The outcome of all divorces is that both spouses become financially independent. As a result, it is imperative for the parties to have a plan in place. For example, if you were a caregiver or homemaker, or relied on your spouse for financial support during your marriage, how can you maintain your current lifestyle after divorce? In order to plan your finances post-divorce, you must understand how maintenance (spousal support) works in New York State (NYS).
In NYS, you are entitled to maintenance!!!! NYS allows for maintenance to assist a divorced spouse to become financially independent. Understand that maintenance provides a separated spouse with some financial resources while the case is pending, but before the divorce is finalized.
You are probably wondering how this amount for spousal support is calculated. While it may sound complicated, simply stated, it is based on incomes to which a formula is supplied in NY state law.
Once the divorce is settled, then “Permanent Maintenance” takes over. Despite the term “permanent” the agreed upon payment is almost always limited to a specific number of years.
For example, if one spouse contributes in the form of raising children and the other spouse has an earned-income, maintenance is used to financially remedy the spouse who did not earn an income.
Remember, maintenance is NOT intended to provide an exorbitant lifestyle to the financially dependent spouse. Rather, it is primarily meant to for the dependent spouse to maintain his or her current standard of living.
There are many factors related to determining maintenance:
Earning capacity and relative earnings of each of the parties
Duration of the marriage
Whether one party has contributed to the education, increased earning power or training of the other party
Standard of living established in the marriage
Relative education of you and your spouse, and how much time would be required to get training or education that would enable you to find appropriate employment
Contributions you’ve made as a homemaker
The relative needs of the parties
If you’re in the process of getting a divorce, all this information is critical. You need to contact a reputable lawyer, and accountant. At GKG CPAs we can offer you the guidance you need. Contact GKG at 914.218.5678 or 845.356.6100. We can help make a difficult time easier.
-Dennis B. Kremer, CPA/ABV/CFF/CGMA,CVA, Partner