If I Lost My Job, Do I Still Have to Pay Alimony in New York?

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Making alimony payments after you’ve lost your job can feel impossible. In this case, can you simply stop making payments? Read on to learn more.

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

Can I stop paying alimony if I lose my job?

If you have lost your job, you may struggle to make alimony payments. Unfortunately, you cannot stop making payments without permission from the court. In this case, you may need to request a modification. In order to receive a modification, you will have to prove that you have experienced a substantial and permanent change. In order to provide this proof, it is best to work with an experienced attorney. When determining whether to grant a modification, the court will consider the following:

  • Has the individual been out of work for at least 90 days prior to seeking the alimony modification?
  • What was the reason for the loss of employment?
  • What has the individual done in the meantime to find a replacement position or alternative means of income?
  • Is the individual able to physically and mentally obtain and retain employment?
  • Did the individual receive and severance payment from their previous employer?

If you quit your job, or you were fired due to gross negligence or criminal wrongdoing, you will likely not be able to modify your arrangements.

How is alimony enforced?

It is important to know that if you stop paying alimony without permission from the court, you can face serious legal consequences. In New York, courts enforce alimony payments in the following ways:

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

If you need to request a modification to your alimony arrangement, it is important to work with a skilled attorney. Contact our firm to discuss your options as soon as possible.


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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