A New Maintenance Law and Still Anyone’s Guess:
The Background: Governor Cuomo signed into affect a new law relating to the duration and amount of temporary and post-divorce spousal maintenance (alimony). The temporary maintenance law went into affect October 2015 and the maintenance law went into affect this week! Here are some of the basics:
The Temporary Maintenance Change: There was already a law on the books with a formula judges could use to calculate temporary maintenance – meaning maintenance paid for by the monied spouse while the parties are still litigating.
The income cap for temporary maintenance is now lowered from the previous $543,000 to $175,000 of the Payor’s income maintenance and spousal support. Unlike the Child Support Standards Act, which takes into consideration the combined parental income, the new maintenance guidelines only apply to the payor’s income up the $175,000 cap.
The Post-Divorce Formula: On January 25, 2016, the new post-divorce maintenance law went into affect. For the first time in New York, judges have a formula to calculate post-divorce maintenance. A $175,000 cap also applies to post-divorce maintenance. When the Payor’s income is lower than maglie calcio poco prezzo or equal to the income cap ($175,000) there are two different maintenance formulas:
When no Child Support:
STEP 1. 30% of Payor’s Income up to $175,000 MINUS 20% of Payee’s income
STEP 2. Payor’s income up to $175,000 PLUS Payee’s income x 40% MINUS Payee’s income
STEP 3 The lower of the two amounts is the guidelines figure:
To Stop All You Math-phobic Readers From Hyperventilating, Let’s Do a Hypothetical!
The Payor’s income is $100,000
The Payee’s income is $50,000.
$100,00 x 30% = $30,000
$50,000 x 20% – $10,000
$30,000 – $10,00 =$20,000
$100, 000 + $50,000 = $150,000 x 40% = $60,000
Compare the two figures. The lower figure of $10,000 is the guideline figure.
When Child Support is Paid by Payor of Maintenance:
20% of Payor’s income up to $175,000 Minus 25% of Payee’s income
Payor’s income up to $175,000 PLUS Payee’s income x 40%
The lower of the two amounts is the guideline figure
The Factors: When the Payor’s income exceeds the $175,000 cap: First use the formula to calculate up to the $175,000 cap. THE AMOUNT OF ADDITIONAL MAINTENANCE SHALL BE IN THE DISCRETION OF THE COURT.
There are 13 temporary maintenance factors that are used to consider the amount of additional maintenance and 15 post-divorce factors. They included, the age and health of the parties, the present and future earning capacity of the parties, including a history of limited participation in the workforce, the termination of child support, availability and cost of medical insurance, and the standards of living the parties established during the marriage.
Also these factors can be used by a judge to deviate from the formula even under $175,000.
The Facts: It’s still a crap shoot if you leave the determination of maintenance in the hands of the court. The courts have to give a written reason for deviating from the formula within the cap, but they can, PLUS, above $175,000 there is nothing automatically applied.
The Freedom: When you mediate, and decide maintenance based on your own situation and NOT a formula, there is no requirement that your mediated settlement agreement set forth the reasons for deviation from the guidelines.
Judges are not required to scrutinize mediated agreements for “compliance” with the maintenance guidelines legislation (unlike when child support provisions deviate from the Child Support Standards Act guidelines).
So you only have to worry about a court imposing this formula in your settlement if you go to court.
So now that I’ve given you the math, the formulas, the factors, etc. you can decide between having you and your spouse decide how much maintenance is right in your situation – or you can go to a courtroom and have someone else impose his or her sense of fairness.