Temporary Spousal Support in New York

What is Temporary or “Pendente Lite” Maintenance?

Temporary spousal support, also known as “pendente lite” maintenance, is paid by the higher earning spouse to the lower earning spouse while a divorce is still pending. This type of alimony is intended to provide immediate financial support by taking the lower earning spouse’s reasonable needs and pre-divorce standard of living into consideration. Temporary alimony ends once a judge issues a final order of maintenance; it is not intended to offer long-term support.

If you are preparing to file for divorce, and do not make as much as your spouse, we encourage you to discuss the option of seeking temporary maintenance with a New York City divorce attorney at Eiges & Orgel, PLLC. Having handled thousands of family law cases throughout the state, our firm can offer the experienced legal guidance you need during this difficult time. Contact our office today to find out how we can put decades of collective experience to work for you.


Contact a New York divorce lawyer at Eiges & Orgel, PLLC today to learn more about your options.


How Temporary Maintenance Is Calculated

Effective October 13, 2010, the family courts in New York now calculate temporary maintenance using a statutory formula. It is a fixed formula that is based primarily on the income and other earnings of each spouse.

Temporary maintenance is calculated using the following formula:

  1. Subtract 20% of the receiving spouse’s income from 30% of the paying spouse’s income
  2. Multiply the income of both spouses by 40% and subtract the receiving spouse’s income
  3. Temporary support will be determined by the lower amount of the two calculations

New legislation was recently passed in New York stating that, if temporary maintenance is to be paid concurrently with child support, the figures used in this calculation will vary. There is also a new cap on the paying spouse’s income.

If the payor’s income is over the statutory cap, the court will look at:

  • The length of the couple’s marriage;
  • The differences in the incomes of the spouses;
  • The couple’s standard of living during the marriage;
  • The present and future earning capacity of each spouse;
  • The need of one party to acquire education or training;
  • Any wasteful dissipation of the marital property;
  • The age and overall health of both spouses;
  • And several other important factors.

In looking at these factors, the court will determine an appropriate amount of temporary maintenance over the statutory cap[1]. At this time, the cap on the paying spouse’s income to be factored into the formula is $175,000.00.

Discuss Your Case with a New York Divorce Attorney

If you have questions about temporary maintenance, we encourage you to schedule an initial consultation with an NYC divorce lawyer at Eiges & Orgel, PLLC today. Our firm has successfully handled more than 3,000 divorces over the last several decades, so you can trust that your case will be in competent hands when you turn to us for help. We offer responsive representation, even offering Saturday appointments by request. Contact us today to get started.

Do you have questions? Take the first step by filling out our free case evaluation form online.