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Individuals who are responsible for spousal support, don’t always pay what they owe. Getting a spouse to pay what they owe is often far too complicated for the average New Yorker. Learn more about spousal support and spousal maintenance here and how to get what you are owed.
New York Spousal Support:
New York law requires that spouses support each other financially. If one spouse is not willing to meet that commitment, the other spouse may sue for support. The state does not set a time limit on spousal support payments. There is no requirement that the spouses are legally separated in New York. Many spouses, probably most of them, sue for support even though they are not separated from their partner. As with alimony or maintenance, the spouse owing support must appeal to the divorce court to end the support or change the amount owed.
Spousal support cases are stressful for the person filing the case, and complicated. A family law attorney should probably be involved in either seeking support or trying to modify the terms after an award.
If you feel that you have grounds to demand spousal support, contact our law firm to discuss your case.
New York Spousal Maintenance Determination:
The court will determine how much spousal support or maintenance that the other party deserves. This decision hinges on 20 factors, including:
Each spouse’s current income
Property, including property divided in the divorce proceedings
Length of the marriage
Age and health of both individuals
Present and future earning potential
Acts by one spouse that inhibit the other spouse’s earning potential
The ability of the individual seeking maintenance to become self-supporting
That is only a partial list of what the court may consider. If there are minor children involved this can change the spousal maintenance calculation. Acts by one party or another that affected the value of their shared property may also change the support amount owed. In short, the determination of spousal maintenance is a complex legal matter. Divorce is stressful enough without dealing with complex and emotional negotiations over maintenance terms.
Rules Regulating Spousal Maintenance in New York:
New York law does not set a firm time limit on spousal maintenance. The court will determine whether the maintenance continues for life or for a specified term. For example, if the spouse entitled to maintenance just entered graduate school, payments may continue for a few years if the couple divorces without children. Spousal maintenance is gender neutral in New York state, though it is much rarer for men to be awarded maintenance payments. The terms could be changed by the court or by request of either party.
Because spousal support involves couples who are still married, the rules are somewhat different.
Enforcing Spousal Support:
Both maintenance and support requirements are tough to enforce outside the court system. This is why anyone awarded support or maintenance should seek legal counsel if they are not getting the money the court awarded. If you are having trouble collecting the support you are owed, contact our firm as soon as possible to discuss your case.