When it comes to alimony, one of the most commonly asked questions is: Do I have to continue paying alimony if I have lost my job? Read on to learn more about modifying alimony payments in the event of unemployment.
What types of alimony are awarded in New York?
The main types of alimony awarded in New York include:
- Permanent alimony: This stays in effect either indefinitely or until a change occurs in either party’s circumstances. It can be ordered based on the duration of the marriage. A marriage that lasts up to 15 years may see alimony for 15 to 30% of the duration. Between 16 and 20 years, the payments may be ordered between 30 to 50% of the duration. For marriages that last 20 years or more, it may be between 35 to 50% of the duration.
- Rehabilitative alimony: This alimony may be ordered if one spouse puts off their career in order to support the family. This is so that the dependent spouse can receive the education or training they need.
- Reimbursement alimony: If one spouse financially supports their partner so that they may pursue education or training, this alimony can reimburse them.
How is alimony determined by a judge?
When making a decision about the amount and duration of 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
If I lost my job can I stop making payments?
If you have lost your job, you may be struggling to continue making alimony payments. Unfortunately, you cannot stop making payments without permission from the court. In this case, you may need to request a modification. When making a decision about an alimony modification, the court may 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 have any questions or concerns about alimony in New York, our firm is here to help. Reach out today to discuss your options with an experienced attorney.
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