New York's child support laws are an essential tool to protect children and their parents. When parents aren't living together, the state often requires one parent to pay another parent money in order to contribute to the costs of raising a child. While this may seem straightforward, conflicts often arise out of issues related to the amount paid, the duration of payment, the collection of payment and the need to modify a support award as life changes.
Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed a bill into law that changes the way the state's courts calculate alimony payments. The bill institutes guidelines for temporary maintenance and post-divorce alimony. The most important changes in the new policy are a lower cap on income counted in the calculation of payments and the removal of a policy that calculated the lifetime value of a professional degree or license. The law is being hailed as a necessary compromise between many groups and a victory for both low- and high-income New Yorkers.