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Daily Archives: July 10, 2013

Commission Reviews New York’s Spousal Maintenance Law

Alimony, known in New York as spousal maintenance, is an emotional and often hotly debated issue in divorces. In 2010 New York enacted guidelines for temporary maintenance awards, i.e. awards to be made while a divorce case is still pending. Unfortunately, although the law provided consistency to such awards, it did not provide any guidelines for awards of maintenance once a divorce was concluded. The law also failed to address many issues applicable to high-income earners such as one-time bonuses, and the payment of monthly living expenses. Thus, some judges have awarded temporary maintenance in addition to ordering a spouse to make mortgage and other payments. In some extreme cases, payor spouses have been ordered to pay sums which exceed their present income. An independent commission recently completed an evaluation of New York’s maintenance laws, and released a report recommending a set of sweeping changes. Among the suggested changes were

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