In many marriages, one spouse is financially dependent on the other. This can occur for a number of reasons. For example, some spouses provide financial support while the other spouse cares for the family and the home. When a couple like this gets divorced, the dependent spouse may struggle financially. In order to help this spouse become financially independent, alimony may be awarded. Read on to learn more about alimony in New York.
How does a court determine alimony eligibility?
In order to determine whether a spouse is eligible to receive alimony, the judge will consider some of the following factors:
- Income and property
- Child support obligations
- Child custody arrangements
- The ages of both parties
- The health of both parties
- Each party’s earning capacity
- The dependent spouse’s need for education or training
- The dependent spouse’s deferred life goals
- If there are any tax consequences
- Caring for family members
What type of alimony will I receive?
Once a judge determines whether you are eligible for alimony, other factors will help determine the type of alimony you should receive. The following types of alimony are awarded in New York:
- Permanent alimony: This type of alimony remains in effect either for life or until either spouse has a change in circumstances, such as remarriage or cohabitation. It is awarded based on the length of the marriage:
- Marriages that last up to 15 years may be awarded for 15 to 30% of the duration.
- Between 16 and 20 years, the payments may be awarded for 30 to 50% of the duration.
- For marriages that last 20 years or more, they may be awarded between 35 to 50% of the duration.
- Rehabilitative alimony: If one spouse postpones his or her career in order to support his partner, this type of alimony may be ordered so the dependent spouse can receive the education or training needed to re-enter the workforce.
- Reimbursement alimony: If one spouse financially supports his or her partner while the partner was pursuing education or training, this alimony can reimburse him or her.
What if my spouse doesn’t pay court-ordered alimony?
If you are eligible for alimony and your ex-spouse refuses to pay, the court may need to order enforcement. Alimony can be enforced through the following methods:
- Wage garnishment
- Property liens
- Suspension of drivers’ licenses
- Temporary receivership
If you have any questions or concerns about
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