While your divorce case is going on, if your spouse earns more than you, you may also ask the Judge to award you temporary financial support, which your spouse will pay to you until the divorce becomes finalized. This type of support is called “temporary” or “pendente lite” maintenance.
Even if your spouse earns more than you, the Judge will not order your spouse to pay temporary maintenance if they would not be able to support themselves while making payments.
If you are seeking temporary maintenance and child support, the amount you receive in temporary maintenance gets subtracted from your spouse’s income and added to your income before child support is calculated.
If you have children and you also have an order for child support, you can get help to collect money from your spouse or ex-spouse from the Support Collection Unit (SCU) in Family Court.
Unless you are very sure that your spouse or ex-spouse will pay the support ordered by the Judge or Support Magistrate, it is a good idea to have the judgment or order require your spouse or ex-spouse to pay both child support and spousal support or maintenance directly to SCU. SCU will then send the money to you.
There may be a couple of weeks delay right at the beginning. Then, you will start receiving the money from SCU on a regular basis as long as your spouse or ex-spouse or his/her employer sends the support monies to SCU. SCU will keep track of what is paid by your spouse or ex-spouse and sent to you in its computer system.
People who are legally married to each other are required to support each other, when necessary. You may be able to get spousal support or maintenance, even if you are working, if you really need it and your spouse or ex-spouse can afford it.
If you receive public assistance in the form of cash, you give up your right to receive spousal support or maintenance directly from your spouse or ex-spouse to the Human Resources Administration (HRA) in New York City. The Department of Social Services (DSS) used to be the agency that collected spousal support and maintenance, so you may hear people still refer to DSS. In the rest of the state, the agency that collects spousal support and maintenance is the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA).