Remarriage and Alimony in New York

by ECL Writer
Remarriage and Alimony in New York

In New York, alimony, also known as spousal maintenance, is the legal obligation of one spouse to financially support the other after a divorce. The purpose of alimony is to provide the recipient spouse with the means to maintain their standard of living after the divorce and to ensure that neither spouse is left in a financially precarious position. When it comes to remarriage, the impact of alimony can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case. In general, alimony payments will cease if the recipient spouse remarries, as the new spouse is typically expected to provide financial support. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. In this article, Eastcoastlaws.com will outline all you need to know about remarriage and alimony in New York.

New York Alimony Basics

If the alimony award is based on a long-term marriage, the court may order that alimony payments continue even after the recipient’s spouse remarries. This is because, in a long-term marriage, one spouse may have given up their own career opportunities or education to support the other spouse’s career, and may need continued financial support to become self-sufficient.

Additionally, if the recipient spouse remarries but the new marriage is of short duration, the court may also order that alimony payments continue. This is because the court may determine that the recipient spouse did not remarry in order to become financially secure, but rather for other reasons such as love or companionship.

In some cases, the court may also order that alimony payments be reduced, rather than eliminated, upon the recipient spouse’s remarriage. This can happen if the new spouse has a higher income than the recipient spouse, but the combined income is still not enough for the recipient spouse to maintain their standard of living. It’s also important to note that alimony payments can be modified or terminated if the recipient spouse cohabits with a romantic partner, even if they do not officially remarry. If the recipient spouse is living with someone else and is receiving financial support from them, the court may determine that they no longer need alimony payments.

How Does a Judge Make an Alimony Award?

In New York, the court has the discretion to determine the amount and duration of alimony payments, taking into account factors such as the length of the marriage, the income and property of each spouse, the present and future earning capacity of each spouse, the age and health of each spouse, and the standard of living during the marriage.

It’s also important to note that in New York, there is a statutory cap on the duration of alimony payments, which is based on the length of the marriage. For marriages of less than 15 years, the cap is the length of the marriage. For marriages of 15-20 years, the cap is 75% of the length of the marriage. And for marriages of more than 20 years, the cap is the length of the marriage or permanent alimony.

When determining whether alimony is appropriate in your case and how much to award, a judge may evaluate the following factors to determine post-divorce maintenance:

  • the length of the marriage
  • each spouse’s present and future earnings
  • the property awarded to each spouse in a divorce
  • the tax consequences associated with paying or receiving alimony
  • each spouse’s age, physical, and mental health
  • each spouse’s needs, including education and training expenses
  • the availability and cost of medical insurance for the parties
  • the ability of the spouse requesting alimony to become self-supporting
  • either spouse’s contributions to enhancing the other spouse’s earning capacity (such as being a homemaker while the other spouse pursued education or a career)
  • the waste of property by either spouse (such as lost marital funds through gambling addiction)
  • the actions by one spouse that have inhibited the other spouse’s earning capacity (such as, but not limited to, domestic violence)
  • the transfer of property by either spouse that is unfair (such as hiding assets), and
  • any other factor the court deems relevant.

A judge will decide how much weight to give each factor. Ultimately, the needs of the spouse requesting alimony (also called the “recipient spouse” or the “supported spouse”) and the other spouse’s ability to pay will determine the outcome of your case. New York has an alimony calculator available on the New York Courts website to help you estimate an alimony award in your case. See N.Y. Dom. Rel. § 236B(6) (2020). It is best to find the best family lawyer when dealing with alimony.

Modification or Termination of Alimony In New York

Alimony, also known as spousal maintenance, can be modified or terminated under certain circumstances. Modification of alimony refers to a change in the amount or duration of alimony payments. This can happen if there has been a significant change in the financial circumstances of either spouse, such as a change in income or job loss. The court will consider factors such as the length of the marriage, the income and property of each spouse, the present and future earning capacity of each spouse, the age and health of each spouse, and the standard of living during the marriage when determining whether to modify alimony payments.

Termination of alimony refers to the ending of alimony payments altogether. This can happen if the recipient spouse remarries, or if the recipient spouse cohabits with a romantic partner and is receiving financial support from them. Additionally, alimony payments may also be terminated if the recipient spouse is able to become self-sufficient, or if the payor spouse is unable to make payments due to financial hardship.

Also. note that alimony payments can also be terminated by agreement of both parties, by filing a stipulation with the court. In order to modify or terminate alimony, the party seeking the change must file a motion with the court and provide evidence of the change in circumstances. The court will then hold a hearing to determine if the change in circumstances warrants a modification or termination of alimony payments.

It’s also important to note that in New York, there is a statutory cap on the duration of alimony payments, which is based on the length of the marriage. For marriages of less than 15 years, the cap is the length of the marriage. For marriages of 15-20 years, the cap is 75% of the length of the marriage. And for marriages of more than 20 years, the cap is the length of the marriage or permanent alimony. See N.Y. Dom. Rel. § 236B(a) (2020).

Cohabitation and Alimony in New York

True cohabitation can eliminate a supported spouse’s entitlement to alimony payments, even though in New York, marital fault is rarely taken into account when determining alimony awards. Cohabitation is defined by New York law as more than just a romantic partnership in which a boyfriend or girlfriend occasionally spends the night. Cohabitation, on the other hand, happens when the recipient spouse regularly lives with a romantic partner and the two are legally married. A court can end the alimony obligation if the paying spouse can demonstrate cohabitation, even though it is very difficult to establish. See N.Y. Dom. Rel. § 238 (2020).

Does Alimony End When you Remarry in New York?

In New York, alimony generally ends when the recipient’s spouse remarries. The purpose of alimony is to provide the recipient spouse with the means to maintain their standard of living after the divorce, and the new spouse is typically expected to provide financial support.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. If the alimony award is based on a long-term marriage, the court may order that alimony payments continue even after the recipient’s spouse remarries. This is because, in a long-term marriage, one spouse may have given up their own career opportunities or education to support the other spouse’s career, and may need continued financial support to become self-sufficient.

Additionally, if the recipient spouse remarries but the new marriage is of short duration, the court may also order that alimony payments continue. This is because the court may determine that the recipient spouse did not remarry in order to become financially secure, but rather for other reasons such as love or companionship.

How long do you have to be married to get alimony in New York?

In New York, there is no set length of a marriage that is required to receive alimony. The court will consider the length of the marriage as one of many factors when determining whether to award alimony and the amount and duration of payments.

When determining whether to award alimony and the amount and duration of payments, the court will consider various factors such as the length of the marriage, the income and property of each spouse, the present and future earning capacity of each spouse, the age and health of each spouse, the standard of living during the marriage, and the contributions of each spouse during the marriage.

Additionally, in New York, there is a statutory cap on the duration of alimony payments, which is based on the length of the marriage. For marriages of less than 15 years, the cap is the length of the marriage. For marriages of 15-20 years, the cap is 75% of the length of the marriage. And for marriages of more than 20 years, the cap is the length of the marriage or permanent alimony.

Can I get alimony after 2 years of marriage?

It is possible to receive alimony after a marriage of 2 years, but it depends on the specific circumstances of the case. The length of the marriage is one of the factors that the court will consider when determining whether to award alimony and the amount and duration of payments.

How long can you remarry after divorce in NY?

There is no set time period that must pass before you can remarry after a divorce. Once the divorce is finalized and the divorce judgment is entered by the court, you are legally able to remarry.

Also, note that the divorce process can take some time, and it can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case. The divorce process can include the filing of the divorce petition, the service of the petition on the other party, the exchange of financial information, and possibly a trial or settlement negotiation.

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