Westchester County, NY Family Law Blog

Friday, June 21, 2013

Final Maintenance (Alimony) Guidelines in New York – Dodging the Bullet

During the final weeks of the Spring 2013 New York State legislative session, Assemblywoman Amy Paulin introduced (and later amended) Assembly bill A6728, which, among other things, would have established final maintenance guidelines in New York State,  and would have repealed Domestic Relations Law § 248 providing for the termination of maintenance (alimony) upon remarriage. Yes, you read the last line correctly. Under this bill, despite remarriage, alimony recipients would still be entitled to collect support from their ex-husbands and wives unless the payor could demonstrate to a court that the recipient had experienced a substantial change of financial circumstances.  Moreover, the proposed amount and duration of maintenance under the formula was excessive, particularly where child support would be awarded as well, and was based on the faulty presumption that all non-monied spouses deserve the same amount and length of maintenance.  It should be noted that many of the provisions of this bill were contrary to the recommendations of the Law Revision Commission in its May 15, 2013 report (the subject of a previous blog update).  Fortunately, the bill was opposed by the Family Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and other bar groups, and was never brought to a vote in the Assembly before the close of the session.  The bill also faced resistance in the State Senate.  The bad news is that this ill-conceived bill is likely to return soon, since it is being pushed by certain women’s advocacy organizations with political clout in the State Legislature.    

Berman Frucco Gouz Mitchel & Schub p.c. is located in White Plains, NY and serves clients throughout Westchester County, including but not limited to Ardsley, Bronxville, Bedford, Briarcliff Manor, Chappaqua, Dobbs Ferry, Eastchester, Harrison, Hartsdale, Hastings on-Hudson, Irvington, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Mount Kisco, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Pelham, Pleasantville, Pound Ridge, Purchase, Rye, Scarsdale, Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow, White Plains, Yonkers, and Yorktown.

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