When people divorce in New York, sometimes one party agrees to pay the
other party maintenance (formerly called alimony) for a period of time. Usually
maintenance is agreeable when there is a substantial disparity in incomes, or when one
party stayed home to care for children and lost out on career opportunities, or when one
party is disabled and unable to work. The amount and length of time that maintenance
payments are made is calculated based on a formula. The amount of maintenance
can be calculated using the NYS Maintenance Calculator.
Maintenance is generally awarded to a spouse for the purpose of
encouraging economic independence from the other spouse. However, people that are seeking
an uncontested divorce usually have already decided how much maintenance is to be paid,
if any, regardless of the maintenance formula, and are generally allowed by the Court
to do so.