Matrimonial Law

The breakup of a relationship is a difficult and emotional time. It requires making complex decisions to separate two people's lives. Individuals may feel overwhelmed trying to tackle the seemingly endless questions — How will money and property be divided? Where will my minor children live? Will I have the financial resources to support myself? The Codjovi Law Firm has answers.

The Codjovi Law Firm provides comprehensive legal representation to clients throughout the divorce or legal separation process. Our lawyers are by your side every step of the way beginning with the initial divorce filing through the negotiation process, litigation in front of both family court and Supreme Court, and the appeals process. We also help clients modify existing divorce agreements to better reflect the realities of their daily lives.

 

Spousal Support/Maintenance/Alimony

Spousal maintenance, sometimes referred to as maintenance or spousal support, is a monetary award paid by one spouse to the other to help a spouse meet his or her reasonable financial needs. Spousal support is not used to make the spouses equal. Permanent maintenance is rehabilitative, a tool to get people back on their feet. The goal of temporary maintenance is to prevent the less well-off part from falling into poverty during litigation.

New York's spousal support laws are very nuanced. Our lawyers have answers to your spousal support questions.Many factors are considered in determining whether or not support will be ordered, how much support will be ordered and the duration that support must be paid. At The Codjovi Law Firm, our attorneys understand the serious financial impact spousal support orders can have on your ability to support yourself and your family.

Temporary Spousal Support

At the same time the New York legislature passed the no-fault divorce law, it also passed a law that provides for temporary spousal support. The new law provides for temporary maintenance to a qualifying spouse while the divorce is pending. The new law creates a formula to determine the amount of support. The amount that results from the formula is presumed correct unless the payor can prove it is unfair and unjust.The new laws also created a presumption that the lower income spouse is entitled to payment of divorce attorneys' legal fees.

Permanent Spousal Support

For the time being, permanent spousal support is still governed by the factors set out in section 256 of New York's domestic relations law. When a court is considering awarding a spouse permanent maintenance it is required to weigh factors, such as:

  • Income and property of the parties
  • Duration of the marriage
  • Age and health of both parties
  • Present and future earning capacity of both parties
  • Ability of the party seeking maintenance to become self-supporting

 

Judges have a lot of discretion in awarding maintenance. The rule of thumb is that permanent maintenance will last one-third to one-half the length of the marriage - the longer the marriage, the longer the maintenance.