Albany, NY, July 1, 2010 — Assemblywoman Amy Paulin’s bill to ensure that the lesser-earning spouse in a divorce gets adequate financial support has passed the Assembly and Senate. The bill (A.10984-B) will create a framework for determining the amount and duration of temporary maintenance awards.
“The maintenance guidelines are a much-needed tool for courts to calculate temporary awards in a way that is fair and equitable to both parties. It will lead to more predictable awards, allowing couples to better prepare for the financial consequences of divorce.”
The bill also directs the New York State Law Revision Commission to conduct a review of the economic consequences of divorce and the maintenance laws, and make recommendations to the legislature.
“By reviewing the financial experiences of divorcing couples and the effect the maintenance laws have on each divorcing spouse, the legislature will know whether any additional changes to the law are needed to ensure that the parties are financially stable following a divorce.”
In addition, the bill adds several factors to the list that a court considers in determining the amount and duration of a final maintenance award, in order to better reflect the experiences of the divorcing couple.
“Far too often, the primary caregivers of children and spouses in long-time marriages with dim prospects of becoming self-supporting fall into poverty after divorce, said Catherine Douglass, Executive Director of inMotion, Inc. and a member of the steering committee of the coalition for post-marital income guidelines, “The statewide coalition for post-marital income guidelines applauds the legislature for revolutionizing divorce in our state — by passing this bill and two related bills that together will make the process fairer, quicker and much less traumatic.
“Assemblymember Paulin is a champion on issues effecting low-income women and victims of domestic violence, and the passage of this bill is a tremendous victory for these women," said Emily Ruben of the Legal Aid Society.