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New York Divorce Law’s Alimony Provision Stays Put For Now

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Divorce and children by o5com on FlickrNew York became the last state to allow no-fault divorce in 2010, but that law also included a provision for temporary alimony during divorce proceedings, which is still being contested. There won’t be any changes to that law in the near future, however, reports The Wall Street Journal, because an independent report by the Law Revision Commission analyzing its effects wasn’t delivered on time.

According to the WSJ:

The law imposed a formula on alimony awards given during the divorce proceedings. Meant to help families obtain consistent temporary alimony decisions, the law has helped mostly low-income spouses, attorneys said. But it applies to people earning up to $524,000 and doesn’t address many situations common to high-income couples, such as mortgage payments or annual bonuses yielding what many lawyers have derided as unfair outcomes.

Reportedly some spouses have even been required to pay more than their monthly income in alimony payments.

The report regarding the law’s effects was scheduled to be released in December 2011, but now after missing its third deadline of May 31 and the legislature having closed its session on June 21, there won’t be any adjustments to the controversial provision until at least the next time the legislature is in session.

“We hope to conclude our study as expeditiously as possible without jeopardizing a thorough analysis and meaningful recommendations on this complex subject,” said Rose Mary Bailly, the commission’s executive director, told the WSJ in an email.

Detractors of the law such as Timothy Tippins, former president of the New York state chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and adjunct professor at Albany Law School call it “a pure redistribution of wealth brought down to the family level,” while supporters maintain that the law’s intent was good, even if some wrinkles need to be ironed out.

When we hear any further news on this, we’ll keep you posted!


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July 12th, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Posted in Divorce

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