Spousal Support in New York Divorce Actions

It is not uncommon for one spouse to be the primary income earner while the other spouse is tasked with taking care of the home and raising the children. When couples with disparate incomes divorce, the courts will often grant temporary or permanent spousal maintenance to the party with a lesser income. Simply because a party does not agree with a court’s determination with regard to spousal support does not mean such a ruling should be overturned. This was illustrated in a recent opinion issued in a New York divorce case, in which the court explained its reasoning for denying a husband’s appeal of orders granting temporary and durational maintenance. If you intend to end your marriage, it is important to understand how the decision may impact you financially, and you should speak to a New York divorce lawyer to discuss your options.

The Procedural History of the Case

It is alleged that the parties married in 1994 and had three children. In 2018, the wife filed a divorce action, after which the husband left the marital home. The two children who were minors remained in the wife’s care. The wife then moved for numerous types of temporary relief, which resulted in the court issuing an order in which it directed the husband to pay temporary spousal maintenance and child support.

Reportedly, following a motion filed by the husband, the court issued a second order that altered the terms of the first and directed the husband to pay half of the costs of carrying the marital home. The parties entered into an agreement on certain issues, and the case proceeded to trial to resolve the remaining disputes. The court issued a judgment of divorce and granted the wife spousal maintenance for a period of nine years. The husband appealed.

Spousal Maintenance in New York Divorce Actions

Initially, the appellate court addressed the husband’s challenges to the temporary orders by noting that orders awarding pendente lite relief are only designed to provide temporary relief pending resolution of the matter in a final judgment, and the orders at issue in the subject case were superseded by the trial court’s final judgment. Thus, the husband’s challenges to the temporary orders were moot.

Further, the appellate court found the husband’s argument that the trial court should have factored the temporary awards into the distributive award to be unavailing, noting that the agreement entered into by the parties addressed the recoupment of payment of the carrying costs of the marital home, and the husband was not entitled to additional credits for those payments. As such, the appellate court affirmed the final judgment.

Speak to a Trusted New York Family Law Attorney

The courts aim to rule fairly when making spousal maintenance determinations, and merely because a party disagrees with a determination does not mean it constitutes an abuse of discretion. If you have questions regarding the financial implications of ending your marriage, it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Ksenia Rudyuk is a trusted New York family law lawyer who can advise you of your rights and help you to seek the best legal result available under the facts of your case. You can reach Ms. Rudyuk through the form online or at 212-706-2001 to set up a conference.

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