As of January 25, 2016, New York State has enacted a new spousal maintenance (alimony) law. The new law has significant changes for temporary spousal maintenance and post-divorce spousal maintenance.

This article will focus on the new formula and contains a lot of math. If you don’t like math, then consult with an attorney who can determine the amount of spousal maintenance for you.

There are two different formulas, one in the situation where the payor spouse is also paying child support and the other formula is where the payor spouse is either receive child support or not paying any amount of child support.

First, consider the situation where the payor spouse is also paying child support:

- The starting point is your gross yearly income. From your gross you can subtract how much you paid in Social Security taxes and Medicare taxes and in certain situations some other limited deductions.
- There is an income cap of $175,000.00. This means that if your income is greater than $175,000, only $175,000 is plugged into the formula. Note that every two years, this income cap can change based on the consumer price index.
- Now compute 20% of the Payor’s income and 25% of the Payee’s income. As one example, if the Payor’s income is $100,000, then the result is $20,000, and if the Payee’s income is $50,000, then that results in $12,500.
- Subtract 25% of the Payee’s income from 25% of the Payor’s income. Using the example, $20,000 – $12,500 equals: $7,500.
- That result will be considered Result “A”.
- Now combine the Payor’s income and the Payee’s income. In the example, $100,000 + $50,000 equals $150,000.
- Multiply that amount by 40%, so in the example, $150,000 multiplied by 40% equals $60,000.
- Take that result and subtract the Payee’s income, in the example $60,000 – $50,000 equals $10,000. That result is considered Result “B”.
- The amount of spousal maintenance is the lessor of Result “A” and Result “B”. In this example $7,500 per year.

Now, consider the situation where the payor spouse is either receiving child support or not paying any amount of child support:

- Again, the starting point is your gross yearly income. From your gross you can subtract how much you paid in Social Security taxes and Medicare taxes and in certain situations some other limited deductions.
- There is an income cap of $175,000.00. This means that if your income is greater than $175,000, only $175,000 is plugged into the formula. Note that every two years, this income cap can change based on the consumer price index.
- Now compute 30% of the Payor’s income and 20% of the Payee’s income. As one example, if the Payor’s income is $100,000, then the result is $30,000, and if the Payee’s income is $50,000, then that results in $10,000.
- Subtract 30% of the Payee’s income from 20% of the Payor’s income. Using the example, 30,000 – $10,000 equals: $20,0000.
- That result will be considered Result “A”.
- Now combine the Payor’s income and the Payee’s income. In the example, $100,000 + $50,000 equals $150,000.
- Multiply that amount by 40%, so in the example, $150,000 multiplied by 40% equals $60,000.
- Take that result and subtract the Payee’s income, in the example $60,000 – $50,000 equals $10,000. That result is considered Result “B”.
- The amount of spousal maintenance is the lessor of Result “A” and Result “B”. In this example $10,000 per year.

The length of time for post-divorce maintenance is now determined by a formula. That formula is as follows:

- If the length of the marriage was between 0 years and 15 years, the duration of maintenance is 15% to 30% of the length of the marriage.
- If the length of the marriage was between 15 years and 20 years, the duration of maintenance is 30% to 40% of the length of the marriage.
- If the length of the marriage was greater than 20 years, the duration of maintenance is 35% to 50% of the length of the marriage.

So if your marriage was 10 years, the guideline duration of post-divorce maintenance would be between 1.5 years and 3 years.

If your marriage was 20 years, the guideline duration of post-divorce maintenance would be between 6 years and 8 years.

If your marriage was 30 years, the guideline duration of post-divorce maintenance would be between 10.5 years and 15 years.

The Court can deviate from the duration formula based on several factors.

If you are getting divorced and you have questions about how the new spousal maintenance law affects you, the Badanes Law Office can help you. Call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office today at 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com or visit our web site: www.dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport, Suffolk County and Garden City, Nassau County.

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