Manhattan Spousal Support Attorney
New York Alimony Representative
When a couple divorces, a court will decide whether either spouse will receive “spousal maintenance,” which used to be known as alimony. This will require one spouse to make regular, set payments to their former partner for a predetermined amount of time.
Depending on your circumstances, you may be reliant on this type of monetary support to help you build a new life and move forward. Our Manhattan spousal support lawyers have over 35 years of experience in helping clients through legal situations. At Roven Law Group, P.C., we understand the importance of a fair spousal maintenance arrangement and will aggressively fight to protect your interests. You will work directly with our attorneys throughout our handling of your case, and we will do everything possible to deliver a favorable outcome.
How Courts Decide on Spousal Maintenance Agreements in New York
It is important to understand that spousal maintenance can be awarded to both men and women in New York. No preference is given based on gender. The length of a spousal maintenance order can vary and will depend on the anticipated financial needs of the beneficiary and/or the length of the marriage.
The person who makes less or has a lower earning capacity – especially if they sacrificed career advancement opportunities for the good of the marriage – is typically more likely to be the beneficiary of a spousal maintenance award.
When considering whether to grant spousal maintenance, a New York judge will consider numerous factors, including:
- The age and health of each spouse. An elderly and/or ill spouse is often more likely to receive a maintenance award.
- The duration of the marriage. Longer marriages tend to result in more significant maintenance awards.
- The current income and holdings of each spouse. The court will assess each party’s ability to provide for themselves. Any gains facilitated by equitable distribution will be taken into account, as will any inheritances.
- The earning capacity of each spouse. If one spouse has a limited earning capacity and will require substantial training or education before they can make a living, they are more likely to receive a larger maintenance award that lasts for a longer duration.
- If the marriage resulted in reduced or lost earning capacity. Sometimes, a spouse will agree to delay pursuing education or career opportunities for the good of their family, especially if they have young children that they must care for. In many cases, one spouse will continue to work while the other forgoes career advancement to focus on parenting. Additional spousal maintenance is often awarded to address these discrepancies.
- Expenses associated with children, disabled adult children, or elderly parents. One spouse may be awarded more spousal maintenance if they must financially provide for additional dependents that are not adequately covered by child support.
- The petitioning spouse’s contributions to the marriage. The individual seeking spousal maintenance will be expected to demonstrate that they made financial and non-financial contributions to the marriage and family.
- Any spousal misconduct that interfered with a spouse’s earning capacity. For example, the court may award more spousal maintenance if there is evidence that a spouse refused to let their partner get a job or pursue education while they were married.
- Any other instances of spousal misconduct. Examples of misconduct that a judge will consider when deciding on spousal maintenance agreements include any wasteful dissipation of marital property, attempts to conceal assets, and domestic violence.
To make an appropriate decision, the judge presiding over your case will need a comprehensive and accurate picture of your marriage. Our Manhattan spousal support attorneys knows how to approach these cases and will work to put you in the best possible position.
“She navigated the process with clarity and confidence and was a great & fair advocate for me.” - Judy Y.
“I have had the pleasure of contacting Janice for advice. She was kind, professional and wise in her legal guidance.” - Moshe R.
“She treated me with compassion, humility and showed professionalism with determination, intelligence and astuteness. She works calmly with effectiveness and produces results.” - O. F.
“Janice Roven is by far the BEST attorney around.” - Anthony R.
“highly recommended.” - Willard K.
Modifications to a spousal maintenance order are not easily made in New York. They also cannot be requested because you believe the judge’s decision was unfair.
In New York, you can only request a change to a spousal maintenance order if:
- At least three years have passed since the order was initially finalized or last modified
- The income of either spouse has changed by at least 15%
- There has been a “substantial” change in circumstances
In other words, you must almost always wait at least three years until you can make changes to a spousal maintenance order. It may make sense to pursue a modification if you have a greater financial need due to a loss of income, a greater number of expenses, or the onset of an illness. Conversely, your ex-spouse could attempt to reduce the amount of their payments if they have suffered a loss of income or believe you no longer need the same level of support.
Our Manhattan spousal support lawyers at Roven Law Group, P.C. is in your corner and can diligently represent you throughout each stage of the divorce and post-divorce processes. This includes helping our clients secure just spousal maintenance orders. If a substantial change in circumstances has warranted an adjustment to your arrangement, our firm can provide the knowledgeable legal assistance you need to achieve your goals.