GIFFORD v. GIFFORD (Appellate Div., 3rd Dep’t)

Plaintiff-husband was a geotechnical engineer who owned Gifford Engineering, LLC.  Pursuant to the Supreme Court decision, the husband was required to pay defendant-wife maintenance which was calculated based on his total average annual income of $332,431.  Husband contends that this was in error, and the Appellate Court agreed with him.  An appraiser had valued the husband’s engineering business at $448,000 and the wife received $210,000 as a distributive award.  The appraiser valued the business by capitalizing projected earnings and utilized annual base earnings of $148,000 and therefore, the $148,000 should be utilized as the income available for maintenance since the wife already received her equitable share of the business.  The Appellate Court here reiterated the holding in Grunfeld which states that “[o]nce a court converts a specific stream of income into an asset, that income may no longer be calculated into the maintenance formula and payout.”