2024 How to Calculate Alimony in New York?

If you are currently going through or are expecting to go through a divorce in the near future, one question you may be asking is how to calculate alimony in New York. An experienced New York State alimony attorney can provide the answers you need in regard to all things related to New York family law.

It is important to note that alimony, spousal support, and spousal maintenance often mean the same thing. They refer to payments made from one spouse to the other to provide support in the aftermath of a divorce. In all cases, a judge will want to ensure that the alimony payments are appropriate and just. The amounts and duration can vary depending on a multitude of different factors.

Length of Marriage

In most cases, the biggest factor that contributes to the alimony calculation is the length of the marriage. Generally speaking, the longer the marriage lasts, the more alimony will be paid, and it will be paid over a longer duration.

Generally, there are three different classifications for determining the duration of alimony. For marriages that last up to 15 years, alimony payments will be made for roughly 15-30% of the length of the marriage. For marriages that lasted 15-20 years, alimony payments will be made for roughly 30-40% of the length of the marriage. For marriages that lasted longer than 20 years, alimony payments will be made for roughly 35-50% of the length of the marriage.

Income of the Respective Spouses

Typically, the judge will take 20% of the lower-earning spouse’s income and subtract that number from 30% of the higher-earning spouse’s income. For example, one spouse makes $100,000, and the other makes $20,000. Thirty percent of $100,000 is $30,000, and 20% of $20,000 is $4,000. Thirty thousand minus $4,000 equals $26,000.

This would be the awarded alimony payment in this scenario, but each case is different and can contain different values and formulas. This example serves as a general idea of how alimony can be calculated.


Another factor that can play a significant role in the alimony calculation is the presence of children. If there are children involved in the divorce proceedings, it can often decrease the alimony amount. The alimony amount could be decreased because of the addition of child support payments.

In accordance with the same example displayed above, if children or minors are involved, 20% of the lower-earning spouse’s income will often be increased to 25%, and 30% of the higher-earning spouse’s income will be lowered to 20%. This example is intended to illustrate the possible effects that children will have on the alimony calculation.

It is important to remember that all alimony calculations are subject to deviation depending on different factors such as length of marriage, health, age, contributions to the marriage, spouses’ respective earning capacities, and minors. An experienced alimony attorney can review your specific case and help you understand how these factors can influence your outcome.


Q: How Is Alimony Decided in New York?

A: Each case has its own unique complexities, and alimony is therefore decided on a case-by-case basis. Factors that can influence the amount of alimony awarded can include the length of the marriage, the income levels of the respective spouses, and other individual circumstances of each spouse. Generally, the most significant factor is the length of the marriage. The length of the marriage can determine how much alimony is awarded and also how long alimony payments can last.

Q: What is a Wife Entitled to in a Divorce in New York?

A: Under New York state law, each spouse may be entitled to a portion of all assets that were acquired during the marriage. New York is an equitable distribution state as opposed to a community property state.

A community property state will typically divide marital property 50-50, while an equitable distribution state will take a much larger consideration into the non-financial contributions to the marriage. This means that even if a spouse did not contribute assets to the marriage, they may still receive a portion of the assets in divorce.

Q: How Do You Calculate the Present Value of Alimony?

A: Alimony is typically about roughly 40% of the paying spouse’s income. This number can differ depending on a variety of different factors. When calculating the present value of alimony, it is wise to remember that a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow because of inflation. Put another way, $1,000 today is more valuable than $1,000 in three years. An experienced alimony attorney can help you calculate the value of the alimony you can receive.

Q: How Many Years Do You Have to Pay Alimony in New York?

A: New York law does not place any limits on the amount of time that alimony can be paid out. Generally, it will depend on the length of the marriage. For example, marriages that lasted under 15 years generally have alimony that lasts 15-30% of the length of the marriage. Marriages that lasted 15-20 years will have alimony payments that last for 30-40% of the length of the marriage. There are also some instances in which alimony is paid out until the death of either spouse.

A Law Firm Ready to Work for You

At Trotto Law Firm, P.C., we understand the difficulty in not knowing how much you could potentially pay in alimony. Divorce can be a messy and challenging situation for all parties. It can be especially stressful if there is a battle over alimony or if there are children involved. Our legal team can help provide you with the answers you need so you can have a plan and feel prepared for this next stage of your life.

The Trotto Law Firm, P.C., is dedicated to helping individuals all over the state of New York resolve their family cases. Whether it is related to divorce, child custody, alimony, etc., our legal team is ready and able to assist in all matters related to New York family law. Contact our legal team to see how we can assist you in resolving your case in a timely, compassionate, and appropriate manner.

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