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Will a pendente lite award affect how much annual spousal maintenance awarded by New York Courts?

Wantagh, NY |

My husband's income is above $500,000. Even though we are in mediation I found out , he is consulting with way more aggressive attorneys than his mediation attorney. Today he said that he wants me to go to court for temporary support. It seemed quite contrived.

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Attorney answers 3


An interim spousal support order ("pendente lite") does not necessarily affect the final court award once the divorce is granted.As to the final maintenance order, the court considers many factors, among which are your standard of living during the marriage, your age, your health, your education, your training, your previous employment and, most importantly, your training and ability to become self supporting.Accordingly, if the court feels that you are physically able to seek employment, the maintenance award will not be permanent (until your remarriage or death), but, rather, DURATIONAL, as the court sees fit under the circumstances.It is highly unusual for a husband to ENCOURAGE the wife to petition for temporary support, unless he is currently paying all household bills and living expenses, which may be higher than a court is authorized to award.Incidentally, aggressive attorneys still cannot override statutory support mandates which provide strict guidelines for the court's support awards.

This answer is informational only and not intended to give legal advice, but rather, reflects the current status of New York State Domestic Relations Law as well as controlling Appellate Court decisions. Nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship.


There are serious implication raised by your question. You should consult with a lawyer as soon as possible.

The above answer is only for information. This answer and any response does not create an attorney-client relationship between the parties and the communication is not privileged and confidential. The best course of action is to consult with a lawyer about your specific case. If you need to contact me, please call at 212-537-6936 or email at


I would need additional information about the facts and circumstances of your matter, including your income level. This is because the spousal maintenance formula includes both parties' income in the mathematical calculation. If you do not have a monetary income, for example, you are a homemaker, this is also relevant. A pendente lite award suggests that you are already in litigation. There is presently no formula for maintenance once your matter is finalized. However, the Legislature may soon enact such a formula, which would likely contain a similar calculation involving the income of both parties. Please call (516) 368-2484 for a more comprehensive review of your case at no charge.

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