Temporary Maintenance Awards During Divorce.
Divorce actions can take years to resolve. During the course of a long proceeding, a financially dependent spouse, suddenly cut off from the other spouse’s support, may have a hard time making ends meet, even though that spouse should (and will eventually) be awarded support payments from the wealthier spouse. New York law allows a remedy for such situations. Courts may order a wealthy spouse to make payments to a financially dependent spouse until the divorce action is resolved and more permanent payments are determined. Such a payment is called “temporary maintenance,” and is calculated according to a formula set out in New York’s Domestic Relations Law.
Generally, the formula is as follows: 20% of the dependent spouse’s yearly income is subtracted from 30% of the wealthier spouse’s yearly income (up to a statutorily determined cap of $500,000). Then, the dependent spouse’s yearly income is subtracted from 40% of both spouse’s combined yearly income (again, a $500,000 cap is applied to the wealthier spouse’s income). The temporary maintenance award will be the lower of these two numbers.
For example, assume that the wealthier spouse’s income is $100 per year, and the dependent spouse’s income is $50 per year. 20% of the less wealthy spouse’s income ($10) is subtracted from 30% of the wealthier spouse’s income ($30). The result is $20. Then, the less wealthy spouse’s income ($50) is subtracted from 40% of the spouses’ combined income. The spouses’ combined income is $150. 40% of $150 = $60. Subtracting $50 (the less wealthy spouse’s income) from $60 (40% of the spouses’ combined income) leaves $10. The temporary maintenance award will be the lower of these two numbers – $10. This amount is the temporary maintenance payment the wealthier spouse would be ordered to pay the dependent spouse in this situation, until the divorce action is resolved. The court may order different amounts in certain high income cases, or take into account other factors as is it sees fit.
If you are considering initiating a divorce action or are already involved in a divorce action, and would like to speak with an attorney, The Law Firm of Vaughn & Weber, PLLC is here to assist you. Call (516) 858-2620 to speak with a Family Law Attorney today!
*Contributions to the research and preparation of this blog were made by Jason Mays, J.D. (awaiting admission in NYS).
Tags: alimony, contested divorce, dependent spouse, divorce action, divorce actions, divorce settlement, domestic relations law, garden city divorce attorney, garden city divorce lawyer, maintenance award, maintenance awards, mineola divorce attorney, mineola divorce lawyer, nassau divorce attorney, nassau divorce lawyer, pendente lite, support payments, temporary maintenance