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Spousal Support

Brooklyn Spousal Support Lawyers Uphold Your Rights

New York family lawyers protect finances after divorce

Spousal support — known formally as spousal maintenance and informally as alimony — is one of the most important considerations in a divorce. Whether you expect to be the payer or receiver, you should retain an experienced Brooklyn spousal support lawyer to protect your legal rights. At Goldberg Sager & Associates, our lawyers have more than 50 years of experience representing parties to New York divorces. We are responsive and attentive to our clients’ needs as we work tirelessly throughout the process to ensure the best possible outcome.

When is alimony awarded in New York divorce?

After a petitioner has filed for divorce, either spouse can request support and the court must then decide whether it is fair and necessary. The point of spousal support is to ensure that one spouse does not unfairly profit from a divorce while the other suffers financial hardship. For younger couples, courts order rehabilitative support to support a dependent spouse who needs to transition to the working world. A court can also order restitution support to repay a spouse for sacrifices made to advance the other spouse’s career.

Types of spousal support for Brooklyn, NY residents

During the divorce proceedings, a judge can order temporary maintenance, also known as pendente lite alimony, for a dependent spouse. When the divorce is being finalized, the judge rules on whether to order permanent maintenance, which despite its name usually runs for a set number of years. Permanent alimony can consist of regular, periodic payments or the couple can agree to a lump sum payment.

What factors impact the amount of spousal support in New York?

New York has a formula for calculating the amount of permanent maintenance, based on the spouses’ incomes and the number of children to be supported. However, judges have considerable discretion and the law requires them to consider all pertinent factors, including the following:

  • Duration of the marriage
  • Income and earning potential of both parties
  • Standard of living enjoyed during the marriage
  • Age, mental and physical health of each party
  • Behavior and conduct of each party during the marriage
  • Need to care for the children of the marriage
  • Debts and assets each acquired during the marriage

As your divorce attorneys, we call the court’s attention to all relevant factors that support your position on the alimony question.

How long does spousal support last?

Typically, permanent maintenance will last for a term equal to 30 to 50 percent of the length of the marriage. However, it can be terminated upon any of these events:

  • Either spouse dies.
  • The recipient spouse remarries or cohabitates with a supporting partner.
  • The court issues a new order modifying or terminating the previous order.

On the other hand, you can avoid spousal support issues altogether by executing a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement that provides for a marital settlement in lieu of maintenance.

Modification and enforcement of spousal maintenance

In New York, spousal support orders can be modified after three years if there has been a substantial change in circumstances. The party requesting the modification has the burden of proving a significant change in their financial situation. Reasons might include a prolonged illness or disability, lengthy unemployment or a business failure.

Parties who have the ability to pay support but willfully refuse are subject to sanctions that include bank account seizures, wage garnishment, suspension of driver’s licenses and even jail.

Contact our dedicated team of Brooklyn spousal support attorneys

Goldberg Sager & Associates in Brooklyn fights for fair spousal support orders for our divorce clients. To schedule a consultation, call 718-514-9516 or contact us online.

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  • Brooklyn Office
    1628 Kings Highway at East 17th Street
    Brooklyn, New York 11229
    Phone: 718-645-6677