What to Know About Spousal Maintenance Enforcement in New York

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To learn how you can enforce spousal maintenance in New York, continue reading and reach out to our experienced New York family law attorney.

What should I know about spousal maintenance enforcement?

When either spouse has had a change in circumstances that changes their financial situation, either spouse may request a modification or termination of the maintenance payments. The following factors will be considered by the court to determine whether to modify or terminate spousal support:

  • The receiving spouse’s financial position changes negatively
    • This negative change can be due to the economy, a sudden rise in prices or taxes, or an illness
  • The receiving spouse’s financial position changes positively
    • This positive change can be due to the spouse receiving an inheritance that gives the spouse a better lifestyle
    • This positive change can also be due to the beginning of a new relationship that reduces the receiving spouse’s financial need
  • The paying spouse loses a job or becomes ill or injured so that they cannot earn an income
  • The paying spouse retires, changing their financial circumstances
  • The receiving spouse finds work that considerably increases their income
  • The receiving spouse is unable to support themself
  • Child support is terminated
  • Any other substantial change in either spouse’s circumstances

It can be difficult to modify a spousal support or maintenance order. This will depend on how the maintenance award came to be, such as in a separation agreement or after a divorce trial. This is why it is so important that you retain the services of an experienced attorney who will assist you in fighting to achieve a modification of the maintenance order.

To learn more about our legal team at Barrows Levy PLLC, do not hesitate to reach out to our firm to schedule your initial consultation. We would be happy to speak with you to learn more about your circumstances and how we can assist you.

How is the maintenance award enforced?

There are various remedies that New York provides if one spouse refuses to pay maintenance. You may seek enforcement of a maintenance award under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.

Enforcement remedies for maintenance in New York may include the following:

  • Getting a money judgment for the unpaid maintenance
  • Getting a wage deduction order
  • Holding the paying spouse in contempt of court
    • This will subject them to jail


Barrows Levy PLLC is a highly experienced New York law firm focused on providing quality legal services to clients in New York City and Long Island. If you need a Nassau County lawyer who has significant experience handling family and estate planning matters, we are ready to help. Contact Barrows Levy PLLC to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today. 

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