Can the Higher Earning Spouse Pay Zero Spousal Support in New York?

A person signing divorce papers with two wedding rings sitting on top of the papers.

This blog post is meant to provide helpful information for those considering or going through divorce in New York. Can the higher earning spouse pay zero spousal support? The answer may surprise you.

New York is a no-fault state, meaning that fault does not need to be proven for a divorce to be granted. Because of this, spouses can often get divorced without having to go to court and prove who was at fault.

In terms of spousal support, the law in New York is designed to help equalize the financial situation of both spouses after a divorce. In some cases, this may mean that the higher earner will have to pay spousal support to their ex-spouse. However, there are instances where the higher earning spouse can pay zero spousal support.

What Impacts Spousal Support in New York?

There are several factors that can impact how much spousal support the higher earning spouse pays or whether the higher earning spouse must pay any spousal support at all. Those factors include but are not limited to the following:

  • How long the couple was married
  • The health situations of each of the spouses
  • How old each spouse is
  • Marital waste committed by either spouse
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • Loss of income resulting from one spouse being a stay-at-home parent
  • Each spouse’s earning capacity
  • Contributions made to the marriage by the spouse who would be receiving spousal support
  • Each spouse’s employment history and education
  • What each spouse’s health insurance situation will be once the divorce is finalized

Each of the factors above can increase or decrease the amount of spousal support that a spouse must pay. In some cases, it can result in the higher earning spouse not being required to pay any spousal support. However, this is not common.

For more information about how spousal support works in New York, or to discuss your situation with our experienced spousal support attorneys in Dutchess County, give Letterio & Haug, LLP a call at (845) 203-0997 or contact us online today to schedule a confidential consultation.

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