New Spousal Support Guidelines
In an attempt to obtain more uniformity in Judge’s awards regarding the amount of spousal support (also called “Maintenance”) and the length of time spousal support will be paid, New York State passed a new law in January 2016.
The new law established formulas to be used to determine the amount of spousal support to be paid to the lower income spouse. One set of formulas applies when the spouse paying the spousal support is also paying child support. The other set of formulas apply when no child support is being paid by the payor spouse either because the payor spouse is the custodial parent receiving child support or there are no children. The lower of the two formulas used in each situation is the amount of spousal support to be paid. However, you and your spouse can agree to a different amount depending on your circumstances. We’ll consider such factors as the age and health of the recipient spouse; a history of limited participation in the workforce, and the need for educational or vocational training as well as the equitable distribution of marital assets.
The new law also provides guidelines for how long spousal support will last, which is dependent on the length of the marriage. For example, if you have been married 15 years or less, the range is between 15% to 30% of the length of the marriage. If you have been married between 15 and 20 years, the range is 30% to 40% of the length of the marriage. And if you have been married more than 20 years, the range is between 35% to 50% of the length of the marriage.
At the New York Divorce Mediation Group, we will help you negotiate the amount and length of spousal support that is fair to both of you.