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NY alimony changes in 2016 affect high asset divorce

There are numerous financial considerations to make when a married couple ends their union. One of these is whether he or she will request spousal support. For some spouses, it might be essential to receive temporarily or permanent alimony to assist them in the post-divorce life.

A change in the alimony cap in New York state could send couples lining up for divorce. Currently, the alimony cap is set at $543,000, which is the salary amount that can be considered for full percentage of alimony. If high asset couples are contemplating divorce, the spouse that makes less money might want to get the process rolling sooner rather than later.

In comparison, spouses that make more money might want to delay the process until after January 23, 2016. This is because the alimony cap will decrease drastically to $175,000 soon after the New Year. This change is due to legislation that could potentially cut potential spousal support by up to $9200 per month.

For non-bread winning couples, this could be devastating, since it decreases the available assets up for valuation. In comparison, for the bread winner in the family, this could be great news as they may be hanging onto more of their money.

In addition to the lesser cap, it will also shorten the amount of time that non-bread winning spouses can collect alimony after the divorce is finalized. These changes are directly due to the changes in family law legislation throughout the state.

Big changes like this can really shake couples up into either pushing for a divorce or choosing to delay it. Either way, divorce should be based on whether or not you and your spouse believe your marriage is salvageable and healthy.

Divorce is a subject that is not based solely on financial decisions. Child custody and health of a relationship are topics that may come first for some married couples contemplating divorce. If divorce is right for you and your spouse, it is best to get it over and done with. Delaying could potentially make the process more stressful.

Source:, "Better get divorced now - or it could cost you $110k per year," Richard Morgan, December 03, 2015

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