Jeffrey Reina, a senior partner and the chairman of Lipsitz
Green Scime Cambria’s Matrimonial Department, wrote a guest column that appears
in the October 3 issue of the Buffalo Law Journal. In “Changes to spousal
maintenance, a year later”, Mr. Reina revisits New York State’s newest Domestic
Relations Law on the first anniversary of its passage. This law restructured
how spousal support and child support are calculated, as well as how some
marital assets are divided after a divorce.
Read the full article on the Buffalo
Law Journal Website.
Spousal maintenance guidelines
New York State’s new spousal maintenance law extended
existing guidelines so that they now apply to divorces that have been finalized
as well as divorces that are still in progress. This law also adjusted the
maintenance payment income cap from $524,000 to $175,000. This lower cap
addresses concerns that the old cap was too burdensome for the payor while
still providing support for the payee. Courts may also now use an advisory
schedule to calculate how long post-divorce maintenance should last. The
schedule awards different amounts depending on how long the marriage lasted,
which results in a longer maintenance period for couples who were married
longer. The new law also requires that maintenance be calculated before child
Enhanced earning capacity
Until 2015, New York recognized a professional license
earned during marriage as marital property which could be divided in a divorce.
The new law states that the Court cannot consider a professional license as
marital property anymore. Courts can consider the “direct or indirect
contributions” of one spouse to the other spouse’s earning capacity, however. This
means that one spouse’s contributions toward this professional license or
degree can be considered in asset distribution, but the degree or license and
the related earning capacity cannot.
About Jeffrey F. Reina
Jeffrey F. Reina is a senior partner who oversees Lipsitz
Green Scime Cambria's Matrimonial Practice Area. Mr. Reina has significant
experience in the area of commercial litigation. He has successfully
represented a vast range of clients from large multinational corporations to
small local businesses in a significant variety of complex litigation in local,
state, and federal courts. For the past year, Mr. Reina has utilized his
litigation skills and trial experience to serve clients in divorce matters.
This article does not purport to give legal advice and is for informational purposes only.