For years determining an appropriate alimony settlement has been a courtroom guessing game that could leave the asking party with more legal bills then spousal support. However, New York in the last year has made significant changes to their marital laws, as reported in a July 3rd, 2011 New York Times opinion’s article.
Last year, New York finally joined the rest of the states by legalizing no-fault divorces. No-fault divorces allow a couple to become divorced without placing the blame on a certain individual. Now New York is joining a group of a few states by adopting a statue that dictates how an alimony settlement is determined. Many people encouraged this legislature in an effort to help those spouses that desire a divorce but were financially dependent on their current spouse.
Under the formula, the court first determines what 30 percent of the higher-earning spouse’s income is and 20 percent of the lower-earning spouse’s income. The two percentages are then subtracted. If the outcome is less than 40 percent of the couple’s combined income then the court will consider that the “jumping off’ number for negotiations.
The formula still grants family court judges’ discretion in determining alimony payments for certain cases. The judge is allowed to consider factors such as each parties’ health, their contributions in the marriage, their potential financial again, as well as others.
Jayson Lutzky, P.C. ( has been a practicing New York attorney for over 28 years and is experienced in working with his clients in family law issues in achieving the best results. If you have legal questions about a family issue, then please feel free to call us at 1-800-660-LAWYER or 1-800-660-5299 or visit our office for a free initial consultation.