Maintenance Calculations

New York's recently enacted maintenance law introduced a formula to calculate spousal support and an advisory schedule to consider in determining the length of support payments.

To calculate maintenance, the spouse with the higher income is the Payor. Initially, the Payor's income is capped at $178,000. Based on potential overlapping of expenses, the spousal support calculation is lowered if the Payor is also paying child support.

Deviation And Income Over Cap

To deviate from the formula, and arrive at maintenance either greater or less than this computed amount, the court will consider 15 factors set forth in the law. Similarly, the court will consider these same factors in determining any additional support when the Payor's income is greater than the present cap of $178,000.

Duration Of Spousal Support

The maintenance law for the first time sets forth advisory durational guidelines that correlates the length of the marriage to the length of spousal support payments. The schedule below shows a sampling of the advisory spousal support durations based on the length of the marriage:

Length of MarriageRange of Duration
3 years5.5 months to 11 months
5 years9 months to 1.5 years
10 years1.5 years to 3 years
13 years1.9 years to 3.9 years
16 years4.8 years to 6.4 years
20 years6.0 years to 8.0 years
23 years8.05 years to 11.5 years
25 years8.75 years to 12.5 years
28 years9.8 years to 14 years
30 years10.5 years to 15 years
35 years12.25 years to 17.5 years

Calculating Spousal Support

The following example illustrates application of the spousal support calculation: assume the Husband, (Payor), earns $150,000 per year and the Wife, (Payee) earns $50,000 per year. Maintenance to the Wife with no child support would be $17,500 and with child support would be $30,000 per year. The chart below shows application of the spousal support computation to this example:

Calculation of Spousal Support Formula – (i.e. Husband required to pay child support or no children)

1. Husband's income after deductions for Social Security and Medicare$ 150,000.00
2. Wife's income after deductions for Social Security and Medicare$ 50,000.00
FIRST COMPUTATION
3. 30% of Husband's income (30% of Line 1)$ 45,000.00
4. 20% of Wife's income (20% of Line 2)$ 10,000.00
5. Deduct Line 4 from Line 5 to arrive at First Computation$ 35,000.00
SECOND COMPUTATION
6. Add the Wife's Income and Husband's Income (Line 1 Plus Line 2)$ 200,000.00
7. Multiply combined income by 40% (40% of Line 6)$ 80,000.00
8. Wife's Income (Insert income from Line 2)$ 50,000.00
9. Deduct Line 7 from Line 8 to arrive at Second Computation$ 30,000.00
Spousal Support is the Lesser of Computation 1 and 2
Calculated Spousal Support (Computation 2 is Lower)$ 30,000.00

Calculation of Spousal Support Formula – (i.e. Husband required to pay child support)

1. Husband's income after deductions for Social Security and Medicare$ 150,000.00
2. Wife's income after deductions for Social Security and Medicare$ 50,000.00
FIRST COMPUTATION
3. 20% of Husband's income (20% of Line 1)$ 30,000.00
4. 25% of Wife's income (25% of Line 2)$ 12,500.00
5. Deduct Line 4 from Line 5 to arrive at First Computation$ 17,500.00
SECOND COMPUTATION
6. Add the Wife's Income and Husband's Income (Line 1 Plus Line 2)$ 200,000.00
7. Multiply combined income by 40% (40% of Line 6)$ 80,000.00
8. Wife's Income (Insert income from Line 2)$ 50,000.00
9. Deduct Line 7 from Line 8 to arrive at Second Computation$ 30,000.00
Spousal Support is the Lesser of Computation 1 and 2
Calculated Spousal Support (Computation 1 is Lower)$ 17,500.00

We Are Ready To Advocate For You

Markus & Sheridan is fully familiar with the new spousal support law. Such knowledge is critical in representing our clients in negotiations, who seek deviation from the formula and durational guidelines or when either spouse has income in excess of the cap of $178,000.

Call 914-241-6300 or use our online contact form to schedule a consultation. We will answer your questions about spousal and child support, and recommend an effective course of action.