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xavierjd, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3400
Experience:  20+ yrs in criminal, landlord/tenant, family, & small claims
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I was divorced In New York thirty five years ago and although

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I was divorced In New York thirty five years ago and although I did not want the divorce and no misbehavior on my part was aledged I agreed to lifetime alimony in a seperation agreement for reasons that now seem strange.
I have paid the alimony for thirty five years even when her income was higher than mine.
Recently I have been sending money to our adult unemployed son so that he soes not starve.
She is unwilling to contribute any of the alimony money to his needs.
I, though not starving am tightly strapped..all my disposable income now goes to our son.
Is there any way I can reduce the alimony at least until our son fids work?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  xavierjd replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for using It will be my pleasure to assist you.

In order for me to better answer your question, please provide the following information,

What state did the divorce occur in?

Thank you.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The divorce occured in New York, Wesstchester County and while she still lives there I live in Connecticut
Expert:  xavierjd replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for the information.

I can certainly understand your frustration regarding your ex wife's lack of compassion for you and/or your son.

The Supreme Court of the State of New York and the New York Family Court may modify downward the maintenance provisions of a divorce judgment. A court order requiring a spouse to pay maintenance in a divorce judgment made after July 19, 1980, may be modified downwards (or upwards) upon a showing of the recipient's inability to be self-supporting or a substantial change of circumstances, including financial hardship. This modification power also exists where an agreement has been incorporated into an order or judgment and merges into it and ceases to exist as a separate agreement.

The Supreme Court of the State of New York and the New York Family Court may modify the maintenance provisions of a divorce judgment made on or after July 19, 1980 where there is an agreement which continues to exist as a separate agreement after the divorce judgment is granted by the court. The modified judgment supersedes the terms of the prior agreement and judgment for such period of time and under such circumstances as the Court determines. The criteria upon which such modification may be ordered is "Extreme Hardship".

If your divorce was granted before July 19, 1980, there can be no modification of alimony (maintenance) unless, possibly your ex remarried or co-habitated with another man.

Unfortunately, the court will not view your contribution to your grown son's income as an "extreme hardship" which would allow your alimony to be reduced. And, that assumes that your divorce was granted after July 19, 1980.

It is unfortunate that your wife will not help your son in his time of need. But, there is no law that forces her to do so. And, at the time you entered into your agreement with your wife, you believed that you were doing the right thing for the right reasons. Those reasons may seem "suspect" now, but hindsight is always 20/20.

Below please find a link to the law on "maintenance" or "alimony" in New York. It is very informational.

I wish that I could have provided a more favorable response to you. However, the law is clear. I do hope that you find this information useful and that you CLICK ON THE SMILEY FACE so that I can get credit for answering the question. Thank you. Good luck.
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