News: New Temporary Maintenance Guidelines

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New Temporary Maintenance Guidelines

Along with the no-fault divorce bill, Governor Paterson also signed bill A.10984/S.8390, which revises the process for setting awards of temporary maintenance while a divorce is pending. The following is excerpt from the bill:

“The duration of the temporary award under this measure would be determined by considering the length of the marriage.

The temporary maintenance guidelines would only result in an award when there is an income gap between the two parties such that the less-monied spouse’s income is less than two thirds of the more monied spouse’s income. For instance, if the payor’s annual income is $90,000 a year, the guidelines will only result in an award if the payee’s annual income is less than $60,000. The numerical guideline is only applied to the payor’s income up to $500,000 of
her/his income, with a set of factors to be applied by the court to determine any additional amount of temporary maintenance on the payor’s income above this $500,000 cap. The guidelines also include protections for individuals whose annual income is less than the self-support reserve (135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines –
currently $14,620/year).

To determine the guideline amount, the court must
compare two calculations of the spouses’ annual incomes. For both of
these calculations, any income of the payor’s that exceeds $500,000
is not included.
* 30% of the payor’s income minus 20% of the payee’s income, OR
* 40% of the combined income of the two spouses. The payee’s income is
then subtracted from this figure.

The court must select the lesser of these two figures as the guideline amount. If the payor has an annual income exceeding $500,000, the judge may adjust the amount.

This proposal would provide consistency and predictability for temporary maintenance awards similar to the child support guidelines in the Child Support Standards Act. It would also help bring parties to the table and facilitate settlement of cases.

This measure does hot make any statutory change to the current law on determining final or post divorce maintenance awards; except for revising the statutory factors to better reflect divorcing couple’s life circumstances. The amount and duration of the final or post-divorce maintenance awards would still be determined based on a
list of statutory factors.”

Click here to read the maintenance bill

If you have any further questions about this new development in New York Law, please feel free to contact us today at (516) 858-2620.

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