Prenuptial Agreements and Alimony in Jackson Heights and Queens, NY


After a divorce, a spouse may be granted alimony in Family Court.  However, there are times in which couples sign a prenuptial agreement (pre-nup) which limits the amount of alimony or may even prevent one spouse from obtaining support altogether. There are many rules and regulations regarding the allotment of alimony to either spouse, and often, one or both spouses may try to take advantage of the other and either demand a larger payment or try to limit their support.  Jackson Heights alimony lawyer Charles Zolot understands that each divorce case is unique and as such, there is no clear-cut answer to how exactly alimony will be issued. But with the help of the Law Office of Charles Zolot, you can ensure your rights will not be infringed upon.


What is Alimony and What are Your Rights to It?

Alimony is payment that one spouse makes to another during or after a divorce. The purpose of alimony is to ensure that each spouse continues to live a similar lifestyle they became accustomed to during the marriage and is also a way to bide time for the supported spouse to gain the necessary training or skills needed to become self sufficient.

In New York, alimony is called “maintenance.” There are two kinds of maintenance that can be issued to a spouse: Temporary or Post-Divorce maintenance.

  • Temporary maintenance, also referred to as “Pendente lite,” is paid while the divorce case is pending and is aimed at providing the supported spouse with immediate financial resources to maintain the standard of living set forth during the marriage.
  • Post-divorce maintenance is awarded once the divorce decree is granted and will usually only be terminated by death of either spouse, remarriage of the supported spouse or if the spouse receiving maintenance from another party.

Either spouse may be awarded alimony based on several factors, including the duration of the marriage, whether the couple had children together, the parties’ income, and each party’s future earning capacity. The court can also take into consideration other factors when determining alimony, which can either work to a spouse’s advantage or against them.

In order to ensure you are given the best chance of achieving your maintenance goals, Jackson Heights alimony lawyer Charles Zolot will represent you in court and fight for your rights to obtain the maximum support you deserve.  If the issue is whether an unfair amount of alimony has been awarded, Mr. Zolot can also represent your case and make sure you are not required to pay any more than you are legally bound to.

Is There a Way Around Them?

Many couples opt to sign legal contracts known as prenuptial agreements before getting married in order to stipulate how property or assets will be divided in the event of divorce.  Because New York is an equitable distribution state, which means marital assets will be divided in an equitable, but not necessarily equal fashion, it is in each party’s best interest to determine how they will split their property beforehand, so as to avoid a lengthy battle in divorce court over who gets what.

Among the many stipulations couples can include in their prenuptial agreement is how they will go about issuing alimony. Some couples opt to include specific details of how the maintenance will be allotted while others choose to impose a common “Infidelity Clause” which will waive a spouse’s right to maintenance if they are unfaithful during the marriage.

However, just because there is a clause regarding alimony in the prenuptial agreement doesn’t mean it will be upheld in court. In New York, a court may uphold a spouse’s right to alimony, even if they waived their right in the prenuptial agreement. There are other times in which the courts will allow one partner to waive their right to provide alimony even if there was nothing in their pre-nup regarding maintenance.

Because the law can often be confusing and is never guaranteed, it is important to work with an experienced divorce lawyer in Jackson Heights and Queens who will protect your rights and prevent you from attaining your rightful benefits. The Law Office of Charles Zolot will represent your interests and ensure you do not forfeit your right to alimony, or right to refuse it.  Jackson Heights family law attorney Charles Zolot works diligently to secure a favorable outcome for your alimony case that will be in your and your loved ones’ best interests.

For more information on alimony laws and how to protect your rights in Jackson Heights and Queens, contact the Law Office of Charles Zolot today to schedule a confidential consultation.