If I have never had an increase in alimony, am I entitled to a raise for cost of living?

If I have received $25 per week in alimony since 1975, and am now retired.

Asked on March 7, 2011 under Family Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you are probably not entitled to a cost of living increase in your alimony--that is, not unless the court order or settlement agreement providing you alimony provided for a COLA down the road. A COLA is not a given or automatic; it needs to be something which is agreed to by the parties to an agreement; or ordered by a court; or set out by legislation. (For example, with social security, there is legislation providing for the annual COLA.) In the absence of express authority or provisioin for a cost of living adjustment, the amount someone must pay under any agreement, settlement, court order, etc. is fixed--it does not increase with inflation or over time.

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