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Changes to the way temporary spousal maintenance is calculated

When a couple is divorcing, the amount of money that the court orders one spouse to pay to support the other is called spousal maintenance. In New York, the calculation of spousal maintenance has always been hotly debated. Many believe that the formula used to calculate the amount of maintenance resulted in dramatically high payments. However, a change in the law within the last six months has made temporary spousal maintenance more equitable for divorcing parties.

Recent Changes Enacted

In October of 2015, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill that was previously passed by the New York State Assembly and Senate in June. This law governs how temporary spousal maintenance is now calculated, providing for two different scenarios:

  • If a spouse will also be paying child support, he or she will pay less temporary spousal maintenance. Also, in determining child support, the amount of maintenance will be subtracted from the income of the paying spouse and added to the income of the receiving spouse.
  • If a spouse will not be paying child support, the amount of spousal maintenance will be based on new caps on income.

    As always, the courts have discretion to take other factors into consideration when granting temporary spousal maintenance.

    Know Your Options

    To fully understand how changes in spousal maintenance legislation affect you, speak to a knowledgeable divorce attorney. Learn how temporary spousal maintenance may be calculated in your specific situation.

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