Your Family Matters

Can you get alimony in New York if you have a job?

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2023 | Divorce

Alimony, also referred to as spousal support or maintenance, plays a crucial role in divorce cases. It helps ensure that both spouses maintain a standard of living close to what they enjoyed during their marriage. Many individuals in New York question if they can receive alimony if they hold a job during the divorce process.

In some circumstances, a working spouse may still be eligible for alimony in a New York divorce. Understanding these factors can provide clarity for individuals navigating the complexities of divorce proceedings.

Determining factors for alimony

Several factors contribute to a court’s decision on whether to grant alimony, regardless of whether the requesting spouse has a job. These include the length of the marriage, the age and health of both spouses, the present and future earning capacity of both spouses and the standard of living established during the marriage.

Income discrepancy

One of the key considerations in awarding alimony is the income discrepancy between the two spouses. If one spouse earns significantly less than the other, they may receive alimony to help bridge this income gap, even if they are working.

The role of the standard of living

New York courts also consider the standard of living established during the marriage when determining alimony. If a working spouse’s income is insufficient to maintain this standard of living post-divorce, they may receive alimony to assist in meeting these financial needs.

Length of marriage and age of the spouses

The length of the marriage and the age of the spouses can also affect alimony awards. Long-term marriages or situations where the lower-earning spouse is nearing retirement age often warrant alimony to ensure financial security for the less financially stable spouse.

Ability to become self-supporting

The court also assesses the ability of the less financially stable spouse to become self-supporting. If the working spouse cannot reasonably improve their financial status due to factors like age, health or job market conditions, they may qualify for alimony.

Having a job does not automatically disqualify a spouse from receiving alimony in a New York divorce. A working spouse can potentially receive alimony if the circumstances align in their favor.