NJ Office: 201-836-0777 | NY Office: 212-721-7555
Mediation Services in New Jersey, New York and surrounding areas
Client Login
Adam Berner divorce mediation services
Resources > New York State Laws

 

Spousal MaintenancE

On January 26, 2016, the new law relating to spousal maintenance (often referred to as “alimony” or “spousal support”), was passed in New York State.  Here are some highlights of that law with respect to Spousal Maintenance:
 
How much?
 
A.           When awarding maintenance, there is a statutory formula which is the starting point. The “income cap” for purposes of the statutory formula is currently $178,000.  This cap is adjusted every two years.  The statutory formula is only one step in the process and does not necessarily represent the final amount of maintenance.
 
B.           There are 2 formulas for awarding maintenance.  One formula assumes that child support will also be paid by the maintenance-paying spouse (the “payor”), and the other formula assumes that child support will NOT be paid by the payor (including when the payor is receiving child support).  The formulas are set forth below:
              1.           Calculations without Child Support Paid by Payor:  Using the Payor’s adjusted gross income (defined as the income of the higher earning spouse) and the Payee’s adjusted gross income (defined as the income of the lower earning spouse) for the most recent tax year and capping the Payor’s income at $178,000, the presumptively correct amount of maintenance would be the lesser of:  (a) 30% of Payor’s adjusted gross income up to and including the cap ($178,000), minus 20% of Payee’s adjusted gross income; OR (b) 40% of the parties’ combined incomes minus Payee’s income. 
              2.           Calculations with Child Support Paid by Payor:  Using the Payor’s adjusted gross income (defined as the income of the higher earning spouse) and the Payee’s adjusted gross income (defined as the income of the lower earning spouse) for the most recent tax year and capping the Payor’s income at $178,000, the presumptively correct amount of maintenance would be the lesser of:  (a) 20% of Payor’s adjusted gross income up to and including the cap ($178,000), minus 25% of Payee’s adjusted gross income; OR (b) 40% of the parties’ combined incomes minus Payee’s income.
 
C.           The court has discretion to adjust the amount of maintenance calculated using the formulas set forth above if the amount is unjust or inappropriate after consideration of one or more of the 15 factors listed below:
 
              15 Factors (new factors highlighted in BOLD):
 
              1.           The age and health of the parties;
              2.           The equitable distribution of marital property and the income or imputed income on the assets so distributed;
              3.           The present or future earning capacity of the parties, including a history of limited participation in the workforce;
              4.           The need of one party to incur education or training expenses;
              5.           The termination of a child support award before the termination of the maintenance award when the calculation of maintenance was based upon child support being awarded which resulted in a maintenance award lower than it would have been had child support not been awarded;
              6.           The existence and duration of a pre-marital joint household or a pre-divorce separate household;
              7.           Acts by one party against another that have in habited or continue to inhibit a party’s earning capacity or ability to obtain meaningful employment.  Such acts include but are not limited to acts of domestic violence as provided in section four hundred fifty-nine-a of the Social Services Law;
              8.           The reduced or lost earning capacity of the payee as a result of having forgone or delayed education, training, employment or career opportunities during the marriage;
              9.           The care of children or stepchildren, disabled adult children or stepchildren, elderly parents or in-laws provided during the marriage that inhibits a party’s earning capacity;
              10.         The tax consequences to each party;
              11.         The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage;
              12.         The contributions and services of the payee as a spouse, parent, wage earner and homemaker and to the career or career potential of the other party;
              13.         The wasteful dissipation of marital property, including transfers or encumbrances made in contemplation of a matrimonial action without fair consideration;
              14.         The availability and cost of medical insurance for the parties; and
              15.         Any other factor which the court shall expressly find to be just and proper.

 

Further, if the parties have income over the cap, the court has discretion to award additional maintenance, after consideration of one or more of the 15 factors set forth above.

Laws of Spousal Support



 

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION

 The factors a court must consider in determining the equitable disposition of marital property are:

  1. the income and property of each party at the time of marriage, and at the time of the commencement of the action;
  1. the duration of the marriage and the age and health of both parties;
  1. the need of a custodial parent to occupy or own the marital residence and to use or own its household effects;
  1. the loss of inheritance and pension rights upon dissolution of the marriage as of the date of dissolution;

      5.    the loss of health insurance benefits upon dissolution of the marriage;

      6.    any award of maintenance;

      7.    any equitable claim to, interest in, or direct or indirect contribution made to the acquisition of such marital property by the party not having title, including joint efforts or expendiures and contributions and services as a spouse, parent, wage earner and homemaker, and to the career or career potential of the other party; 

      8.    the liquid or non-liquid character of all marital property;

      9.    the probable future financial circumstances of each party;

     10.   the impossibility or difficulty of evaluating any component asset or any interest in a business, corporation or  profession, and the economic desirability of retaining such asset or interest intact and free from any claim or interference by the other party;

     11.  the tax consequences to each party;

     12.  the wasteful dissipation of assets by either spouse;

     13.  any transfer or encumbrance made in contemplation of a matrimonial action without fair consideration;

     14.  any other factor which the court shall expressly find to be just and proper.

  Laws of Equitable Distribution

(NY Domestic Relation Law Section 236)

 


 



To be provided upon request



New Jersey Office
One University Plaza
Suite 214
Hackensack, NJ 07601
201-836-0777
Directions | Map
New York Office
260 Madison Avenue
22nd Floor
New York, NY 10016
212-721-7555
Directions | Map