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Adjusting Alimony in New York

Posted by Arthur R. Frost | Sep 26, 2018 | 0 Comments

In New York, a spousal maintenance award can be adjusted under certain circumstances. Someone who pays spousal maintenance may seek a reduction in the amount of spousal maintenance they must pay. Alternatively, someone who receives spousal maintenance may seek an increase in the amount of spousal maintenance they are entitled to. In either event, in order for the courts to adjust a spousal maintenance award, first, the party seeking the adjustment must file a petition with the court, usually with the assistance of an attorney who regularly handles family law matters.

When Courts Consider Alimony Adjustment Request

The court will not entertain a request for a spousal maintenance adjustment simply because one party wants an increase or decrease in the spousal maintenance award. Rather, certain conditions must be met. Generally speaking, there must be a substantial change in circumstances since spousal maintenance was awarded or last modified.

Reasons Parties May Request a Spousal Maintenance Adjustment

Some of the most common reasons for a request for a spousal maintenance adjustment include the following.

  • A paying spouse loses their job.
  • A paying spouse experiences a cut in pay or a demotion.
  • Sudden illness experienced by a paying spouse.
  • A promotion for a paying spouse.
  • New employment with an increase in pay for the paying spouse.
  • Cohabitation with a new partner by a receiving spouse.
  • The receiving spouse has obtained the tools necessary to become self-supporting.
  • Remarriage of the receiving spouse.

While these situations are the most common reasons to request an increase or decrease in the amount of spousal maintenance paid, they are not the only situations where a court may consider an adjustment request. However, even if a request is properly before the court, and there is a legal basis for the request, this is not a guarantee the court will grant the request. Courts carefully consider the facts of each case, along with the proof offered in support of those facts.

If You Are Wondering If Your Case is Suitable for a Spousal Maintenance Adjustment . . .

If you are wondering if your case is suitable for a spousal maintenance adjustment, contact the attorneys at Frost & Kavanaugh. We have extensive experience handling family law cases, including cases where we request an adjustment in spousal maintenance payments. We have represented both people seeking an increase in spousal maintenance received and people seeking a decrease in the amount of spousal maintenance paid. Let us put our experience to work for you. Contact us on the web, or call us at 518-283-3000 today.

About the Author

Arthur R. Frost

Art graduated from Thomas More College in Merrimack, NH in 1991 with a B.A. in Philosophy, and graduated from Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, WA in 1995. He was admitted to practice in all New York State Courts and the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York in 1996. He w...


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