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How Many Years Do I Have to be Married to Get Alimony in New York?

Technically, you could be married for one day and still be eligible for alimony (what is called spousal maintenance in New York). This is because the Court can consider several factors in determining whether or not to award alimony. Although, the number of years that you are married is a strong factor, many other factors can lead to alimony.

In reality, you usually have to be married for three or more years to be eligible for alimony. A Court will typically think that a one- or two-year marriage is too short for a spouse to be eligible for alimony. However, as stated above, even a one- or two-year marriage can be eligible for alimony.

In New York, as of 2016, the Courts now use a formula as a guideline to determine how long you should pay alimony.  That formula is represented in the following table:

  Length of Marriage   Duration of Maintenance
  0 – 15 years   15% – 30% of length of marriage
  15 – 20 years   30% – 40% of length of marriage
  More than 20 years   35% – 50% of length of marriage

As you can see, even in a short marriage, a Court can award maintenance for a period of time. It is important to note, that the above table is a guideline and is not a strict formula. Each marriage and each divorce is different. So a Court could be presented with two cases, with the exact same number of years of marriage, yet award different lengths of alimony.

If you have more questions about alimony, then contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office today at 631-239-1702 or email at david@dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport, Suffolk County and in Uniondale, Nassau County.

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