New York Alimony and Spousal Support Laws

New York courts may grant alimony during divorce proceedings when it is necessary to make the dissolution agreement equitable. New York only allows for at fault divorce grounds.

Types of Spousal Support

  • Temporary – may be granted during the proceedings as needed.
  • Short-Term – may be granted for a limited time to allow one party to adjust to changed circumstances.
  • Long-Term or Permanent – may be granted if the court finds it is in the interests of justice, generally reserved for lengthy marriages.

Who is Eligible for Alimony in New York

Either party may be eligible for alimony in New York. Generally, financial situation and duration of marriage are factors of significance in deciding who will receive alimony.

New York Alimony Guidelines (Factors for Awarding Alimony)

A New York court may consider the following factors in determining the amount and duration of spousal support:

  • Income and property of the parties;
  • Duration of the marriage;
  • Age, health and earning capacity of both parties;
  • Ability of the party seeking alimony to become self-supporting and the period of time and training needed to become self-supporting;
  • Lost earning capacity of the party seeking alimony as a result of having foregone or delayed education, training, employment, or career opportunities during the marriage;
  • Presence of children in the respective homes of the parties;
  • Tax consequences;
  • Contributions and services of the party seeking alimony as a spouse, parent, wage earner and homemaker, and to the career or career potential of the other party;
  • Waste of marital property by either spouse;
  • Transfers or encumbrances made in contemplation of a divorce without fair consideration;
  • Standard of living established during the marriage; and
  • Any other factor the court deems appropriate.

Reasons for Termination or Modification of Alimony in New York

Death of either party or remarriage by a party receiving alimony are grounds for immediate termination of alimony payments. Other changes in circumstances may also warrant modification of your support agreement.

Marital Fault in New York

In New York, divorce is only granted on at fault grounds. Thus, the parties must claim that one of the spouse’s is at fault. The parties may agree to an uncontested divorce provided that one of the parties is willing to state that one of the fault-based grounds exists.

How Long Does Spousal Support Last in New York?

Each spousal support agreement is based on the needs and situations of the parties to the case. The court will set out the length of any support payments in the support agreement. This term can be modified by future court order based on change of circumstances.

New York Alimony Taxes

Support payments may be deducted from federal taxes. The party who receives such payments is required to claim such payments as income. Discuss tax considerations with an attorney prior to agreeing to any settlement.

Find an Alimony Attorney in New York

A New York family law attorney will help you with judicial process of filing papers and advocate on your behalf in court. Because divorce is likely to impact your future, it is best to consult an attorney at the outset.


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