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

Answers:

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.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.