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New spousal support law causes confusion among court officials

On October 13th, 2010 New York changed how the state would calculate temporary spousal support payments, and the courts have been trying to explain them ever since. In an October 12th, 2011 New York Law Journal the New York family court attempted to better explain the new formula.
The old spousal support law allowed judges to use a “balancing act” to determine the appropriate amount to award the individual in need. The goal was to keep the low-income spouse at the couple’s status quo while the divorce details were completed. The new system now imposes 19 financial factors that must be reviewed and plugged into a formula by the court to decide whether the spouse should receive support and what amount is appropriate. Even after reviewing the factors and formula a judge still has the right to completely disregard the suggested amount as long as the judge provides some reasoning for their decision.
Many matrimonial law attorneys have described the new formula to be confusing and complicating and “leaves many gaps” that require the judges to answer on their own. One of the biggest issues is determining each spouse’s income. Judges must determine the income of each party but many have to go off the amount the parties’ state, and cannot wait for documentation that backs the amount. This has led to some judges being hesitate to award large amounts since they do not fully trust the sum being supported by the formula.
We at the Law Office of Jayson Lutzky, P.C. (www.mynewyorklawyer.com) are following closely to how the New York courts are deciding on issues surrounds the new spousal support formula. Additionally, the Law Office of Jayson Lutzky, P.C. is continuing to educate themselves on how the guidelines work and should be applied. If you have any legal questions or concerns regarding a spousal support dispute, then please contact our law office at1-800-660-LAWYER or 1-800-660-5299 today for a free initial consultation.

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