Spousal Maintenance Part 4 – Calculations

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2015 NYS Law on Temporary and Post-Divorce Spousal Maintence

New York State provides formulas and guidelines to help divorcing couples (and the associated courts) navigate whether spousal maintenance will be paid, and if so, how much.

If either temporary or post-divorce spousal maintenance is to be paid, the first step is agree on an amount.

Coming to Agreement on TSM or SM

As explained in my Temporary Spousal Maintenance and Spousal Maintenance articles, spouses can form their own private settlement agreements. The amount of either type of spousal maintenance in that agreement can differ from the presumptive amount that would have been set according to the NYS guidelines. However, be aware there are conditions to private arrangements. If they are not followed, then the agreement is unenforceable.

If the court is involved in determining either TSM or SM, then it will start with the guideline amount. The guideline calculations, however, do not take into account many factors that are important to consider. Those factors are assessed separately by the courts, who may award an amount different than the calculated guideline amount. If that’s the case, the court will document its reasons in the Judgment of Divorce.

NOTE: Please consult your professional advisers concerning whether the Tax Cuts and Job Act (TCJA) federal law in effect on Jan 1, 2019 affects your situation. See Spousal Maintenance Part 3 – Post-Divorce.

View Fox-Rochester’s Interview with BJ Mann
NYS alimony tax laws changing in 2019

NYS Spousal Maintenance Calculators

NYS provides online spousal maintenance and child support tools found at “NY Courts Maintenance and Child Support Tools.” Some are simpler to use than others.

NYS also provides a simplified TSM calculator in the form of a PDF document that you can fill in online and print. It also indicates the current income cap figure regarding the payor’s income used in this calculation.

A Better Spousal Maintenance Calculator

The one I suggest using is graciously provided by Joy S. Rosenthal, Esq, on this page: New York State Maintenance and Child Support Calculator. This comprehensive calculator:

  • Calculates your income according to the Child Support Standards Act.
  • Calculates the NYS guideline amount for Temporary Spousal Maintenance.
  • Calculates the NYS guideline amount for Spousal Maintenance.
  • Calculates the child support payment amount (if applicable).

As an example, here is a printout, Rosenthal Spousal Maintenance and Child Support Calculator Sample. It was created using fictional numbers and a fictional couple’s situation (no children).

To use the calculator, please read the instructions at the top of its web page. As you fill in each section with your own numbers, be sure to click the green “Calculate” button. It will take you through all the steps based on the numbers you supply and the choices you make.

The calculator saves your data, allowing you to come back at a later time and make changes. It also allows you to “reset” and start over.

As always, please verify the results you get from this calculator with the appropriate professionals before you make decisions or take action.

Disclaimer from Rosenthal’s site: This calculator is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice of any kind. The results obtained are only a guide, and represent no guarantee of what a judge might order. Rosenthal Law & Mediation does not guarantee that the calculator is accurate or up-to-date. All results should be confirmed. To get advice about your specific situation, and before signing any documents pertaining to divorce, separation or custody, we strongly recommend that you consult with a matrimonial attorney.

Links to Spousal Maintenance Series

Additional Divorce Spousal Support Resources

Resources on NYS Spousal Maintenance Law

Photo Credit: ©Can Stock Photo

This blog and its materials have been prepared by BJ Mediation Services for informational purposes only and are not intended to be, are not, and should not be regarded as, legal or financial advice. Internet subscribers and online readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.

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