines.  Specific factors that the court considers include:

  • Present and future earning capacity of each spouse;
  • Age and health of each spouse;
  • Need for education or vocational training for the supported spouse;
  • Contributions to the marriage;
  • Living standard during the marriage;
  • Wasteful use or unfair transfers of marital assets by a spouse;
  • Acts by one spouse to inhibit the other’s earning capacity;
  • Other circumstances affecting the spouse’s earning capacities, such as the need to care for others;
  • Effect of property division;
  • Tax consequences;
  • Availability and cost of medical insurance;

In either case, the court has discretion to increase or decrease the amount it would otherwise award in the interests of justice. If the court awards maintenance, we will present the evidence and arguments to support an award in an amount that is fairest to you.

Needle | Cuda’s New York practice serves clients in Scarsdale, Chappaqua, Larchmont, Pound Ridge, Armonk, Rye, Bronxville, Briarcliff Manor, Bedford, Harrison, and Tarrytown.

Contact our New York spousal maintenance lawyers for savvy and straightforward legal counsel

If you need alimony during or after your divorce or are facing your spouse’s claim for it in Dutchess, Putnam, Westchester County or New York City, Needle | Cuda is ready to help. We provide highly responsive service and effective representation focused on positive results. To arrange a consultation, call us today at 203-557-9500 or contact us online.


Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about Spousal Maintenance in New York Divorce

Needle | Cuda leverages its deep understanding of New York's legal framework, combined with a meticulous review of financial documents and assets, to accurately calculate spousal maintenance. The firm's approach considers the standard of living established during the marriage and the capabilities of each party, ensuring a result that is just and appropriate for high net worth individuals.

Yes, recognizing the unique financial situations of affluent individuals, Needle | Cuda is skilled in negotiating lump-sum payments for spousal maintenance. This approach can often provide a cleaner financial break, allowing both parties to move forward more independently.

Needle | Cuda understands that the duration of the marriage is a significant factor in determining spousal maintenance, especially in high net worth cases. The firm carefully evaluates the length of the marital union as part of its comprehensive strategy to ensure a fair and equitable maintenance agreement.

New York courts award spousal maintenance based on statutory guidelines that begin with formulas based on each party’s income (or capacity to earn income).  Maintenance can be awarded as a set dollar amount, usually on a monthly basis.  Currently the New York courts will make awards taking into account a maximum of $203,000 of the paying spouse’s income, unless the court exercises its discretion to consider more income.

In parts of the state with high costs of living (e.g., New York City and the surrounding suburbs), or in the case of parties with very high incomes, courts often will adjust upward the “cap” on the paying party’s income to account for the recipients’ needs, standard of living, and other relevant considerations.


Needle | Cuda recognizes the importance of maintaining financial stability throughout the divorce process. The firm adeptly secures temporary spousal maintenance orders to ensure that the less financially advantaged spouse can sustain their lifestyle until a final agreement is reached.

With strategic foresight, Needle | Cuda employs rigorous financial analysis and legal advocacy to protect high earners from unreasonable spousal maintenance demands. The firm focuses on a fair assessment of needs versus income, ensuring maintenance orders are just and equitable.

Needle | Cuda utilizes expert financial analysts and vocational experts to assess a spouse's true earning potential, ensuring that maintenance calculations are based on accurate representations of both parties' financial capabilities.

Needle | Cuda values prenuptial agreements as essential tools in defining spousal maintenance terms from the outset. The firm expertly navigates these agreements to ensure they are upheld, provided they are fair and were entered into without duress, reflecting the financial intentions and agreements of both parties.

Acknowledging that financial situations can change, Needle | Cuda adeptly represents clients in modifications of spousal maintenance orders. Whether due to a significant increase or decrease in income, the firm advocates for adjustments that reflect current financial realities.

To have a court order modified, you must prove to the judge that there has been a substantial and ongoing change in circumstances that makes the current order unworkable or unfair. The change could involve you, your former spouse or even your child.


Leveraging investigative resources and forensic accounting, Needle | Cuda uncovers hidden assets and income to ensure a fair and comprehensive assessment of financial resources for spousal maintenance determinations.

With a deep understanding of the tax implications of spousal maintenance, Needle | Cuda along with its third party tax experts provide strategic advice to optimize the tax positions of both parties, incorporating this critical aspect into the maintenance negotiation and planning process.

Needle | Cuda takes a nuanced approach to marriages with substantial wealth disparities, carefully evaluating the standard of living, contributions of each spouse, and the financial needs post-divorce, to negotiate maintenance that reflects equity and fairness.

In collaborative divorces and mediation settings, Needle | Cuda champions negotiation and cooperation, leveraging its negotiation prowess to reach spousal maintenance agreements that are equitable, and reflect mutual respect for the parties' shared history and future independence.

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