What You Need to Know About Maintenance Law

Maintenance has its advantages. Most notably, it is tax deductible, another advantage is that it follows a guideline. The guideline serves to provide reasonable financial support to the spouse who needs it while considering the “payor’s” (or the spouse who earns more income) own financial capability.

In the New York State, spouses have to look to recent amendments to the Maintenance Law to know just how much payment the court will decide or should decide as the amendments are technically “guidelines”. Your knowledge of such changes will help you make informed decisions about the direction of your case and influence the outcome of your consultations with your divorce lawyer.

According to Formula

The New York State Senate passed Bill A7645, which concerns the duration and amount of maintenance spouses will receive. The bill now provides a formula for determining maintenance, and it also defines the income the courts will use for calculations.

The amendment currently places the payor’s income cap (which used to be at $500,000) at $175,000, which means this is the amount the courts will now use to calculate maintenance. Although it is considerably lower than the previous cap, it will increase on a biennial basis, which took effect at the beginning of 2016.

If you are the payor and your income falls below or is equal to the cap, the court will follow a guideline that determines the temporary maintenance. This now includes calculating child support after the court subtracts a percentage of your income, and adds it to your spouse’s income. However, this is just a guideline of which the Judge will be the ultimate trier of fact and determine the amount and duration.

Duration and Modification

A party has the right to file an application seeking to terminate maintenance if you can prove that your spouse consistently lives with another person and has been acting as a spouse and holding themselves out as the spouse. This is a very difficult burden to prove but not impossible.  Your agreement also plays a factor as to whether or not this option is applicable and for that you must seek legal counsel to determine.

Another option is to seek a modification of maintenance but that requires what is called extreme hardship. If you have suffered a significant change in your income, the court could take your situation in considering a modification to a prior order. However extreme hardship usually requires more than a significant change in your income.

Whether you are seeking to understand the process of determining maintenance or wish to modify maintenance, you can rely on the Law Offices of Ian S. Mednick to provide a solution according to your unique situation. Call our law firm today, and let us help you through this process.

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