New Maintenance Statute


At the beginning of 2016, the legislature amended New York’s law regarding maintenance (alimony) in an effort to give more certainty and uniformity to awards. There is now a formula for the amount of maintenance that a party must pay, as well as guidelines for the duration of the payments. These guidelines can be found at my website The actual maintenance calculator can be found here.

The formula takes into account the situation where the maintenance payor is also paying child support, and reduces the payor’s income in that event. Typically, once the maintenance payments end, the child support will be readjusted as per the Child Support Standards Act.

This new legislation affects permanent maintenance, i.e., maintenance awarded at the end of the divorce action. The legislature previously addressed temporary maintenance, i.e., maintenance awarded while the action is pending, in 2010.

Good or bad, the new legislation accomplishes its goal of providing more certainly in the resolution of divorce actions. Hopefully, it will also reduce the need for litigation over these issues.