How do I modify spousal maintenance?

November 28, 2018

spousal maintenanceThe purpose of spousal maintenance in New York is to help the recipient spouse become financially independent and to do justice for both parties based on the standard of living during the marriage. Circumstances may change for one or both parties after the marriage ends, and an appropriate award of spousal maintenance may change too. There are a few ways to modify spousal maintenance in New York. A family law attorney in White Plains NY can help you determine which grounds may apply to your case.

Grounds for a modification of spousal support

It’s appropriate to modify spousal maintenance when the circumstances change. If the paying spouse loses their job, takes a pay cut or can’t work because of illness, it may be appropriate to lower or terminate spousal maintenance. If the recipient becomes self-supporting, remarries or cohabitants with another individual as a spouse, it may be appropriate to end spousal maintenance.

If the recipient spouse remarries, New York Domestic Relations Law 248 requires the court to terminate spousal maintenance completely. If the recipient spouse is living with someone but isn’t married, the court has the choice to reduce or terminate support if they feel it’s appropriate. When the judge decides whether to continue support and at what amounts, the judge considers the standard of living during the marriage, the needs of the recipient and the payer’s ability to pay.

You must petition the court for a change in spousal maintenance

A modification of spousal maintenance doesn’t happen automatically. You must petition the court. Even if the modification is mandatory based on remarriage, it’s still up to you formally make the request.

An experienced divorce attorney in White Plains NY can help you prepare your legal documents and gather the evidence you need to support your request. They can help you build and present your case in an effective way. They can also help you correctly serve the paperwork and take care of tense negotiations during the process. If you believe the court should modify maintenance in your case, contact the experienced legal team at The Law Office of Nicole Muscente.