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The marriage was supposed to last. But things went in a different direction. You now find yourself on the cusp of dissolving a relationship you put your heart and soul into building. You are about to get a divorce. The future seems uncertain, hazy, and not a little frightening. Although a range of conflicting emotions will overcome you at various times, you cannot afford to let any of them paralyze you. It is vital that you look after your material interests, or else a bad situation can become worse very quickly.
You must retain legal counsel if you are to get through this process as painlessly as possible. After you receive notification that the divorce is proceeding, you should file a motion for temporary maintenance. If your spouse is the sole or primary earner, then most judges in the state of New York will decide in your favor. Temporary maintenance, or alimony as it used to be called, will consist of 30% of your partner’s pay if they are a high earner and 20% if they are a low earner.
The temporary maintenance will last only through the divorce proceeding. You will need to come to a permanent arrangement before the terms of the divorce are finalized. Your soon to be ex-spouse will fight to keep the alimony payments as low as possible and to limit the amount of time they have to pay. You must put up an even more determined and energetic fight to get what is rightfully yours.
Under certain circumstances, the terms for long-term maintenance can be settled between the divorcing individuals. If your partner has the money and does not want to see you suffer or want to drag the legal proceeding any further, it may be possible to come to some equitable agreement. However, if you are dealing with someone who does not intend to be fair-minded about the situation, who seems intent on believing that nothing ever existed between the two of you, then you might have to make your case before a judge. Either way, you will need a sharp, insightful, experienced lawyer who is specialized in handling such cases to represent you.
The judge will consider a number of factors in deciding the amount of money your partner will need to pay in maintenance and how long. Everything from the amount of time you were married to your capacity to begin earning and providing for yourself. It is important to take a realistic view of the kind of divorce you’re going through. If it has been nothing but bitter and recriminatory from the very beginning, you should expect more of the same in this phase of the divorce. You should expect your spouse to misrepresent your history and what the two of you had together. You must be prepared for that with facts, with background, with the kind of evidence and testimony that will move the judge to make a decision that is favorable to you.
Working with a lawyer who has extensive experience and expertise in alimony issues is the best way to get an outcome that is fair and just. You should not be forced to suffer the indignities of poverty and a severely reduced material state. You invested a great deal in the marriage, gave up opportunities for it, and trusted that the person you loved was interested in building up an estate that you both would share in. It is only right that you take a piece of that estate with you as you go.