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Can Single Dads Get Alimony on Long Island NY?

by | Oct 17, 2023 | Father's Rights, NY

The number of households headed by single fathers has grown exponentially in the last couple of decades. In 1960, only about 1 percent of families had a single father, but that number more than quintupled to 8 percent in 2013 (Pew Research Center). In 2017, it rose to 16 percent  (Institute for Family Studies), and to 17 percent in 2020 (Gitnux). In 2022, as many as 20 percent of single-parent households were managed by fathers (U.S. Census).

At the same time, the poverty rate among single fathers is also very high. Spousal Support, otherwise known as alimony, was created to help a lesser-earning ex-spouse make financial ends meet until that time that they could support themselves. Traditionally, alimony was seen as a tool for single mothers. Now, with the rise in the numbers of fathers may have sacrificed their career to take a more active role in the raising of a couple’s children, New York state law entitles parents of any gender can get alimony on Long Island, NY. Achieving spousal support is always about demonstrating your needs and your spouse’s means, so it’s on you to make a good case to get alimony. Here’s what single fathers can do and where to get qualified legal help to ensure you receive the support you need.

Do I Have to Prove Paternity to Get Alimony?

Paternity doesn’t have anything to do with alimony; that’s child support. You can get spousal support on Long Island, NY even if you don’t have children. However, you’re likely to get more if you’re the parent primarily responsible for caring for the children of the marriage.

If you were married at the time your child was conceived and born, then New York law assumes that you are the father. You won’t need to prove paternity, but your spouse can request to disprove paternity if they think that you’re not the father.

If you weren’t married at the time your child was conceived or born, you will need to take a court-approved paternity test to establish your child’s parentage. Not just any test will do – you need to go through a specific process, usually with a dedicated laboratory, to provide the court with accurate and secure results.

How Single Dads Can Qualify for Alimony

Either spouse may qualify for alimony if they were the lesser earning spouse during the marriage. If you gave up a career or missed out on educational opportunities to stay home with the kids so your spouse could pursue a career, you may be entitled to financial support from your ex-spouse until you’re able to provide for yourself and your children.

To qualify, you must be able to show the following:

  • That you were legally married
  • How long the marriage lasted
  • The standard of living that was established during the marriage
  • Your age, physical and mental health, education, and employability
  • The age, physical and mental health, education, and employability of your spouse
  • Your earning capacity and ability to be self-supporting
  • Evidence of permanent disability if petitioning for ongoing support

Can I Get Alimony and Child Support?

Single parents – fathers or not – have a large burden on their shoulders when it comes to providing financially for their children. Food, housing, education, clothing, and social activities can be expensive, especially if you have more than one child. If you’re the primary caregiver for your kids, you may be able to get both alimony and child support.

Alimony is designed to “bridge the gap” between married life and being able to support yourself. Many spouses leave decades-long marriages with few earning opportunities because they had to stay home to raise the children.

Child support is intended to specifically meet the financial needs of children in your care. If you can prove to the court that you were married long enough to get spousal support and you are awarded primary physical custody, your spouse will most likely be required to pay both.

Single Fathers Can Get Legal Help with Alimony Today

At Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C., we offer comprehensive legal advocacy for single fathers who need an attorney’s help to fight for their family and their rights as a dad. We know how challenging the process of standing up to the legal system is as a single father, and we’re here to connect you to the resources you need to succeed.

Contact our team today to learn more about alimony for single fathers on Long Island or to book a free initial consultation to discuss your case. We’re standing by to assist you. Call now by dialing 631-923-1910 or send us a quick message using the form on this page and we’ll get back to you right away.

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About the Author

Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., Founding Partner, Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C.

  • Over 20 years practicing matrimonial law
  • Over 1,000 cases successfully resolved
  • Founder and Partner of Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C.
  • Experienced and compassionate Long Island Divorce Attorney, Family Law Attorney, and Divorce Mediator
  • Licensed to practice law in the State of New York
  • New York State Bar Association member
  • Nassau County Bar Association member
  • Suffolk County Bar Association member
  • “Super Lawyer” Metro Rising Star
  • Nominated Best of Long Island Divorce Attorney four consecutive years
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee Contributor
  • Collaborative Law Association of New York – Former Director
  • Martindale Hubbell Distinguished Designation
  • America’s Most Honored Professionals – Top 5%
  • Lead Counsel Rated – Divorce Law
  • American Institute of Family Law Attorneys 10 Best
  • International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
  • Graduate of Hofstra University School of Law
  • Double Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy, Politics & Law and History from SUNY Binghamton University
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Melissa Rappa
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