Question #68: SEPARATION: My wife and myself have been living apart for 4 months now. I would like to help her with some of the bills we had together. We do not have any children or own any property. I offered some help and she came up with an amount that sounds reasonable. She makes more money than me and she is also on my health insurance plan at my job. If I decide on a separation agreement, what determines the amount of money she would get? Can I come up with a durational maintenance amount myself?

Unlike child support, there is no statutory percentage of one’s income that is required for spousal support. The judge will consider the lifestyle of the parties during the marriage, the income of each one of the spouses, and the assets of each one of the spouses in making a determination with regard to spousal support.
One of the many advantages of mediating your separation, would be that you would be able to, in conjunction with your spouse, decide just how much to give to her and for how long, and as long as she has a source of income upon which she can rely for her maintenance, the court will not interfere with such an agreement.
If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting with both of you to discuss mediating your separation.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions