A bill that has passed both the New York Assembly and Senate may change how spousal maintenance awards are calculated in New York. Currently, the bill is waiting for Governor Cuomo’s signature.
“Spousal maintenance,” also known as “alimony,” consists of money that one spouse pays to the other in order to help maintain the lower-earning spouse’s standard of living while he or she looks for work, attends school, or takes other steps to become self-supporting.
Since 2010, courts have used a specific formula as a guideline to calculate “temporary maintenance” paid while a divorce is pending. A second calculation might also be used for maintenance after the divorce is final. Typically, whichever calculation provides the lowest amount of maintenance is the one the court will choose, whether or not the spouse paying maintenance is also paying child support.
The new law provides a method for calculating maintenance in two different scenarios. One calculation accounts for child support that is paid by the spouse paying maintenance; the other is used when the maintenance-paying spouse is either not paying child support, or is receiving child support payments from the other spouse.
Supporters say that these calculations will make maintenance awards more clear and fair to New Yorkers who are seeking divorce. But first, they must be signed into law by the governor.
If spousal maintenance is likely to be a factor in your divorce, don’t hesitate to talk to an experienced Long Island divorce lawyer. At the Law Offices of Paul A. Boronow, P.C. our attorneys focus on helping you reach a result that gives you and your children the best possible future. Contact us today at (516) 227-5353 to learn more.