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Spousal maintenance calculations in New York divorces are now governed by a new law that makes several changes. This includes a shift in terminology from alimony to maintenance. The temporary maintenance rules, which apply to divorces filed on or after October 16, 2015, continue to follow a fairly straightforward formula based on the income of each spouse. New permanent maintenance rules are in effect for all divorces filed on or after January 25, 2016.

The permanent maintenance decisions now set formulas as to how much money a payor spouse must provide up to the first $178,000 of their annual income. Other changes involve:

  • Child support - Where child support will be paid, a separate formula is used. Maintenance is determined first and then the child support amount is based on both parents' new income levels with the maintenance subtracted from the payor and added to the payee.
  • Length of marriage - The advised length of time that maintenance is to be paid depends on the marriage's duration. Unions that lasted 15 or fewer years would trigger maintenance terms lasting for between 15 and 30 percent of the marriage's length. Higher percentages apply to unions between 15 and 20 years and those of more than 20 years.
  • Retirement issues - Retirement assets and the age of retirement eligibility are to be considered when determining how long maintenance should last. When full or partial retirement substantially lowers someone's income, it will provide a basis for modifying the length of the maintenance term.

At the firm of Goldberg Sager & Associates, Attorneys at Law, our lawyers assist divorcing spouses with property division and other family law issues. To schedule a consultation with an experienced Brooklyn matrimonial attorney, call 347.497.3245 or contact us online.

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