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Can you get more spousal support if you stayed married longer?

When it comes to divorce, the duration of the marriage can significantly impact the financial settlement that each party receives.

In New York, alimony, or spousal support, is a financial arrangement where one spouse may provide financial assistance to the other after divorce. Courts may consider a longer-term marriage as indicative of a greater financial interdependence between spouses, potentially leading to higher alimony payments.

Asset division

The longer the marriage, the more intertwined the financial lives of the spouses tend to be. As a result, the division of assets in a lengthy marriage may be more intricate, involving a broader range of properties, investments and financial accounts.


In Buffalo, the median household income is $46,184. That can drop after a divorce. The contributions, both financial and nonfinancial, each spouse made during the marriage can influence the financial settlement. In a long-term marriage, the court may take into account the years of joint effort and shared responsibilities. This may lead to a more nuanced evaluation of each spouse’s financial contributions and sacrifices, potentially affecting the distribution of assets and alimony decisions.

Unique circumstances

While the length of the marriage is a significant factor, it is important to note that every divorce case is unique. Courts consider various factors beyond just the duration of the marriage, such as individual financial circumstances, standard of living and earning capacities.

For example, earning capacity reflects an individual’s ability to generate income based on their skills, education, training and work experience. In a divorce, if there is a significant income disparity between the spouses, and one spouse has a lower earning capacity, the court may be more inclined to award spousal support.

Therefore, while the length of the marriage can be a major factor, it is not the sole determinant of the financial settlement in a New York divorce.