Alimony (now called maintenance) will be awarded when the marriage is of long duration and there is a substantial difference in earning capacity. Maintenance is awarded in order for give the recipient spouse time to become selfsupporting. In January of 2016, New York State substantially changed its laws regarding maintenance. There is now a formula for the amount of maintenance as well as guidelines for its duration. Click here for the maintenance calculator. An income cap of $184,000 applies to the payor, and there are different calculations if the maintenance payor is also paying child support. Generally, once the maintenance payments end the child support will be recalculated.
While maintenance has historically been deductible to the payor and income to the recipient, on December 22, 2017, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”). The TCJA phases out the deductibliity of maintenance for agreements or orders entered into after December 31, 2018. Thus, after January 1, 2019, maintenance will not be deductible to the payor and will not be considered income to the recipient.