New York Spousal Maintenance Lawyer
Under section 412 of Article 4 of the New York Family Court Act, spouses have the duty to financially support each other. This duty sometimes extends to when married couples separate or divorce. When a marriage dissolves, family law allows either spouse to petition for spousal support. While spousal support, spousal maintenance and alimony are used interchangeably, typically spousal support is used to describe temporary support before a divorce is finalized while spousal maintenance is used to describe support pursuant to final divorce order. However, just like with other decisions that must be worked out when a couple splits such as child support, property settlement, and issues related to child custody, the ultimate decision as to whether or not a spouse will be required to pay spousal maintenance will be determined by a judge based on a number of factors primarily related to the each spouse’s current and future financial situation. If you are concerned about how a judge may rule on petition related to spousal maintenance, it is important that you contact an experienced New York Spousal Maintenance Lawyer who will ensure that any spousal maintenance decision will be both consistent with your financial position as well as New York divorce law.Types of spousal support
In New York there are several types of spousal support including: temporary, durational, or permanent.
- Temporary support. Temporary support, also referred to as temporary maintenance, is an order for support that a judge issues during the pendency of the divorce. Once the divorces finalizes the temporary maintenance ends and the judge makes a decision about a final order of support.
- Durational support. Durational support refers to spousal support that is set for a fixed period of time. For example, the judge may give a dependent spouse 2 years to finish a vocational program and get a job. Once the 2 years is up, the supporting spouse’s obligation to pay support ends.
- Permanent support. If a support order is permanent the supporting spouse is obligated to pay until the dependent spouse remarries or passes away.
Spousal maintenance is not awarded in every divorce case. In making a determination as to whether or not a petition for support will be granted the court will consider a number of factors, including:
- Financial condition of each spouse
- Relative incomes of each spouse
- Support of one spouse in helping the other gain education or further career
- Age of each spouse
- Education needs
- Where children of the marriage live
Under New York law, certain changes in either spouse’s financial, medical or personal circumstance may be grounds for an increase, decrease or cessation of alimony payments.
- An increase or decrease in the supporting spouse's income (a voluntary decrease in the supporting spouse’s income is not usually grounds for an alimony modification)
- An increase or decrease in the dependent spouse’s income
- An increase in the cost of living
- A disability or illness that affects either spouse
- A financial emergency that affects either spouse
- The dependent spouse's cohabitation with another person
- The remarriage of dependent spouse
For example, in the case of Dinozzi v. Dinozzi, 2015 NY Slip Op 51828(U) (N.Y. Sup. Ct., 2015),the Mr. Dinozzi sought an Order reducing his spousal maintenance obligations on the grounds that his income had declined by 40%. At the time of the couple’s 2008 divorce, Mr. Dinozzi’s salary was $135,000, and in 2009 it was $155,000. However, it decreased in 2011 and to $110,523.00 and to $86,848 in 2013. Despite his efforts to increase his income, in 2013 Mr. Dinozzi fell behind in both this spousal maintenance and child support payments. At the hearing Mrs. Dinozzi did not offer any evidence to show her current expenses or needs. Thus, the court ordered that the portion of the Judgment of Divorce awarding Defendant spousal maintenance be terminated effective January 9, 2015.New York Spousal Maintenance Lawyer
Divorce proceedings are emotional and complicated. There are many factors that a judge will consider in making a determination about support, property division and child custody. It is important that you have experienced representation. The staff at Stephen Bilkis and Associates has years of experience successfully representing clients in New York Supreme Court and Family Court who are seeking spousal support or maintenance, or who are seeking modifications to support orders. Whether you are seeking spousal support or defending against it, we will advocate for you at every step. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your concerns related to your family law case.