If I Become Unemployed, Will I Still Have to Pay Alimony in New York?

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When you lose your job, your main concern will likely surround how you will pay your bills, afford groceries, and care for your children. However, these worries can grow more intense when you must pay alimony to a spouse. As such, you may wonder whether or not alimony payments continue, even if you become unemployed during the payment period. Keep reading to discover what this process will look like and why it’s in your best interest to connect with a Nassau County alimony lawyer to discuss your legal options if spousal support payments are stretching you beyond your means.

What Will the Courts Consider When Determining Alimony?

When you and your spouse initially divorce, alimony is not automatic. It’s important to understand that your spouse must request alimony payments. Similarly, alimony is not intended to replace a job as these are not permanent payments. These payments serve as a supplemental income for your spouse until they can become financially independent.

Additionally, the courts will consider a number of factors when determining whether or not you are required to provide spousal support. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Your age and health
  • Your yearly income
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • Your earning capacity
  • The length of the marriage
  • Any other factors the court considers relevant

If I’m Unemployed, Do Alimony Payments Continue?

When there is a court-ordered alimony payment in place, these payments do not automatically end when you lose your job. If you are unable to keep making payments, you must request a modification through the courts to have spousal support reduced or terminated. However, the courts will consider several factors when determining whether or not to grant this modification.

One of the most important factors they will consider is why you are no longer employed. If you quit or were fired due to gross negligence, you will likely not receive a reduction. However, if it was something out of your control, such as a company downsizing, the courts may be more willing to terminate the order.

Additionally, you must wait 90 days before requesting a modification. The courts will examine what you did in that timeframe, including whether or not you were actively seeking employment or other forms of income. Similarly, the judge will consider whether or not you received severance pay from your employer during this timeframe and what the package included.

As you can see, trying to modify alimony payments when unemployed can create additional stress for your circumstances. It’s recommended to connect with an experienced divorce and family law attorney from Barrows Levy PLLC to discuss your options during this challenging time. Our team understands how overwhelming it can be to try to account for alimony payments when your budget is already stretched thin. That’s why we’re ready to do everything possible to assist you during these challenging times. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.

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