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LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Experienced Family Law Attorney
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Can spousal support be changed if the payee has limited reading/comprehension skills and f

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Can spousal support be changed if the payee has limited reading/comprehension skills and feels he was under duress when he signed the document?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 2 years ago.
Good Day! I'll do my best to assist you. Please remember: I only provide general information and a local attorney should always be consulted.
Thank you for your patience as I researched this for you.
NY allows for both modification and termination of spousal support.
According to Domestic Relations law 236, the court has jurisdiction to modify or terminate spousal support. http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/nycode/DOM/13/236
The idea of spousal support is to allow both parties to maintain a standard of living similar to that achieved during marriage, with the recognition that both parties will likely have a somewhat reduced lifestyle due to the cost of maintaining 2 homes.
However, spousal support is not like it used to be where one party, typically the wife, would receive lifelong support. Now if the party is able to become self supporting, the court will typically expect that party to do so and reduce support accordingly.
As for duress claims, those generally are not successfully brought many years later; those types of defenses are most successful if brought shortly after the execution of the document.
The reason being the court will question why it took the party so long to realize that s/he was the victim of fraud, duress, etc.
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