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Family Law Blog New City, New York

News and insights about divorce and family law in New York.

The Effect of Alcohol and Drug Use on New York Custody Cases

Whether you are concerned about the alcohol or drug use of the parent of your child, or your own use has been questioned, alcohol and drug use can impact your New York custody case.

The use of drugs and alcohol can affect the entire family; however, the impact of parental alcohol or drug abuse can be especially devastating to a child. Like all legal cases involving children, the court’s objective is to come to a custody arrangement that is in the best interest of the child. Because parental substance abuse can deprive the child of stability, safety, and a healthy relationship with the using parent, the court takes parental drug and alcohol use seriously.

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Equitable Distribution of Marital Property in New York

New York law requires a judge to divide property between two divorcing spouses as fairly as possible. The division of property is governed by the Equitable Distribution Law, which recognizes that marriage is an economic as well as a social partnership. The Law does not require the court to divide the assets 50-50, instead the court considers a variety of factors in determining the most fair distribution of assets.

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New York Spousal Maintenance

Maintenance, sometimes called alimony or spousal support, is court- ordered payments from one former spouse to the other following the divorce. In New York, spousal maintenance is usually ordered for a limited time. Temporary spousal maintenance may be ordered during the divorce proceedings, before the case is finalized. 

The court determines maintenance by looking at both party’s incomes separately. If both parties make less than $524,000, no additional factors are considered. The party who earns a higher income is the payor, and the party who receives the maintenance is the payee. The court uses a mathematical formula to determine the amount of maintenance owed; the maintenance calculator utilized by all New York courts can be found at
Here are some examples of maintenance orders when both parties make less than $524,000:

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