I will again take the liberty of quoting portions of and severely redacting the legislative memorandum regarding maintenance that accompanied the no-fault divorce bill. This section also became effective for cases commenced on or after October 16, 2010.

Legislation

“Serious concerns have been raised regarding our divorce laws and the ineffectiveness of New York State’s spousal maintenance provisions. Current law is based on an un-prioritized list of factors and does not provide adequate guidance on how to consider each of these factors, resulting in varying monetary and durational awards for couples with similar incomes and similar length of marriage. This measure would create numerical guidelines for calculating the presumptive amount of the temporary maintenance awards with deviation factors to be employed by the court in its discretion where the presumptive amount of the award is unjust or inappropriate. These deviation factors include a catch-all “any other factor” that the court may apply if it chooses to adjust the presumed award. The temporary award would end upon the issuance of the final award or the death either party, whichever occurs first.”

Temporary Maintenance Guidelines

Income

The temporary maintenance guidelines would only result in an award when there is an income gap between the two parties such that the less-monied spouse’s income is less than two thirds of the more-monied spouse’s income.

The guidelines also include protections for individuals whose annual income is less than the self-support reserve. This measure does not make any statutory change to the current law on determining final or post-divorce maintenance awards, except for revising the statutory factors to better reflect divorcing couple’s life circumstances. This measure would charge the New York State Law Revision Commission to undertake an in-depth review and assessment of the economic consequences of divorce on the parties, along with an in-depth review and assessment of the maintenance law of our state. This proposal further charges the Commission to make recommendations, including revisions to the law, to help guide the legislature in arriving at a resolution to improve the effectiveness of our spousal maintenance