New York State Spousal Support for Wealthy Clients

New York law caps income at $524,000 when determining temporary maintenance but that doesn’t mean that judges ignore the excess income. The court considers 19 factors when determining a fair temporary support amount. When using family law software New York attorney can calculate temporary maintenance for clients of any income, but they also need to be aware of the other factors that can come into play with more wealthy clients. Here are a few of the most common considerations.

Difference In Income – If the spouses earn comparable incomes then a judge isn’t likely to award a large support amount. Note that this considers both current income and future income potential, so if a spouse stopped working during the marriage but can jump back into the job market immediately and earn a high income, then the court will take that into account.

Wasteful Dissipation – Vindictive spouses may try to spend down assets or hide income in order to distort the New York net worth statement and sway judges into awarding smaller support amounts. The courts aren’t so easily fooled. If the attorney for the recipient can produce records showing a sudden increase in spending, mysteriously disappearing assets or an abrupt drop in income from no obvious source like a downturn in the working spouse’s industry then the judge is likely to award a higher support amount.

Actions Against Spouse – New York is a no fault divorce state but that doesn’t mean the courts ignore a spouse’s actions. Specifically any action taken that previously inhibited or currently inhibits the receiving spouse’s ability to earn money will be taken into consideration.

Career Contributions – The divorce cliché is Spouse A works so Spouse B can go to medical school. Spouse B gets a high paying job as a doctor and then drops Spouse A for a younger model. The court will consider Spouse A’s contribution to Spouse B’s career, and the career opportunities Spouse A might have given up, when calculating the award.

These are just a few of the factors attorneys must consider when facing a judge. Easy Soft’s New York divorce software, EzSupport-NY, is an important tool when estimating temporary support, but lawyers should consider making a reasonable counteroffer rather than insisting on an obviously unfair support amount just because the calculator says so.

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