Although the 1st Department Appellate decision, R.S. v. B.L., 2017 NY Slip Op 05156, doesn’t specify the income of the parties, it is safe to conclude that this was a high income divorce. During the 21-day financial trial the parties’non-retirement assets declined by $1.6 million, which the trial court attributed to trial expenses and the wife’s “lavish spending.”
After a twenty-five year marriage, the trial court awarded the wife 50% of all retirement assets and 35% of all other assets, including the husband’s law practice interest. The Appellate Court concluded that the wife received 40% to 45% of the non-retirement liquid assets (i.e., excluding the law practice). The Court also pointed out that if the law practice was distributed separately, the wife would’ve received a smaller percentage award. It appears that assets were valued as of the last day of trial, to reflect the post-commencement decline in value. [One has to wonder if the wife received less than 50% of the liquid non-retirement assets because of her post-commencement “lavish spending.”]
In addition to the distributive award, the wife was awarded eight years of maintenance. Combined income, including an unspecified amount imputed to the wife, was capped at $350,000 for purposes of child support.