New York matrimonial and divorce attorney Jacqueline Newman of Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein discusses how statutory limitations and limited amounts of case law make family law litigation subjective in the courts.
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Often, the – for an example, the Child Support Standards Act – the guidelines for that is $141,000.00. Most people in Manhattan that are living what I call the “New York City lifestyle” aren’t earning $141,000.00 as a combined parental income. So, what happens is, the statutes really aren’t helpful when you’re dealing with a high net worth, because there’s no guidelines. And even the cases – when you’re dealing with the ultra-high net worth, there’s very few cases that actually get published dealing with what happens in these type of situations. So, it becomes incredibly subjective. And the statutes, while they obviously are directed toward people that aren’t making this type of income – the statutes will have this catch-all phrase that says, “Anything the Court wants to consider; any other factors.” And that’s where the courts just have incredible discretion on what they want to do.