Search Site
Menu
Spousal Support: Finding the Right Formula

News that actress Demi Moore is seeking spousal maintenance (alimony) in her divorce proceedings from actor Ashton Kutcher is raising eyebrows about the goals and purposes of maintenance in divorce actions. Kutcher, a successful investor and television and movie star, makes more than $20 million per year. Moore is a major movie star in her own right, once one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood. Moore therefore reportedly has significant financial resources of her own.

To receive spousal maintenance, Ms. Moore must show the court that she no longer possesses the wherewithal to support herself or the means to change that status in the future.

The purpose of maintenance in New York, as described in a recent decision by one of the intermediate appellate courts in the state, is “to provide financial support for the recipient spouse while he or she gains the skills and employment necessary to become self-sufficient.”

  • Maintenance is court-ordered financial support from one spouse to another following the beginning of divorce proceedings.
  • Temporary maintenance supports the other spouse during the process of divorce.
  • Post-divorce maintenance is the support that one spouse must give the other after the divorce is finalized.

Even though temporary maintenance is determined by a strict formula which leaves little discretion to the judge, the judge retains the right to depart from the formula if it is not fair and proper. The court may adjust a maintenance award based on a number of factors:

  • The parties’ standard of living, age and health
  • The parties’ earning capacity
  • The parties’ ability or inability to make a living
  • Exceptional childcare expenses, including medical treatment and education
  • Tax consequences for either spouse
  • The value of the parties’ non-marital property

The legislature designed the strict formula to create a sense of predictability and even-handedness in awarding spousal maintenance. The judge’s additional ability to adjust the maintenance award gives the law the flexibility needed to make sure the results are fair.

If you are anticipating divorce, contact a divorce lawyer at our office. We can advise you about spousal maintenance and work with you help protect your interests during your divorce.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Randy  S.  Margulis Attorney Photo
Randy S. Margulis
Member

As a Buffalo divorce lawyer for 25 years, I have devoted myself to solving the problems that affect families throughout the Buffalo metropolitan area and Western New York. As a family law attorney, I make it my goal to create a partnership of trust with my clients. People put their trust in me to handle cases that can potentially have a long-lasting impact on not only their lives, but the lives of their family as well.

Reviews & Ratings
  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Randy Margulis is knowledgable of Domestic Law, dedicated, responsive, personable, aggressive and effective. I came to him on a friend's recommendation as well as Randy's reputation, and during the initial consultation I liked his approach and track ...

    Read more

    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Found Mr. Margulis to be a very organized and professional individual to work with. He is well-respected by his peers and is spoken of highly, I believe this helped with my divorce and made things go smoothly. I would highly recommend his services ...

    Read more

    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Randy is very firm and effective in court while empathetic to his clients. I am a domestic violence victim, and Randy made me feel safe and protected. My financial award was more than I envisioned it to be when I started my divorce. I can't thank ...

    Read more

    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Mr Margulis was one of the nicest attorneys I have ever had the privilege to speak to. He knows what he is doing and saying. I chose him because he was reassuring, respectful and understanding. He made my divorce easy, without regret and civil.I appr...

    Read more

    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Randy was referred to me. I am so glad I chose him to represent me. He was efficient and extremely knowledgeable. I would recommend him to anyone and have recommended him to a friend of a friend.

    Read more

    Client

See all reviews
AWARDS
BUFFALO / WESTERN NY
  • Niagara
  • Tonawanda
  • Amherst
  • Cheektowaga
  • Hamburg
  • Lancaster
  • Orchard Park
  • West Seneca
  • Akron
  • Batavia
  • Clarence
  • Kenmore
  • Lockport
Contact us

Quick Contact Form