How is Alimony Determined and Enforced in New York?

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When it comes to a divorce, there are a number of matters that will need to be determined. One of the most difficult matters to settle is often that of alimony. Read on to learn more about how alimony is determined and enforced in New York.

How is alimony determined?

In order to determine whether a spouse should be awarded alimony, the court will examine 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 are the different types of alimony?

There are a number of different types of alimony arrangements in order to meet the unique needs of every couple. The most common forms of alimony include:

  • Permanent alimony: This remains in effect either for life or until either spouse has a change in circumstances, such as remarriage. 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 their career in order to support their partner, this type of alimony may be ordered so the dependent spouse can receive the education or training they need to re-enter the workforce. 
  • Reimbursement alimony: If one spouse financially supports their partner while they were pursuing education or training, this alimony can reimburse them.

How is alimony enforced?

Alimony is a touchy subject. In some cases, a spouse may not feel that he or she should have to pay alimony. But, if alimony is ordered by a New York court, it must be paid. As a result, there are a number of ways to enforce alimony payments. If an ex-spouse refuses to pay court-ordered alimony, a judge may order:

  • Wage garnishment
  • Property liens
  • Suspension of drivers’ licenses
  • Temporary receivership
  • Imprisonment

If you have any questions or concerns about alimony in New York, reach out to our firm. We will advocate for you every step of the way.


Peter V. Mandi, Esq. is an experienced divorce and family law attorney located in Bohemia, New York. Our firm understands the impact a divorce can have on your life. If you require strong and dedicated legal representation in Long Island, New York, please do not hesitate to contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. today.

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