Spousal Maintenance and Support
Spousal support determinations have traditionally been a difficult point of contention in a New York divorce. The old law outlined a variety of factors for the court to weigh in determining alimony payments. However, in 2010, lawmakers modified the Domestic Relations Law. The law redefined how temporary spousal maintenance, while the divorce remains pending, should be determined by using a formulaic approach.
The purpose of this modification was to reduce the mystery of temporary support. In 2016, the law extended to post-divorce spousal maintenance determinations.
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The New York Alimony Formula is Not Always Absolute
Punching numbers into a spousal support calculator, however, is not necessarily the end of the story when it comes to determining spousal support payments.
For instance, in high net worth households, determining income itself can be complicated. The mathematical exercise required by the formula is only as good as the numbers used at the start.
At Quatela Chimeri PLLC, our attorneys are well-aware that nuances still remain, despite efforts to create an overarching mathematical formula. Our lawyers have substantial experience with complex financial analysis, fortified by our business and commercial law representation.
Spousal Maintenance Calculations
Moreover, judges retain discretion in calculating spousal maintenance in high-income divorces. When income exceeds the income cap (which changes over time), judges retain discretion to weigh a wide variety of factors to determine if additional maintenance is appropriate for income in excess of the income cap used in the formula (which can vary from court to court).
It is critical for you to work with a local lawyer who is familiar with the tendencies of each judge, including what level of income the judge is likely to include in the formula. Our trial lawyers regularly appear in local courts on Long Island in the dedicated family and matrimonial parts of the courts.
Understanding Spousal Maintenance and Child Support
In general, the law sets forth one alimony formula. It calculates the maintenance when the obligor will also pay child support, and a second computational method to determine alimony in the absence of child support. The law expects that the duration of maintenance payments should be longer for marriages that lasted a longer period of time.
Alimony payments are generally intended to provide the receiving spouse with the resources needed to remain financially stable. It is vital for you to work with an attorney who has the financial acumen to protect your rights and financial interests — whether you are expecting to receive maintenance or may be obligated to pay support.