Am I Eligible for Alimony in New York? | What to Know

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When a couple gets married, their financials become intertwined. Divorce can be especially difficult when it comes to separating these finances. In many cases, one spouse is financially dependent on the other. This is where alimony, or spousal maintenance, commonly comes into play. Alimony may be paid to the financially dependent spouse to help ensure that both spouses maintain their standards of living. Read on to learn more about who is eligible for alimony and what the agreements entail.

What are the different types of alimony?

There are different types of alimony that are awarded in New York. The type of alimony you are awarded will heavily depend on the circumstances of your marriage. The most common types of alimony include:

  • Permanent alimony
    • This type of alimony lasts indefinitely or until there is a major change in circumstances. The length of payment will be based on the duration of the marriage. Marriages that last up to 15 years may see alimony for 15 to 30% of the duration. If the length is between 16 and 20 years, the payments may be between 30 to 50% of the duration. If the marriage lasts 20 years or more, alimony may be between 35 to 50% of the duration.
  • Rehabilitative alimony
    • Spouses who hold off their own careers to support their families may be awarded alimony so that they can receive the education or training they missed out on and need in order to get back into their field and secure employment. 
  • Reimbursement alimony
    • If one spouse supports their partner financially while they pursued certain education or training, this temporary alimony can be ordered to reimburse them.

How does a court determine alimony?

When it comes to determining whether someone is eligible for alimony, what type of alimony, and the amount and duration of alimony, the court will examine the following factors:

  • the length of the marriage
  • each spouse’s age, physical and mental health
  • the standard of living during the marriage
  • each spouse’s earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability
  • both spouse’s parental responsibilities
  • the time and expenses necessary for the supported spouse to acquire education or training to find employment, the availability of the training and employment, and the opportunity for future assets and income
  • the history of each spouse’s financial and non-financial contributions to the marriage
  • the equitable distribution of marital property during the divorce
  • any other factors the court deems relevant

If you have any questions or concerns about alimony payments in New York, our firm is here to help. Contact us today to discuss your options with a skilled divorce attorney.


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