He Cheated On Me, How Much Alimony Can I Get In New York

cheating and divorce

The recent tax overhaul passed by Congress will reach every corner of American life — even divorce. One provision throws out a 75-year-old deduction for alimony. The new laws won’t go into effect until 2019, so anyone divorcing before then is safe.

Divorce experts are worrying the change will make divorce negotiations harder and end in less spousal support. Congressional tax writers claim the law will only be fair to married couples.

In a divorce which begins after December 31, 2018, the alimony-paying spouse will not be able to deduct alimony payments. The spouse receiving alimony will not have to pay taxes on maintenance accepted.

Before December 31, 2018, the opposite is in effect.

In New York as in many state-level jurisdictions, adultery is a common factor in divorce. Adultery can be taken by the judge to be an integral factor when it comes to alimony and divorce.

Divorcing couples, in New York, may pursue a ‘no-fault’ split or a ‘fault’ divorce. In the first, the party seeking the dissolution merely has to show the union has been doomed for a minimum of six months. “Irretrievably broken” means the duo just don’t get along and their differences have grown so sweeping as to render any hope of reconciling moot.

In a fault divorce, the spouse wanting the divorce must show:

  • Cruel and inhuman abuses, or
  • Alienation or desertion for at least twelve months, or
  • Incarceration which lasted for at least 36-consecutive months, or
  • Adultery

New York explains adultery as an espoused individual having sexual relations with someone, not their spouse. A person filing for a divorce founded on adultery must be ready for a greater-conflict case. The rule mandates that evidence is offered, and the resulting emotional impact can be significant.


Throughout the divorce procedures, one spouse might petition the court to award economic support for the post-divorce era. The two-people involved might concur on the total, or there could be a prenuptial agreement that spells out the amounts. If no deal exist or can be reached the court will evaluate various portions and determine if there ought to be a financial award and if so the amount.

While deciding the issue of alimony, the judge will review:

  • Salary or wages and assets, and
  • Duration of the union, and
  • Age and fitness of both people, and
  • Current (and future) income potential of both parties,  and
  • The necessity for a spouse to further education, and
  • What may preclude a spouse’s capability of finding employment, and
  • Where any kids (from the union) live, and
  • The obligation to attend to family (other than kids), and
  • Any necessity to fund extraordinary costs, such as the children’s medical care.

State laws have not established direction used by the judge in making the decision, and both parties may introduce testimony to support their argument.

How Does Adultery Hit Alimony?

In New York, marital fault, which is the umbrella under which adultery falls, is not often recognized by the courts when granting alimony. Infidelity does not guarantee an alimony award. New York courts watch for “egregious” conduct and have determined that infidelity alone is not “egregious” enough.

Despite that, when one party perpetrates adultery, and a significant portion of marital assets is used during the affair, the judge often finds a “wasteful dissipation” of the marital property and would become a factor considered by the judge in deciding the alimony issue.

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