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Tina, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33166
Experience:  JD, 17 years legal experience including family law
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My wife filed for divorce two months ago. Our ten-year anniversary

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My wife filed for divorce two months ago. Our ten-year anniversary is in four days (8/4/10). I'm moving out but my new apartment will not be ready until seven days from now (8/7/10). To 'cover' myself, should I move into a motel and stay there so I 'separated' prior to the 10-year anniversary or will most judges say, "9 years, 11 months, 27 days, close enough! It's long-term!". What would you advise me to do, given the hotel stay will be around $400 at a time when money is getting tighter. But if it makes the difference between five years of alimony and long-term payments, it might be a smart investment.

Family courts are not bound by fine lines such as this. They are courts of equity (fairness) and have the discretion to award spousal support in any case, whether the marriage lasted more than 10 years or not.

So you would not be gaining an advantage by moving out and paying for a hotel. Moreover, since she filed for divorce already, that date would be controlling, not when you actually move out or separate.

Best regards XXXXX XXXXX



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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I've heard the filing date is not the driver, but separation. Someone told me separation doesn;'t necessarily mean living apart but when it was known the marriage was over. Can you provide some clarification on this point. Also, do you think the court will call it long-term? I'm 51, I'd hate to screw up my critical saving years prior to retirement. My wife will inherit millions soon. Her parents are in the late 80's and in ill health.



This is an issue I considered when first answering your question. When your wife filed for divorce, she would have had to allege that you are living separate and apart already, which she would ultimately have to prove at trial if you do not settle the matter.

However, this would not be an issue you would want to contest since you are looking for the earliest date of separation possible AND you do not have to be living in separate households to be "separated" under the law. From the court's point of view, you only need to be living separate lives, e.g. not in the same bedroom, etc.

Long term is going to be difficult to determine from this forum. You really need an attorney who has access to all of the facts of your case in order to reasonably predict what the court may do regarding that determination.

Here are the factors a court would consider in determining the amount of spousal support, if any:

Good luck and take care!

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Tina and 4 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I've been sleeping on the couch for a month.

Then you are likely already living separate and apart for purposes of a divorce. Since your wife filed for divorce a couple of months ago, she alleged you were living separate and apart even sooner than that, so it's not an issue that she is contesting.
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