The New Maintenance Laws have greatly effected the way alimony (termed “maintenance” in NY) is handled in New York State.
The new law, which went into effect on 01/25/2016 throws out the former way the Courts determined alimony or maintenance and had done so for decades. The Courts used to weigh a number of factors and make a discretionary determination concerning the amount and duration of alimony payments that was appropriate for the case at hand. The determination considered multiple factors (about 20) including the length of marriage and the amount of time the recipient of maintenance would need to become self-supportive.
The new maintenance law in New York has replaced this discretionary analysis with a mathematical formula that is similar to the child support calculations utilized in New York in the sense that each formula is based on the two parties’ respective incomes and the calculation yields a number that is considered a Guideline amount. The Calculations are not simple and different formulas apply based on the facts of the case. The formula varies based on whether there are children and if child support is paid, the formula differs depending on whether the spouse with higher income is paying or receiving child support. The Unified Court System of New York has provided calculators and descriptions of the formulas to be utilized for post-divorce maintenance. Please see:
The Court has the option of opting out of the formula based on the review of a number of factors – as listed below.
The new maintenance laws in New York also provide an Advisory Schedule for the duration of maintenance, as follows:
|Advisory Schedule of Duration of Post-Divorce Maintenance Award|
|Length of Marriage||Duration of Maintenance|
|0 – 15 years||15% – 30% of length of marriage|
|15 – 20 years||30% – 40% of length of marriage|
|More than 20 years||35% – 50% of length of marriage|
The Court may deviate from the Advisory Schedule and the factors for this consideration are the very same factors the Court must way in determining whether to deviate from the Guidelines.
Here are these Fifteen Factors:
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Elliot Danziger is the owner and founder of the law firm
of Danziger Legal PLLC. Elliot specializes in real estate
transactions and divorce and family law...Read More