The New Maintenance Cap and What it Means for Your Divorce





If you are going through a divorce, then you are most likely aware of the “maintenance guidelines”, a statutory formula that directs how much maintenance (spousal support), if any, should be paid to the less monied spouse. There is a cap on how much combined income the court is required to apply to this formula (it is in the Court’s discretion to use income over and above this cap). Until January 31, 2018, that cap was $178,000. It has since been increased to $184,000.

What does this mean for your divorce and your how much maintenance you will be awarded (or ordered to pay)? This increase will not affect you unless you and your spouse earn a combined income in excess of $178,000. If you do, and it is determined that one party is entitled to maintenance, then maintenance award may be higher than it may have been with the old cap.

There are two things you should be aware of with respect to this new cap:

1. It applies to all cases, not just those that were commenced subsequent to the new cap taking affect.

2. The Notice of Guideline Maintenance, which is required to be served upon the Defendant along with the Summons after the divorce action is commenced, has been revised to reflect the new cap. You must serve the Defendant with the revised version of the Notice, otherwise you risk having your divorce packet rejected when it comes time to finalize it. For the revised version of the Notice of Guideline Maintenance, click here.

If you are interested in mediation, or are seeking a matrimonial or family law attorney, please contact Rachel Silberstein, Esq at 646-470-0780 or email her at Consultations are available in Long Island, lower Manhattan or by telephone. Please visit our website at for more information.

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