In late September, new maintenance legislation was signed into law in New York. The new bill changes the guidelines for calculating post-divorce maintenance. The law goes into effect January 25, 2016.
Similar to the temporary maintenance guidelines, the income cap for post-divorce maintenance is also $175,000. Additionally, the court makes the determination of which formula to use based on which spouse will be the payor of the maintenance and which spouse will have custody of the children of the marriage, if custody is relevant. The formulas that are used to determine temporary maintenance also apply to post-divorce maintenance.
Where the payor’s income exceeds the income cap the new law lists new factors in determining award of support above the income cap. One of the new factors is 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 lower maintenance award than if child support had not been awarded. In determining post-divorce maintenance, the new bill will also require courts to consider anticipated retirement assets, benefits, and retirement eligibility age.
Further, the new bill provides for suggested ranges for the duration of the post-divorce maintenance based on length of marriage. It is up to the court whether or not it chooses to use the suggested lengths below.
• For marriages lasting between 0 -15 years, percent of the length of the marriage for which the maintenance will be payable is 15-30%;
• For marriages lasting between 15-20 years, percent of the length of the marriage for which the maintenance will be payable is 30-40%; and,
• For marriages lasting more than 20 years, percent of the length of the marriage for which the maintenance will be payable is 35-50%.
These new rules and calculations will apply to all matrimonial and Family Court actions for spousal support commenced on or after the effective date. Rincker Law, PLLC is prepared to help in navigating the new maintenance laws.