Spousal Support

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10.0Avi Cohen

Meet your spousal support lawyer

As an award winning spousal support lawyer, it is important to me that you first understand what the spousal support proceedings entails.

As a spousal support lawyer,  I want you to know that spouses have a legal obligation to support their counterpart during the marriage.  The Family Court may award spousal support, in its discretion, so long as the parties are married.  If the parties are not married, however, spousal maintenance (formerly referred to as “alimony”) may not be awarded. 

Spousal support and maintenance may be granted while the divorce case is pending—typically referred to as pendente lite relief— in court or after the parties’ divorce is finalized.  It is calculated based on a straightforward computation of the payor and payee’s respective salaries.  The calculations are set forth in New York’s Maintenance Guidelines Law and are capped up to $192,000 of the paying spouse’s income (the “monied spouse”).  See How to Calculate Alimony and Spousal Maintenance in New York State.  

How Long is spousal support Awarded for?

Spousal support, sometimes referred to as alimony, is typically set for a certain number of years, depending in part on the length of the parties’ marriage.  New York courts look to several factors, including: the age and health of the parties, the present and future earning capacity of both spouses, additional expenses for the children, the equitable distribution of marital property, and any other factor the court finds just and proper.  Maintenance may be awarded as temporary support, in a lump sum, periodically, or in monthly payments.

New York’s Maintenance Guidelines Law provides an “Advisory Schedule” detailing the length of the order of maintenance.  The Advisory Schedule provides the following recommendations of duration:

Length of Marriage

Duration of Maintenance

Up to and including 15 years:

15% to 30% of length of marriage

More than 15, Up to and including 20 years:

30% to 40% of length of marriage

More than 20 years:

35% to 50% of length of marriage

Equitable Distribution and Dividing Marital Property

The guiding textbook of rules and statutes in divorces is the Domestic Relations Law.  The “DRL” recognizes that the marriage relationship is an economic partnership between a husband and wife.  Thus, spouses share in both its profits and losses during the life of a marriage. When the marriage comes to an end, however, a court is required to equitably distribute not only the assets remaining from the marriage, but also the liabilities.  Common examples of assets subject to equitable distribution includes houses and real estate, vehicles owned (not leased) by the parties, pensions and retirement accounts, artwork and jewelry.

A trial court considering the factors set forth in the Domestic Relations Law has broad discretion in deciding what is “equitable” under all of the circumstances. In fact, when it comes to the equitable distribution of marital property, DRL 236 (B)(5)(d)(13)  authorizes the trial court to take into account “any other factor which the court shall expressly find to be just and proper.” Therefore, the trial court has substantial flexibility in fashioning an appropriate decree based on what it views to be fair and equitable under the circumstances.

However, during the life of any marriage, many payments are made to pay down expenses accumulated by either or both spouses.  If courts began considering financial activities that occurred and ended during the course of a marriage, the parties would then be asking for a review of every debit and credit incurred.  As a general rule, where the payments are made before either party is anticipating the end of the marriage, and there is no fraud or concealment, courts should not look back and try to compensate for the fact that the net effect of the payments may, in some cases, have resulted in the reduction of marital assets.

Thus, great deference is given to the husband and wife’s choices of how to spend their money during the marriage.  Courts should not second-guess the economic decisions made by either spouse, but rather should equitably distribute the assets and obligations remaining once the relationship is at an end.  One should be mindful that a court may not unilaterally order that a marital asset be sold or awarded to one spouse over another until the divorce itself is decided: either at trial or between the parties.

Our key to success

Spousal support Lawyer

When it comes to representing our clients, there’s really only one option: individualized attention. You will never be just another file. We understand one hat does not fit all and that each client has different needs. We take the extra time to give each of our clients the personal attention they deserve! 

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Spousal support lawyer

Brief Your Case

Unsure whether you should hire a spousal support lawyer? Or if your situation even requires legal representation, perhaps you’ve been let down before perusing a case and unsure if new representation will help?, regardless to the situation, we can still address your concerns. With us, you can brief your case in a quick 15 minute video or phone consultation and decide. 

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tonitherocker
tonitherocker
22:48 09 Aug 21
I hired Avi to represent me a couple months back and he's been everything i hoped for .He's helping me through a child... support/custody case. Considering the mess it was at the beginning and the stress i was under its has become a lot better thanks to avi. He always is responsive to me whenever i reach out as well. Thank you avi! Anyone considering him dont hesitate.read more
Jacquelyn Carrera
Jacquelyn Carrera
17:07 31 Jul 21
I would like to take the time to say Thank You to Avi Cohen and his team. He represented me on my divorce. I had gone... through a previous law firm who in 2 years did nothing for my case. After doing some research I have decided to go with Avi, wish I found him on my first go around. When I found Avi I was hopeless. However Avi and his team turned everything around for me. Avi and his team were always available , anytime of day and explained everything thoroughly. I am grateful for him and his team to finally bring this to an end. I highly recommend Avi Cohen to represent you in your matters. Forever thankful, as he knows my ex was not the easiest to deal with. Thank you for everything! I appreciate you.read more
karill deros
karill deros
15:58 02 Jul 21
Avi cohen and his team provided outstanding and amazing legal representation. This lawyer is superb , he understand... the law inside out , you get prompt response , great service, I highly recommend this attorneyread more
Asli Yelkenli
Asli Yelkenli
20:20 22 Apr 21
My mom and I can't thank enough to Avi and his team! They are amazing! He is so professional responsible and... honest.They always answer your questions with patience and they get back to you in such a timely manner! My mom saw Mr. Cohen's office while she was traveling to the city on the train and we decided to give him a call and that was the best decision we ever made! Thank you guys again and also thank you to Chante for always replying to my emails in minutes! I highly recommend him to anyone! It was a pleasure to work with him!read more
Utopia Travel
Utopia Travel
04:02 25 Feb 21
I was stuck in a contentious divorce and had nearly lost hope with the trajectory of my case. I initially hired a... different lawyer, who clearly had no interest in his clients unless their case seemed profitable. When I found Avi Cohen everything changed. Avi is an incredible lawyer and a true professional. He was on top on my case from the very beginning, always in contact, replying to my emails within minutes. In the lowest point of my life he cared for my case, for myself as a person, and for the wellbeing of my children. We involved a children's attorney, as he advised, and it made all the difference. He is also very understanding and takes one's financial standing into consideration. I never felt any financial pressure with him and I felt he treated me with great dignity. He advocated for myself and for my children while maintaining a positive attitude and respect for everyone involved. In the end, Avi has a great skill for finding the best solution given your unique circumstances and is unafraid to offer his level-headed honest advice (he also has a great sense of humor). The only thing I would have done differently in this divorce was to ditch my previous lawyer altogether and start with Avi sooner.read more
Gus Matlis
Gus Matlis
14:37 17 Sep 20
Avi was great. He took the time to work with me and was always prompt and thorough in his responses. He gave me good,... honest advice every step of the way. Highly recommend him!read more
yokaira polanco
yokaira polanco
01:00 25 Feb 20
I have recommended lawyer Avi Cohen to all my friends and family. He is very professional, responsible, reliable and... caring. I would email him at anytime even late nights and this great man would reply to me ASAP. He took care of my collision case for over 4yrs and was always so positive and attentive to all my difficult requests. I’m forever grateful for all you have done for me. Thank you, I really wish many lawyers would be sincere and have the same passion for their job.read more
angel freire
angel freire
14:37 07 Jan 20
I just want to say thank you to Mr. Cohen for his continued attention to detail throughout these past months of my... case. I am grateful to have done my research in finding someone to represent me here in Valley Stream Long Island, who I can trust. I highly recommend his offices and his services to anyone looking for a lawyer and getting settlements to work in their favor.read more
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