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Spousal support laws may be changing in New York

When a couple is going through a divorce, there are many issues that they need to address as it progresses. One issue that has caused many couples problems in New York divorces concerns the award of spousal support. The current laws made it difficult for couples to know what to expect, and sometimes led to awards that were not reflective of the spouse's current economic situation.

This led to a call for revamped spousal support laws within the state. Officials had asked for input from the Law Revision Commission, an organization made up of attorneys and judges from across New York. These proposed changes could help prepare those who are going through a divorce.

When examining the current spousal maintenance laws in place, the committee noticed a conflict between the temporary and permanent awards. The temporary spousal support laws tried to use a specific formula to come up with an appropriate amount, while the permanent support laws called for a case-by-case examination to learn how much support should be awarded.

This led the committee to recommend new formulas that could be used for temporary and permanent support. The commission recommended that the formula be used when combined income is at or below $136,000. If the couple has income that exceeds this amount, the courts may use certain factors to award additional payments.

The temporary spousal maintenance proposal would allow both spouses to pay necessary expenses while the divorce is in process. As part of the final divorce order, the court would determine if a permanent award is necessary, if the commission's recommendations are made into law.

Another recommendation that the commission made may also have a significant impact on New York divorces. In the past, when one of the spouses had a degree that was earned during the marriage, it was considered marital property.

Spouses would frequently argue about the earning potential of that degree, as this amount would need to be divided between the parties at this time. The commission felt that this was subjecting too many couples to needless delays during their divorces.

If you are considering filing for divorce, consult with an experienced family law attorney about your situation. You will learn how you can prepare yourself for the changes that will be coming to your life, and take steps to ensure that you are able to move forward once the divorce is final.

An attorney can answer questions that you may have, and also protect the interests that you have. A divorce can be a very emotional time for the spouses, and it is important that you work with someone who will help you focus on the issues that need to be addressed.

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