An Advisory Schedule for Spousal Support: What Does That Mean? by Don Sinkov{2:00 minutes to read} For years, divorce professionals, attorneys, mediators, judges and lawyers have all been asking for spousal maintenance (formerly called alimony) guidelines. Cases which had the same facts were getting different alimony awards from different judges. In some cases very, very different: Disturbingly different.

After the Miller Commission conducted hearings, the law revision committee spent 5 years trying to arrive at a formula of spousal maintenance, while special interest groups exerted their influence. Toward the end, Judge Sunshine and Eric Tepper, whom we all admire, were involved in the final phase of review.

We now have what’s called an advisory schedule. Based on the length of the marriage and disparity of incomes, the formula results in 3 calculationsminimum, maximum, and meanand a term or length of time the maintenance amount is to be paid. (Please note that the calculated amounts are advisory only.)

While the advisory schedule is not written in stone, it does provide a framework and a starting point. Some couples will just use the mean calculation, because they figure that after 5 years the law revision committee must have come up with something that makes sense.

Now we have it: an advisory schedule for spousal maintenance. It also takes into consideration whether the custodial parent is paying spousal maintenance. I would say the majority of my clients think it is fair.

So, thank goodness for the child support formula, and now, the advisory schedule for spousal maintenance. It makes the work my clients and I have to do a little easier.

Congratulations! We been waiting a long time!! You finally did it!!!

About Don Sinkov

Don Sinkov Your Divorce Mediator Westchester County, NY Putnam County, NY Phone: (914) 588-6258 eMail: