Governor Cuomo signed legislation that will change how temporary
maintenance is calculated and will also for the first time provide a formula for the
calculation of post-divorce maintenance. Key dates are that the formula
for temporary maintenance will only apply to cases started on or after
October 26, 2015. The guidelines for post-divorce maintenance will only apply to
divorce cases started on or after January 25, 2016.
The new rules are complicated and have many different formulas for different
situations. The formulas require dual comparison calculations and are
affected additionally by whether the monied spouse pays
child support or is the
custodial parent. In addition, for the first time, there is a formula for guidance on the
length of maintenance based upon a percentage of the duration of the marriage.
Finally, for summary purposes, the income cap for maintenance calculations
has been reduced from $524,000 to $175,000. This implies that the court
does not have to utilize income over $175,000.
Since the law is just nearing its start on October 26th there will be much
to watch and observe as the courts begin to issue new decisions utilizing
the new guidelines. Both matrimonial judges and lawyers are studying the
new legislation. Various groups are trying to create calculators to aid
in determining the presumptive amounts. Judges will still have the discretion
to modify the outcome for various reasons. It will take some time until
both the courts and lawyers come to a general understanding of the application
of the rules.
Keep in mind if you are considering filing for a divorce whether your attorney
recommends filing at this time or after the new laws take effect.