While maintenance may not be awarded as often as it used to be in New York, the fact remains that this court order will be included in many current divorce settlements. Ideally, a divorcing couple can agree to the terms of spousal support themselves, either through an uncontested divorce or through
divorce mediation. But whatever method was used to arrive at court-ordered maintenance in your divorce, there are records you will need to hold onto, whether you are the one paying or the one receiving spousal support.
If you are the payer, then you need to hold onto:
- Records of every payment made. This includes recording the date, check number, and the address you mailed the check to.
- The original checks. You want to store these somewhere like a safe deposit box, and you want to write down on the check for which month it was sent out.
- Or, if you pay spousal support in cash, you need to get a receipt for every payment, a receipt that has the receiving party's signature on it.
You might want to hold onto these records forever, or at the very least, keep up to three years' worth of records at a time.
If you are the one receiving maintenance, then you need to keep at least the following records of every payment:
- The date you received it
- How much it was
- The check number or money order number
- The account number on the check
- Name of the bank from which the money came
- Photocopy of the money order or check
- Or, a copy of any receipt you signed for a payment made in cash
With these records, you can make sure that your rights are being protected. If necessary, you could go with these records before the court to enforce maintenance that is going unpaid, or you could ask a judge to
modify your current court order due to changes in your situation. With these records, you could also be able to prove that you are in fact complying with court orders.
It is vital to note that if one ex is interfering with the other's visitation or custody rights, the other parent cannot retaliate by withholding support payments. Also, if one former spouse is not paying maintenance, the other ex-spouse cannot interfere with the visitation rights or the parenting plan. Either action is illegal. If your ex is not honoring the court-ordered terms of your divorce, then you have legal recourses. Find out how you can defend your rights before, during, and after a divorce with a legal advocate on your side. Contact the Meyers Law Group, P.C. today to learn how our Long Island divorce attorney has the legal skill and experience you deserve.