One of the first questions that many of my clients have when they are starting the divorce process is whether or not they will receive alimony payments, which are is now known as maintenance. This can be somewhat of a difficult answer and we can’t determine yes or no immediately. As of January 2016 in New York State, we have a new law that sets forth an actual income driven formula for maintenance. This formula is a calculation that results in what the award of maintenance from one party to the other will be. The length of how long maintenance will occur after the divorce is governed by an advisory schedule that the legislature has set forth.

Now, the courts are not mandated to follow the advisory schedule. It’s advisory. However, it is beneficial because now the judges have a guideline that they can look at when determining how long maintenance should be awarded and how much money should be awarded.

With that said, the formula, as I said, results in a certain number that is derived from the income of the party who will be required to make the payments. However, if the judge feels that that award determined by the formula is unjust or inappropriate for various reasons, the judge can vary from what the calculations under the statute would say. If the income disparity is great, there is a good chance under the statute that there would be some sort of maintenance award. Maintenance is generally just awarded to make sure that after a divorce, the less monied spouse is financially supported until they are able to financially support themselves. If you have questions regarding whether or not you may be eligible for a maintenance award, it is important that you consult with a divorce attorney who can assist you.

If you require experienced legal representation for divorce and family law matters, contact the Law Offices of Mark S. Paige, P.C. today to schedule a consultation.