A divorce can represent a path to happiness for both parties involved, but the dissolution of a marriage presents some ongoing issues that may require a court order. One such issue is that of spousal support. You may wonder, if I owe or deserve spousal support, how long can I expect those support payments to last? A knowledgeable attorney can help guide you and help find a balanced agreement.
The New York formula for length of spousal support
In New York, the state formula for calculating the duration of court ordered spousal support is based on the length of the marriage. As a brief note, these payments stop if the spouse receiving the spousal support remarries, or if either party passes away.
For newer marriages (less than 15 years) support payments max out at 15% to 30% of the marriage’s duration. If your marriage lasted between 15 and 20 years, support lasts for 30% to 40% of the marriage’s duration. Finally, for the longest marriages (20 years and over), payments can last up to 50% of the marriage’s duration.
Dividing equitably is important in court or negotiation
Most New York families decide to make a settlement together through negotiations. New York requires courts to use “equitable distribution” when dividing marital property. Whether you resolve your divorce through courtroom litigation, collaborative law or mediation is is a deeply personal matter and one that a professional litigator can guide you through. You and your former partner may agree to terms different than those set forth in New York court guidance, and an experienced attorney can discuss your unique circumstances and advocate for your financial future.