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Alimony & Spousal Maintenance

What happens when your spouse depletes the marital estate?

Your spouse always handled the household finances while you focused on managing the home and being a primary caregiver for the children, but now you’re in the process of divorce. To your shock, a review of marital bank accounts and other financial holdings has revealed that the person you once trusted so much gambled away…

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Could your spouse have to pay your legal expenses in a divorce?

check and pen

When you’re a stay-at-home parent or only work part-time, filing for divorce can be more stressful than normal. When you have little to no income, how can you afford a divorce attorney who will ensure that you get your fair share of the marital estate and, if necessary, spousal maintenance until you’re on stronger ground…

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How are pensions divided in a New York divorce?

pension investigation

When you file for divorce in New York, all property acquired while you were married is subject to an equitable division and distribution. This includes real estate, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, and, to the surprise of some couples, pension benefits earned while you and your spouse were still together. If you are divorcing on amicable…

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Spousal misconduct in a New York divorce

illustration man woman question marks

Your spouse was unfaithful to you for over two years, although you only learned about it a few months ago. You’re hurt, angry, and wondering whether her actions will have any impact on the outcome of the divorce. Will she lose her bid for custody of the kids? Receive less of the marital estate? Has…

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What is a divorce hangover?

sad woman

In 1991, a book came out called Divorce Hangover. It was about the emotional pain and turmoil that often accompanies divorce and suggested that like an alcohol hangover, it would eventually pass and leave you ready to cope with life again. The book acknowledged that divorce was a life-changing experience that aroused strong emotions like…

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How do New York courts divide marital property?

man and woman spliting house witnd children with rings

At one time, New York was a common law property state, meaning that all assets titled in the name of one spouse belonged to them after divorce. This created so many financial difficulties, especially for women who gave up careers to raise a family, that in 1980 New York passed the Equitable Distribution Law, which…

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New York’s equitable distribution law explained

marriage rings

When you divorce in New York today, Domestic Relation Law Section 236 requires the marital estate to be divided equitably. In this sense, “equitable” means fair as opposed to equal, although New York family court judges strive to divide assets in a manner that gives each spouse what they need to pursue an independent life…

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The Majauskas Formula and retirement plans in divorce

pension written on bag with money and calculator

If you are filing for divorce in New York and have a retirement plan or are eligible for a pension, then you will almost certainly hear the term “Majauskas Formula” during your case. A 1984 New York State Court of Appeals case titled Majauskas v Majauskas established the right of one spouse to the other’s…

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Valentine’s Day after divorce

valentines day shirt - proud to be single

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and for the first time in years, you’ll be single. You try to tell yourself that it doesn’t matter, that the entire day is just an overblown social ritual, yet you suspect that you will be either buying a ticket for the Anti-Valentine’s Party in Brooklyn or avoiding…

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Mental illness and divorce in New York

mental illness head concept

Although New York still recognizes fault-based divorces, it differs from states like Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas in that incurable mental illness is not one of the accepted grounds. When one spouse’s mental health condition causes them to behave erratically and aggressively toward their family, the other spouse typically cites extreme cruelty, which is grounds for…

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How divorce or separation can affect your taxes

woman with taxes tablet calculator

If you were separated or divorced in 2018, then there will be certain tax implications, the most basic of which is your filing status. If you are separated but have not received a final divorce or legal separation decree, then you are considered married for the entire year for tax purposes and must file as:…

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August- the month for divorce

august month

We’re in the home stretch where August is concerned. For kids, this is a bittersweet month for two reasons: one actual and one potential. In the first case, they only have a few weeks of freedom left before heading back to school. In the second, they may also be coping with their parents filing for…

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What do you earn? Self-employment and divorce

self-employed man concept

When a couple divorces or separates, the court looks at their respective incomes to decide how much child support to award or whether spousal support is called for. When both spouses are employees, calculating income is a relatively simple matter of checking W-2s. When one or both parties are self-employed, things get complicated. Statistics show…

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Who owes MasterCard? Debts in a New York divorce

credit card

When you and your spouse decide to divorce, you expect that all marital assets will be divided according to New York’s equitable distribution system. But what about the MasterCard bill you ran up together? The line of credit you took out a few years ago that is now at its limit? The student loan you…

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How does infidelity affect a New York divorce?

infidelity and divorce

You’ve discovered that your spouse has been having an affair for months and feel confused, angry, and betrayed. After a while, you decide that the marriage is irretrievably broken and want a divorce. How will your spouse’s adulterous behavior affect the divorce process? Before 1967, adultery was a major factor in a New York divorce…

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Protect your holiday gifts during divorce

gift asset with tag

You may have received many valuable gifts from friends and family during the recent holidays. Each one either came with a tag bearing your name or was handed to you directly by the giver. This means that it was meant exclusively for you, but if your marriage ever ends, it’s possible that the gift could…

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What is the difference between legal separation and divorce?

cut separation concept

Ending a marriage is not a decision that anyone should take lightly. When you file for divorce, the financial and emotional effect on the rest of your life is immediate and far-reaching. Because it is so important to be sure that the marriage is irretrievably broken before initiating divorce, New York law supports an alternative…

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How to keep divorce from harming your credit

credit score

When you file for divorce, you expect your life to change. You will no longer be living under the same roof as your former spouse, your standard of living may be different, and many social routines will change. What you may not anticipate is how your FICO score will be affected. The simple act of…

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How to make your kids feel more secure during divorce

mother hugs son

When their parents divorce, children often wonder what went wrong and whether or not they might be to blame. These anxious and confused feelings are heightened when one parent moves out, splitting the household and causing them to see that parent less often. Although there is no way to ease the pain of divorce completely,…

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Bankruptcy and child support

money bill

Imagine this scenario. Your ex has been ordered to pay you child support after your New York divorce, and she does—approximately half the time. As the months pass, many payments are missed and the amount of back child support due to you increases. Then you find out that she has just filed for bankruptcy to…

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Financially preparing for divorce: What you can do

finance calculator

Divorce does not only change your marital status. It also creates significant changes in your financial situation. That is why it is important, even at such an emotional and stressful time, to prepare for a separate financial existence the moment you and your spouse accept that the marriage is over. The five steps below will…

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What cases does a Bronx family court lawyer handle?

divorce concept, broken heart

Family law deals with domestic relations, so Bronx family court lawyers represent clients in divorce proceedings and associated matters such as spousal maintenance, child custody and support, and division of marital property. Many lawyers also assist victims of domestic violence in civil protection court order proceedings. Child custody There are two types of custody arrangement…

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Litigated divorce in New York

courtroom for divorce

A litigated divorce is one where both parties can’t come to an agreement and resort to the courts to settle their differences. This type of divorce usually happens when one party refuses to settle on key issues, deliberately hides information such as financial records, or refuses to disclose details about all property they owned prior…

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Social media in New York divorce actions

Most people today are using some form of social media. It can be a great way to keep friends and family up to date about what you’re doing, especially if you don’t see them often. Unwise use of social media, however, it can get you in a lot of trouble, especially during a divorce action.…

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Supreme and family court appeals in New York

Appealing a decision or order from the New York Supreme or Family Court is a complicated process. To begin with, you should have sufficient grounds for appealing: being dissatisfied with the outcome of your case is not enough. The following circumstances must also apply: You or your attorney must have objected to the issue during…

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Spousal maintenance in New York

Spousal maintenance, as alimony is called in New York, is a series of payments one makes to their former spouse during or after a divorce. Its purpose is to enable the recipient to maintain the same standard of living he or she did during the marriage, as well as help them financially as he or…

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Prenuptial agreements in New York

prenup before wedding concept

At one time, prenuptial agreements were regarded as a formality, and an insulting one at that. Today, however, they are becoming the norm, especially for couples with high net worth. In a prenuptial agreement, you and your future spouse disclose and itemize all the assets you own prior to getting married, and then agree on…

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Tips for same-sex couples preparing for divorce

same-sex divorce word letter

Divorce is never easy, but same-sex couples have their own unique concerns when it comes time to end the marriage. Read on to learn more about to handle this situation appropriately. Talk to an attorney first You need a New York divorce attorney who has experience dealing with these kinds of special issues. Since rules…

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Tips for men getting a divorce

Going through the process of a divorce is not easy for anyone but knowing what you need to do to prepare while some of the most common issues impacting them in a divorce can help you feel more prepared. Read on to learn some key tips regarding what to do if you are a man…

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An easier path ahead for Catholics wanting to end their marriage

Catholic marriage

Pope Francis announced last week that the church aims to make it simpler and faster for Catholics who want to get a marriage annulment. This painful process has been known to take years and frustrate both spouses, which is why the church has taken some action to address growing concerns. Many people who have wanted…

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Same-sex divorce remains yet to be clearly defined


With all the recent news about same-sex marriage, there is a lot of legal precedents that remains to be set with regard to same-sex divorce. Although the phenomenon of parting ways from a same-sex marriage is not necessarily new, it has not been handled in America’s courts in the high numbers that heterosexual marriages have.…

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When can I request modified spousal maintenance in NY?

changing a court order

The outcome of your New York divorce might include an order for spousal maintenance to be paid by one party to the other. The maintenance award will either be set for a certain period of time or for life, and the most popular option is for judges to award spousal support for a specific period…

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New York Domestic Relations Law and Incest

New York’s law on domestic relations is codified in the Domestic Relations Law which consists of 16 Articles which are further divided into 272 Sections. Substantive Sections include Sections 5 through 61 (marriages and rights of spouses); Sections 71 through 78-A (child custody); Sections 80 through 85 (guardianship); Sections 109 through 117 (adoption); Sections 121…

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New York State Domestic Relations Law summarized

Bronx Lawyer

The Domestic Relations Law is part of New York’s legal code. This part is often abbreviated, DRL. The DRL is composed of sixteen articles. These articles form the backbone of New York’s laws on marriage, divorce and family law. A summary of each article of the DRL follows. Article 1 The article gives the short…

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Why divorce for those aged 50+ can be hard, but not impossible

gray divorce

Divorce can prove challenging for some, but for those aged over 50, financial challenges may the biggest of all according to a new study conducted at Bowling Green State University as reported in an October 24, 2014 article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. If someone is aged 50 or over, then they are probably close to…

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I have been served divorce papers. Now what?

serve divorce papers

Being served with divorce papers can often be confusing, and often embarrassing.  The following months and in some cases years, can be long and emotionally difficult. Firstly, there are different types of service that may be made in a case. In the case of a divorce, personal service must be made, what this means is…

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New Jersey’s permanent alimony

permanent alimony laws

After a divorce, a person is usually ordered by the court to provide alimony or spousal support to his or her former spouse.  There are four types of alimony that a court can award: temporary alimony, rehabilitative alimony, permanent alimony and reimbursement alimony.  Temporary alimony lasts for a brief time, usually during the pending divorce…

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Tips for getting along after divorce

Divorce Tips

Some people cannot wait for their divorce to become finalized. However, this might not actually end their disastrous relationship, rather it might be the beginning of a challenging cordial relationship as the parents have to try to make things work for their children. To have a cordial relationship with one’s ex-spouse, here are some tips…

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Bronx divorce lawyer discusses New York Spousal Support calculations

Spousal Support Calculator

In October 2010, New York created a new formula to govern alimony payments, or spousal support as it is referred to. The overall goal of this formula is for the receiving party to be able to become financially independent after the separation. Spousal support is only paid for short duration while the receiving party becomes…

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Divorce changes one’s life style

family court attorney

In some cases, a divorce might be inevitable due to the deterioration of a couples’ relationship.  Therefore, while obtaining a divorce might seem like the best option or a joyous event, there may be negative consequences or results that are associated with the divorce. For instance one might have to change his or her lifestyle,…

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Modifying spousal support payments

spousal suport down

Once an order for spousal support has been entered by the courts it may only be altered by the court under extreme conditions. The court imposes tough standards on the parties to have the amount for spousal support to be changed. The legal standard is to show that there has been “a substantial change in…

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Possible changes in New York’s divorce laws

New York Laws

With divorce comes the division of assets, if there are any, and the determination of alimony payments which vary from state to state. Currently in New York, according to O’Brien, a professional degree that is obtained during the marriage is considered marital property. Thus it is subject to equitable distribution, meaning that the spouse who…

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Lifelong alimony payments deter people from working harder

Lifelong Alimony

Recently many states across the country have started to review their alimony laws, specifically focusing on eliminating lifelong alimony payments. Lifelong alimony, better referred to as permanent alimony, is exactly how it sounds. After a married couple is divorced, the spouse that is financial well off or better established continues to support their ex for…

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Degrees, licenses and talents split in some divorces

split up

New York State is perhaps the state with the most peculiar divorce laws. It was the last state to allow no-fault divorces and it has a seemingly strange equitable distribution law that stemmed from the O’Brien 1985 divorce case. This law allows degrees, professional licenses and even individual talents to be “split” in a divorce,…

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Wife ask for more than what husbands makes, court denies the claim

A Westchester Supreme Court Judge ruled that a plaintiff, a husband’s maintenance payments and payments for attorney and court fees were unreasonable, according to a New York Law Journal article. The requests The wife was requesting an order of child support for $1,874 as well as an additional 71% towards statuary add-ons. She was also…

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Cohabitation leads to woman to no longer receive spousal support

A New York divorced man sought to terminate and collect past spousal support payments because his wife was co-cohabiting with another man, as reported by the New York Law Journal in an October 5th, 2012 decision. During the couple’s divorce a support stipulation was negotiated. The stipulation was incorporated into the couple’s final judgment but…

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Divorce settlement prevents wife from getting insurance policy

A New York court ruled that a man’s second wife was entitled to the funds from his life insurance policy, instead of his first wife and daughter. According to an October 3, 2012 New York Law Journal article, the court ruled that a $700,000 life policy from Union Central was to be awarded to a…

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Family court’s semi-centennial

In New York State, there is a family court located in each of its five boroughs, in addition to the numerous family courts that are located upstate. Today New York City’s family court, which handles disputes that include but not are not limited to divorce, child abuse, child support, paternity, adoptions, and order of protections…

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‘Extreme hardship’ provision used in support case

A judge allowed a Rochester man to stop paying spousal maintenance because doing so would place him under “extreme hardship.” According to an August 27, 2012 New York Law Journal article, there is a law open to much interpretation that allows for adjustment in support payments if there would be an “extreme hardship” on the…

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Husband claimed there was fraud committed against him by wife, who had him sign a divorce stipulation in exchange for $100,000 cash and a promise to repay $30,000 of his debt. He claims that he was “functionally illiterate.” He claims he only realized what he had signed in 2008, when the stipulation was read to…

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Officer Mandated to Pay Ex-Wife’s Legal Fees Despite Salary Cut

A former New York City police officer was held responsible for paying the even though he had taken a major cut to his salary, according to the June 11, 2012 edition of the New York Law Journal. Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Sunshine wrote that they would not let the husband “control the litigation or attempt…

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Judge Drager brings back an action to enforce a prenuptial agreement signed in Manhattan, after the wife tried to go against it in a Singapore court, where the couple is now residing, according to the New York Law Journal on May 30, 2012. The couple signed a prenuptial agreement, waiving rights to seek maintenance in…

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Law professor advocates for “preglimony”

Shari Motro, a law professor at the University of Richmond, advocates for alimony, or spousal maintenance, during pregnancy as expressed in her July 6, 2012 New York Times opinions article. She argues that since both a man and a woman take place in contraception, the economic consequences of the contraception should be shared between the…

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Divorcing husband not entitled to ex-wife’s lottery winnings

An ex-wife’s lottery winnings are safe from her ex-husband’s creditors, as stated in a June 18th, 2012 New York Law Journal article. During the marriage the wife won the lottery and placed the majority of her winnings into an investment account that was restricted on withdrawals. The ex-husband was awarded $50,000 of the winnings and…

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Rent controlled apartments are not a marital asset says judge

The New York State Court of Appeals recently ruled that rental apartments, including rent-controlled apartments, are neither marital nor separate property. A June 21, 2012 New York Law Journal article discusses what this means for couples seeking divorce. The ruling specifies that the rental apartment must be one that will not be changed into an…

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Florida reviews and alters state alimony laws

Florida has joined the grass-roots movement among several other states on re-evaluating their alimony laws, as reported in a March 4th, 2012 New York Times article. Florida lawmakers are pushing to redo the state’s current alimony laws to better reflect the living and working situations for today’s times. Two of the biggest changes purposed for…

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New York wife argues for full property rights of marital assets

A New York divorcing woman petitioned the courts to gain full possession of property she shared with her husband, as reported by the New York Law Journal in an October 24th, 2011 article. The divorcing couple previously entered into a separation agreement, agreeing that any marital property held by both parties would be sold and…

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Bronx divorce lawyer comments on new spousal support formula

Last year New York reformed their spousal support guidelines causing a lot of confusion on how exactly the rules worked and who they actually benefitted. Although somewhat confusing, one New York attorney gave the new standards praise for the help her clients can now get. In an October 12th, 2011 New York Law Journal article,…

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New spousal support law causes confusion among court officials

On October 13th, 2010 New York changed how the state would calculate temporary spousal support payments, and the courts have been trying to explain them ever since. In an October 12th, 2011 New York Law Journal the New York family court attempted to better explain the new formula. The old spousal support law allowed judges…

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New York court rules against additional funds for ex-wife out of work

A New York court ruled against granting additional financial support for an ex-wife who was not working. The New York Law Journal reported in a September 19th, 2011 article that an ex-wife petitioned the court to have her ex-husband support her financially because she was not working and during the marriage he was the primary…

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New York court rules that legal fees are not to punish

A New York family court ruled in favor of a wife for legal fees in a messy divorce, reported the New York Law Journal on August 6th, 2011. A divorcing wife petitioned the New York family court seeking a divorce on the grounds of constructive abandonment, which the husband neither admits nor denies too. After…

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Divorcing wife allowed to cash in on husband’s use of academic paper

A Brooklyn Supreme Court ruled that a divorcing wife was allowed to sue her husband for theft of an academic paper, reported the New York Law Journal in an April 11th, 2011 article. Prior to getting married the couple worked together researching and writing an academic paper in hopes of getting it published. At that…

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A New York City couple’s divorce leads to an eviction.

  An ugly divorce leads to the eviction of a family friend, as reported in a July 26th, 2011, New York Times article. Chana and Simon Taub filed for divorce in 2005 and have been fighting over marital assets ever since. Their divorce first gained the public’s attention after the court ruled to divide their…

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New York creates a formula for determining alimony payments

  For years determining an appropriate alimony settlement has been a courtroom guessing game that could leave the asking party with more legal bills then spousal support. However, New York in the last year has made significant changes to their marital laws, as reported in a July 3rd, 2011 New York Times opinion’s article. Last…

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A recent study conduct by two sociology professors from Penn State, found that since the 1980s when the level of unemployment increases the number of divorces decreases. A May 5th, 2011, article from the Huffington Post further explained how these two statistics could be related. Some argue that during crisis, like the rising unemployment level,…

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