Spousal Support (Maintenance)

It’s been a number of years since the New York State Legislature established precise percentages of income for child support. We now have the same for spousal support, called maintenance and once called “alimony.”

Under the law, subjective criteria, such as length of the marriage, age of the parties, education, of the parties, and ability of the parties to be self-supporting are gone. Also gone is the 2010 temporary maintenance law.

In their place is a comprehensive list which:

  1. Brings numeric formulae to computation of post-divorce maintenance.
  2. Establishes different spousal support formulae for residential and non-residential parents.
  3. Sets up an advisory schedule for the term of the award.
  4. Provides for computation of child support before computing spousal support and applying the child support amount to the spousal support computation.
  5. Sets up different income definitions for temporary maintenance and post-divorce maintenance.
  6. Establishes caps for temporary and post-divorce maintenance.
  7. Provides for over-the-cap income.
  8. Sets standards for judicial deviation.
  9. Provides for modification of pre-existing maintenance obligations.
  10. Sets different effective dates for temporary maintenance and post-divorce maintenance. The new law also eliminates enhanced earning capacity as a marital asset. That means that a professional degree held by the payer spouse does not guaranty the payee spouse more maintenance.

All of this makes it more important than ever to consult an attorney regarding maintenance, child support, and all aspects of a divorce.

The provision for modification of pre-existing maintenance obligations means that every maintenance obligation, whether set by decree or by agreement, may be reconsidered.

The specific numeric percentages make divorce mediation more attractive than ever, because there are more options that you may want to agree to rather than risk letting a judge made a decision for you.

Want to figure out maintenance? Call 516 319-2000.