There has been a lot of attention given to the durational limits on alimony contained in the alimony reform law, including termination of alimony at the payor’s federal retirement age. There are two other clarifications that will reduce litigation in areas where the prior law was unclear.
Under the new law alimony cannot exceed the need of the recipient or 30 to 35 per cent of the difference between the parties income. In calculating the payor’s income, the new law provides that income and assets of the alimony payor’s new spouse, shall not be considered in calculating the amount of alimony and income which derives from assets already divided in the divorce cannot be considered either.
These were both areas where the law was unclear and the application uneven. By eliminating these income sources in emphatic and unequivocal language, much uncertainty, and therefore litigation will be eliminated. You might not agree that these reforms make sense, but they will sure cut down on litigation in these two areas. We will see if the courts in applying the new alimony law will try to find ways around these limitations.