The outcome of your New York divorce might include an order for spousal maintenance to be paid by one party to the other. The maintenance award will either be set for a certain period of time or for life, and the most popular option is for judges to award spousal support for a specific period of years.

If one spouse believes that the existing award should be modified, then this can be accomplished by going to court and demonstrating a significant change in circumstances. The order can be modified if either of the parties can show there has been a substantial change in the circumstances surrounding their life.

One of the most common reasons that a spousal maintenance order can be modified is when the paying party becomes ill and can no longer work or becomes unemployed. These kind of major life changes might lead a judge to modify the current order. The payments in this example would be decreased in order to accommodate for the changes in the paying spouse’s life.

It’s a good idea to get legal advice before requesting a chance in spousal maintenance. The reason for this is that family law matters can be extremely complex, and the small details do matter any time that you head into court. Having an experienced New York family law attorney to counsel you about your options is the best way to prepare for the experience.

If your situation has changed and you need a modification to an existing spousal maintenance order, then speak with your attorney to determine whether the circumstances you have shared might warrant a change. The sooner you act to change an order, the better. Put together any documentation, including paystubs and tax returns, that supports your claim and schedule an appointment with your attorney for next steps. Jayson Lutzky is an attorney with over 32 years of legal experience handling family court and divorce cases. He offers free in-office consultations to potential clients. Call 718-514-6619 to schedule your free appointment. Visit to learn more about Mr. Lutzky or to request immediate assistance.