1st BIG CHANGE - Guidelines for Duration of Maintenance
One major change is that the law provides a guideline for the duration of maintenance. Since the duration is a guideline, divorcing spouses still have negotiating power in determining how long maintenance should last. In determining duration, couples should consider things such as whether there are young children in the home, if a spouse must return to school, and how long it could take for the person receiving maintenance to become self-sustaining.
2nd BIG CHANGE - Different Calculations for Couples with Children and Without
Another change to the law is that there are two different calculations, one for where a non-custodial parent is paying child support and another for where there are no children or the custodial parent is the one responsible for paying spousal maintenance. The change now factors in the cost of child support being paid so that there is no "double-dipping."
These two changes to the maintenance law, among others, were meant to provide a better formula for calculating support and help couples, attorneys and mediators in negotiating fair and effective divorce settlements.
The bill summary can be found at: