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Types of spousal maintenance in a New York divorce

On Behalf of | May 19, 2024 | Spousal Support

During divorce, different types of settlements and maintenance arrangements can be established to help ensure minimal disruption to the financial stability and well-being of both parties, particularly when one spouse has been financially dependent on the other.

Spousal maintenance or alimony may be awarded in various forms, each designed to address specific needs and circumstances. In New York, the primary types of spousal maintenance include the following.

Temporary spousal maintenance

Temporary spousal maintenance, also referred to as pendente lite maintenance, is awarded during the divorce proceedings to provide immediate financial assistance to the financially dependent spouse. Its purpose is to maintain the status quo and help ensure that both parties can meet their financial needs while the divorce is ongoing. Temporary spousal maintenance terminates once the divorce is finalized, at which point a different type of spousal maintenance, such as post-divorce maintenance, may be awarded depending on the circumstances of the case.

Post-divorce maintenance

Post-divorce maintenance, also known as post-divorce alimony, is included in the final divorce decree and is intended to provide ongoing financial support to the financially dependent spouse after the divorce is finalized. There are two main types of post-divorce maintenance in New York:

  • Durational maintenance: This type of maintenance is awarded for a specific period of time, usually based on the length of the marriage, to assist the recipient spouse in becoming financially independent. 
  • Non-durational (or permanent) maintenance: In cases where the recipient spouse is unlikely to achieve financial independence due to age, health or other factors, non-durational maintenance may be awarded indefinitely. 

The amount and duration of post-divorce maintenance are determined by the court based on various factors, including the income and assets of both parties, the standard of living established during the marriage, the length of the marriage and the financial needs of each spouse.

Consider seeking legal guidance to better understand the specific laws and regulations governing spousal maintenance in New York.