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My husband has not worked in two years and I want a divorce will I have to give him alimony

Bronx, NY |

will I have to pay alimony to my husband because he stopped working. I am a school teacher working overtime paying all the bills/tuition etc.

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Attorney answers 3


Maybe, but the Court will want to know the reasons your husband hasn't worked and what efforts he has made to secure work since leaving his last employment. If your husband voluntarily stopped working, the Court will want to know why and what his employability is now. If the Court finds he could work if he wanted to, he probably would not get maintenance. It's certainly no slam dunk for him.


The court has broad discretion to award any amount of money that is necessary for the support of the recipient spouse as long as the court’s decision is based on the facts and the circumstances existing at the time the award is granted. The facts are integral and carefully reviewed. Your attorney will play a big part in showing the necessary information and facts to help you reach the goals you are hoping for in regards to maintenance payments. The judge will examine the following before awarding spousal support:

The length of the marriage
The conduct of the parties during the marriage
Age and health of the parties
Occupations of the parties and their incomes
Sources of income
Vocational skills and employability of the spouses
Assets and debts of the parties
Any special needs of the parties
The opportunity of the parties to acquire future income and assets
In New York, there are three types of spousal support: permanent, rehabilitative, and restitutional:

Permanent Alimony is a payment for things such as food, housing, clothing, and other provisions of a spouse. If a spouse is requesting permanent alimony, they must prove their need of support. Permanent alimony, once awarded, remains in effect indefinitely or until there is a change in circumstances, which may lead to a review of the arrangement.
Rehabilitative Alimony is a payment designed to provide the necessary support to enable a spouse to refresh or develop job skills that will allow them to secure a vocation. This is a common form of alimony and it is temporary.
Restitutional Alimony is a repayment of support given to a spouse while they were pursuing their education or enhancing vocational skills. Restitutional alimony is temporary.


It depends if you get a contested divorce or an uncontested divorce. If you and he can agree on all major issues, including maintenance (aka alimony), then you can save a lot of money, time and heartache.

The court won't get involved unless you want to (or can afford to) litigate.