A recent case in the Appellate Division second department highlights the importance of requesting support from the very first opportunity. In that case because the wife had failed to ask for support in her answer, and did not move for temporary support, her award was limited to the date that the trial concluded.
To prevent this misstep, since awards of support in New York must be made retroactive to the date it is first requested, your attorney must make sure to request it when a summons is served, but no later then when your answer is served if you become the defendant in the lawsuit.
In this way it will be mandatory for the court to make the final award (which may be more than the temporary award) retroactive to when the divorce case was started. This precaution can save thousands of dollars.