What you need to Know About Spousal Support in New York

What you need to Know About Spousal Support in New York

Monique Bolsajian
 | 
The one part of a divorce that no couple - with kids or without - wants to deal with? Spousal support. 

Luckily, we are here to help. We can connect you with one of our many family attorneys who are well-equipped to help folks in your situation. 

An attorney can help you advocate for yourself in court, and make sure that you have the best possible chance of getting the spousal support that you need. Or, on the flipside, the amount of spousal support you should have to give. 

Getting too little - or paying too much - is a huge problem across the nation. But in New York, it's especially serious.

In New York City, the cost of living is almost twice the national average, even though people don't get paid twice the salary to live or work here.

In other parts of New York, the cost of living is still twenty percent higher than the national average. 

In other words, you need a negotiation expert to get you the best spousal support deal. 


If you live in New York state and want some help breaking down what spousal support means and how to navigate the process, here’s some key information. 

What is spousal support?

In New York state, spousal support is defined as the financial support that one spouse gets from the other while the spouses are legally married. 

New York law also states that “spouses who are legally married must support each other for as long as they are married and both sides are alive.” There is no time constraint that limits how long spousal support can be paid. 

How can I ask for spousal support?

To receive spousal support, you will need to file a petition with the court. A petition is a legal form that will open your case, but it will not be the only legal document you’ll need to file. The judge will also ask you for copies of your pay stubs, your most recent tax returns, and another financial disclosure form. 

Depending on your case, there may be additional forms you will need to fill out as well. An attorney can help ensure that your court documents are filled out correctly and filed on time. 

You do not need to have filed for divorce to ask the court for spousal support. 

If you have minor children with your spouse, you can also ask for child support through the same petition. 

At your hearing, the judge will review both your and your spouse’s financial documents. Based on the information you both provide, the judge will determine whether or not payments will be made, who will be making the payments, and how much each payment will be. 

If you can’t afford to hire an attorney, some New York courts might be able to appoint an attorney for your spousal support case free of charge. Contact your local courthouse for more information. 

If the courts can’t appoint you a free attorney, no need to worry - we can provide you with an attorney at an affordable rate. Our prices start at $249 and interest-free payment plans are available. 

What is maintenance?

Maintenance is defined as financial support that one person gets from their ex-spouse after they have been divorced -- meaning that they are no longer legally married. 

How can I ask for maintenance?

Often, maintenance is discussed as part of a divorce case. If you’re planning to get divorced, it’s a good idea to consult with an attorney to see what your options are as far as how you want to bring your request for financial assistance before the court. 

If your need for financial support is urgent, you might be able to file for spousal support first. If your request is granted, then when you file for divorce, you can request that your spousal support continue as maintenance after your divorce is finalized. 

If your need for financial support is not as urgent, you might be able to request maintenance as a part of your divorce proceedings and go from there. 

Local laws might affect the procedures and timelines for requesting spousal support, maintenance, and divorce. An attorney can best assist you with understanding your local laws and what your options are.

If you are currently receiving spousal support, but your final divorce judgment -- which is the final set of forms signed by a judge that contains your official date of divorce -- does not mention continuing your spousal support as maintenance, then your spousal support will end as soon as your divorce judgment is signed. 

The process can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. We can connect you with an attorney who will help you navigate the process and explain your options. Contact us to get started.

 
 
 
This article is intended to convey generally useful information only and does not constitute legal advice. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the author, not LawChamps.
Monique Bolsajian

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