3 Spousal Maintenance Facts

Are you considering divorce and have questions about spousal maintenance? Check out these 3 spousal maintenance facts to learn more.

3 Spousal Maintenance FactsWhat is Spousal Maintenance

I had an older client come in the other day and ask me about alimony. To me, that’s a very clear-cut issue; everybody knows what you’re talking about. That’s not the politically correct or the term that New York State uses anymore; now it’s called maintenance for short, or spousal maintenance. Again, this is the old-fashioned alimony. What New York State has done is they have codified so that they haven’t left it up to judges to go and determine, because you’ve got different judges, in different areas of New York State, making different determinations as far as how much maintenance should be paid by, usually, whoever has the higher income.

What they did is they put it into the form of a calculator. What I mean by calculator is that this is a calculation that is actually on a website. We crunch the numbers, we put them into the calculator, and the calculator is going to give us how much maintenance should go and be paid, whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or whatever the case may be.

Types of Maintenance

I met with a client yesterday and we were discussing different types of spousal maintenance. Actually, New York State, the legislature and the governor have gone and done this by statute and taken this calculation away from the judges – because they had different determinations for different judges throughout the state – and made it uniform across the state. The way that they did this is two-fold. They put together what is essentially a calculator of maintenance, but they also went and gave us parameters, as far as how long someone would have to go and pay maintenance depending on how long you’ve been married.

Now, if you’ve been married zero to fifteen years, your support is going to be for 15 to 30% of the marriage. If you are 15 to 20, it’s going to be 30% to 40% of the marriage. If it’s over 20 years, it’s going to be 35% to 50% of the marriage. As you can see, if you’ve been married for quite a while, you’re going to go and receive maintenance for a long time.

Discharging Spousal Maintenance in Bankruptcy

I was speaking with a client yesterday afternoon about whether or not something can be done with the spousal maintenance that they are paying. They were kind of curious if it could be taken care of in a different manner – maybe it to be run through bankruptcy to get rid of it or something like that – and before October 17, 2005, the answer was maybe; it depends on the judge. What specifically happened October 17, 2005, a new bankruptcy law was implemented, which specifically says that this is a non-issue; this cannot be discharged whatsoever. It goes along with all your type of Family Court payments – maintenance, child support, equitable distribution. Whatever the case may be, bankruptcy is not going to affect it.

Are you going through a divorce and a bankruptcy and have questions about discharging spousal maintenance in bankruptcy? Contact experienced Jamestown divorce lawyer Scott F. Humble for a free confidential consultation. Let his 30+ years of experience work for you.


Are you going through a divorce and want to make sure you are receiving the spousal maintenance you deserve? After reading our 3 spousal maintenance facts, contact experienced Jamestown divorce lawyer Scott F. Humble for a free confidential consultation. Let his 30+ years of experience work for you.

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