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How Is Spousal Maintenance Determined in Buffalo?


When you or your spouse file for divorce, there is often concern by one party that they will no longer be able to enjoy the lifestyle they’ve grown accustomed to during the marriage. For this reason, the court may award spousal maintenance to provide financial stability for both parties.

The court will consider many factors when it comes to determining spousal maintenance.

Factors That Go into Determining Spousal Maintenance

The Duration of the Marriage

Generally, the longer the marriage, the greater the spousal maintenance award. This can be particularly true if one party earns significantly less than the other or stayed home with children for a significant time during the marriage.

The duration of the marriage also can affect how long spousal maintenance lasts. Typically, support lasts:

  • 15-30% of the duration for marriages lasting up to 15 years;

  • 30-40% of the duration for marriages lasting 15 to 20 years;

  • 35-50% of the duration for marriages lasting 20 or more years.

Individual Spousal Income and Property Division

If one party is receiving a significant amount of property in the divorce, the amount of spousal maintenance that party receives may be much lower. The amount awarded by the court may also be lower if one party has considerable resources, such as premarital assets or inheritance.

Current and Potential Earning Capacity

If one party has the necessary training, education, or opportunity to earn enough money to become self-supporting, the period of spousal maintenance will likely be shorter. However, if a party lacks the ability to become self-supporting or financially independent, the court may award a longer period of spousal maintenance to address those financial limitations.

How Can I Ensure Adequate Spousal Maintenance?

Your attorney must be familiar with the relevant facts of your case to ensure the correct determination of spousal maintenance. Not every factor outlined in the law applies to each marriage. Since spousal maintenance can be a contentious issue, the only way to ensure you receive the spousal maintenance you are entitled to is to have a skilled and experienced attorney on your side who will fight for your rights.

Trust The Rossi Law Firm to Fight for You

Our skilled Buffalo divorce lawyers have over four decades of experience representing clients in contested divorce proceedings. We will spend as much time as necessary preparing your case to ensure the spousal maintenance award is fair and provides you with the financial security required to start a new chapter of your life.

Contact us today at (716) 854-5555 to discuss your divorce concerns.