I'm living in NYC and I've been married just less than a year. Now my husband is threatening divorce. We've been together for about 10yrs, living together for about 9yrs. I'm not work per his request, I dropped out of school and and gave up a career to support him and his career. I just want to know what my options are and where I stand?
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): New York
This is my first time contacting anyone for advice
Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.
When did you drop out, at his request? Was that 10 years ago?
So were you in school or were you working at the time? When you said you "gave up a career" that implies working, but I want to make certain that I understand.
Yes I was working full time as a retail manager
We've moved across the country multiple times for his career putting my career on hold
Thank you. One moment please while I research this, and will get back to you shortly...
One other thing: how old are you currently?
I just turned 28 last week
He is 35
In addition to any property award upon divorce, you could petition the court for "alimony". This is entirely in the discretion of the trial court, as to the amount and time period that this would be awarded. Keeping this in mind, if you and your spouse are unable to reach and agreement on this issue, the NY Court will order support from one spouse to the other on a case-by-case basis as follows: The court will determine temporary or permanent maintenance one case-by-case basis by considering the following factors:
(1) any income or assets of the parties including the property award;
(2) the length of the marriage and the age and health of the parties;
(3) the earning potential of both parties;
(4) If and how long it would take the party seeking support to become self-supporting;
(5) reduced or lost lifetime earning capacity;
(6) the presence of children of the marriage in the respective homes of the parties;
(7) the tax ramifications;
(8) contributions and services of the party seeking maintenance as a spouse, parent, wage earner and homemaker, and to the career or career potential of the other party;
(9) any dissipation of assets;
(10) any transfer or encumbrance made in contemplation of a matrimonial action without fair consideration; and
(11) any other factor which the court shall expressly find to be just and proper. (Consolidated Laws of New York - Domestic Relations Laws - Article 13 - Sections: 236)
At your age, and assuming that you're fit and able to return to work, the court could order what's known as "remedial" alimony.
That is, alimony that is designed to give you time to get education, a job, etc... basically back on your feet.
This is not alimony that will last for a long time, but rather probably only a year or two to give you time to be in the position that you would have been in had you not put your career and education on hold.
I'm also pregnant
Again, this is all in the discretion of the trial court, as to the amount and length of this award, but I would think that you would be able to get something. This, of course, is in addition to the property distribution that you would receive upon the divorc.e
In that instance, it's possible that a court would grant you a little bit extra time because of the pregnancy, but any support for the child would be "child support" which is entirely separate from spousal support (alimony). Child support is mandatory, and the judge would not have any discretion over that amount unless the total income of both spouses exceeds a certain income.
There has also been physical abuse
That might be a consideration under (11), but to be entirely honest, it probably would not be a big one in considering alimony unless it left you disabled to the point where you could not work.
It would be more of a factor if there was a fight over custody.
and also I'm from the UK, the only support system I have in this country is him, so if we were to split I'd have no choice but to move back, how would that effect me
Couldn't really say. The court is going to be interested in maintaining a certain "quality of life", but that pretty much means in economic terms. It might be more difficult to enforce an alimony award if you're overseas, so the court might opt for a higher property distribution and a lower alimony in that situation.
But most of the time courts act on the assumption that the parties will continue to reside within the jurisdiction after the divorce.
That's where you'll need to bring up that a divorce will force you to move, which is why the alimony needs to be awarded (so that you can stay)
What if we don't own property, because we move every 2yrs we rent. We were looking to buy a property very recently until last when he told me to abort the baby and he was looking for a better option in terms of a mate
Wow, I'm sorry to hear that. The property includes personal property (physical and non-physical, so jewelry, vehicles, TV sets, etc... as well as bank accounts, stocks, retirement accounts, etc...), and all this would be considered and divided upon divorce.
But note number 1 in that list, in that the court can consider the lack of property owned as a factor in the amount of the award.
What does that mean?
If, for instance, you don't have any assets (real or personal), nor not a lot of money in the bank, but he just got a new job that he's going to make hundreds of thousands of dollars, the court can impose a pretty significant alimony award to offset the lack of property award.
That's my point when I said that the court could consider the property distribution in the alimony determination.
He's very successful, and does very well finically. So because we don't own property they would take into consideration his income?
And any financial assets that may be owned (bank accounts, savings, stocks, 401ks, etc...)
And what about my student loans? I'm in debt $14,000
Typically separate property and separate debt will remain that way. Now if he agreed to co-sign or convinced you to take that debt, then the court might consider that.
Right, he didn't co sign but he told me to take it and has been paying off the debt since I dropped out
And especially if he wanted you to drop out, the court would absolutely consider that.
Actually he pays all the bills
Understood, but who pays and who's liable are two different things.
You would still be liable, solely, for those bills, but his actions compelling you to drop out would be considered in an alimony award.
So everything is in his name other than my student loan, I'm on the lease but he pays it, if we go through with this he said I'd have nowhere to live while we go through this process because he pays for everything, so can he throw me out?
No, he can't throw you out. You're on the lease as well. He couldn't evict you. He can stop paying, and the landlord can evict you both, but he has no power to "throw you out".
Most of the time a couple will get temporary orders that govern who lives where during a divorce, and then the court will rule on who gets the apartment / house in the end.
And what if I can't afford to pay the rent on my own?
That will be part of the alimony award. The judge might award you the apartment but order him to pay the lease. The whole point is that you're going to get something to help you get back on your feet.
And what if I have his baby and he decides not to "claim" it ?
It's not his say. If he doesn't acknowledge paternity, you can take him to court in a paternity / child support action.
Only if it really wasn't his would he have no responsibility to support the child.
Ok thank you
My pleasure.If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, and again, good luck to you!
And the length of alimony depends on what?
Same factors. Length of marriage is a big one, as is earning potential of the parties and how long it would take to be self supporting. A 28 year old will take less time to "get back on her feet" than a 60 year old.
We've actually been together about 10yrs, married twice to each other, but this time we've been married a year in Sept.
Understood, and if you were "de facto" married (basically were married in all but name) then the court could also consider that.
So the length that you were together would be a facotr.
Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, and good luck to you!
Ok thank you, I think that's all I have for know. But in your honest option what are my chances of things working in my favor? He says I don't have "a leg to stand on"
He's biased. You need to focus more on the time that you were together rather than the time that you were married. A court is more likely to award alimony to a party to a 10 year relationship than a 1 year marriage (it's just the way you frame it). I think that you have a great chance of getting short term alimony, especially in light of his culpability in where you are today. I don't think it will last past 3-5 years though.
and the amount will depend on his income? I don't know how much he makes but it's over $250,000 a yr
Yes, what he makes and the income disparity is the primary factor (again, refer to the list I posted) that the court considers.
Ok, thank you very much for your help
ok Thank you again
Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).