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New York Temporary Alimony

Even when the parties to a divorce are on civil terms, divorce proceedings can be complicated and can take a long time to finalize. In fact, the media often reports on celebrity divorces that drag on for multiple years. Long divorce proceedings are not limited to celebrities or extraordinarily wealthy people. There are many factors that may cause a divorce case to take a long time to settle such as working out child custody issues as well as issues related to child support. This presents a number of issues for the parties involved. One issue is the question of spousal support. At the conclusion of a divorce when a final settlement is agreed upon by both parties, the amount and duration of alimony is determined by the judge presiding over the case. However, while waiting for a divorce to be finalized one party may suffer financially. New York family law allows either party to a divorce to request that the court award temporary alimony to be paid by the other during the pendency of the divorce proceeding. If you are contemplating divorce and are concerned about alimony, it is important that you contact an experienced New York temporary alimony lawyer who will explain to you your legal options related to temporary alimony, spousal maintenance and other issues related to your divorce.

Temporary support statute

New York Domestic Relations Law lists the factors a court must consider in determining whether temporary support is warranted. The factors include:

  • The assets of the parties involved including marital property.
  • The length of the marriage
  • The age and health of both parties.
  • The earning capacity of both parties.
  • The ability of the party seeking maintenance to become self-supporting.
  • The reduced lifetime earning capacity of the party seeking maintenance as a result of having foregone training or career opportunities during the marriage.
  • Where the children of the marriage live.
  • The tax consequences to each party.
  • Contributions of the party seeking support to the career of the other party.
  • Whether either spouse contributed to wasting marital assets.
  • The loss of health insurance benefits upon dissolution of the marriage.
  • Any other relevant factor
Formula used in determining temporary support

The purpose of New York’s temporary spousal support statute is to ensure that the spouse who earns less is financially supported by the spouse who earns more until a final support order is issued at the conclusion of the divorce proceedings. If the spouse requesting temporary support is unable to show financial need, the judge will not issue an order for temporary support. In determining financial need the court will apply a mathematical formula found in New York’s “mandatory temporary maintenance guidelines.” The calculations are based on each party’s gross income. To the extent not included in a party’s gross income the following additional income is considered:

  • Investment income
  • Workers' Compensation benefits
  • Disability benefits
  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Social Security benefits
  • Veterans benefits
  • Retirement benefits
  • Fellowships and stipends
  • Annuity payments

Thus, each spouse must make a complete financial disclosure to the court.

An order of temporary support may not be limited to a lump sum amount, or a weekly or monthly sum. An order may also include the requirement that the supporting spouse also pay health insurance, unreimbursed medical bills, and attorney’s fees.

It is important to note that notwithstanding the mandatory temporary maintenance guidelines, any pre- or post- marital agreements between the spouses related to support will impact a judge’s decision of whether or not to issue a temporary support order. See Anonymous v. Anonymous, 2016 NY Slip Op 2016 (N.Y. App. Div., 2016).

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Let’s face it. Regardless of whether or not the word “amicable” is attached to a dissolution of a marriage there is always the possibility that the parties will disagree on aspects of the process. Temporary support and spousal maintenance is an area where spouses are likely to disagree. In order to ensure that your rights are protected throughout all aspects of your divorce proceeding it is important to have experienced representation. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully representing clients in who are seeking divorces or legal separations. In addition, we are also experienced in handling cases related to child custody, orders of protection, and domestic violence. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

Client Reviews
My ex-husband hadn't paid child support or the mortgage on the house as he was supposed to. Stephen Bilkis and his team of lawyers were amazing. They stopped the foreclosure on the house, Got a judgment against him and most importantly kept me and my children in the house. Can't say enough good things about him in the firm their compassion hard work and dedication were exceptional. I.G.
From the very first phone call to Stephen Bilkis' office, the staff was extremely polite and helpful in assisting me. Mr. Bilkis was honest and upfront with me from the beginning in what he projected the outcome of my case would be; in the end we got better results than either of us anticipated. He was very genuine and compassionate in understanding my situation and how this legal matter could effect not only myself but my family as well. I highly recommend this law firm and will most definitely continue using them for any future legal needs. Jarrett
Stephen has handled numerous estate matters, criminal matters and family court matters effectively and with a goal-oriented approach. He gets great results and is a results-oriented attorney. Dustin