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xavierjd, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 3400
Experience:  20 yrs exp. in divorce, custody, visitation & support .
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Here is my situation. My current husband was married before

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Here is my situation.
My current husband was married before me. They had 2 teenage kids at the time of the divorce and my husband had 100% responsibility for them, with no support from their mother. They were married for 17 years, separated for over 2 years, and have been divorced now for over 13 years.

At the time of the divorce she did not seek alimony, nor did my husband seek child support. However, in the divorce decree, she did not waive the alimimony. She has had very little involvement with the kids and moved out of state several years ago.

She recently mentioned to her son via phone, that she was broke and was thinking about now going after my husband (her ex) for alimony. We live (and they lived) in California - so I assume my question is in regards XXXXX XXXXX law.

I have two questions:
a) can the ex wife, after 13 years of divorce, now come back to my husband demanding alimony - even though she provided no child support and never before brought up alimony in the past

b) if she can legally try to get alimony from my husband, what could we do to protect our selves. I make significantly more than my husband, and we have joint accounts, joint properties, etc.

she has not currently filed any papers, gone to any court, but rather, mentioned she was thinking of going afte rmy husband. I want to know before any situation arises, what exactly she could do to us.

thanks in advance.

Could his ex actually have a claim to alimony, for now, or past, 13 years after a divorce?
Thank you for using It will be my pleasure to assist you today.

Was the divorce decree entered in California?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes, everything was in California. Marriage and divorce...
Hi Jeannine,

Thanks for the information. I want to look up a couple of things for you. I will be back with an answer for you asap.

Thanks for your patience.
Hello Jeannine,

Because your husband's ex did NOT waive spousal support it is POSSIBLE that she could file a Petition for Support.

HOWEVER, even in marriages lasting more than 10 years, California law provides that the supported spouse is expected to become self-supporting within a reasonable period of time. Since it has been 13 years since the divorce, it is very possible that the court can find that she should be self-supporting by now, and DENY her request. Moreover, you husband has had custody of the children and has raised them without any support from his ex. Unless she is mentally ill or in some other way disabled, she should be self supporting by now! Moreover, she has supported herself for the last 13 years, there really is no reason as to why she can't support herself now!

California law is quite clear that new mate income cannot generally be considered against you in ordering or modifying child or spousal support. The controlling California Family statute is section 4057.5.

In the normal situation, Family Code section 4057.5 leaves the Court no discretion to consider your (the new wife's earnings), period. Your husband does not need to report those earnings on the FL-150 (Income and Expense Declaration). This is a statement of California legislative policy effective in 1993 when this section was added to the Family Code. This is true for both spousal and child support.

HOWEVER, you may wish to contact an attorney who specializes in family law. Sometimes, an initial consultation is free or at a minimal cost. You can discuss the specific facts of your case, evaluate your options and decide how to proceed.

Below is a link to the California Bar Association Attorney Referral Page.

Your husband probably doesn't have to worry, but I am prohibited from giving legal advice. However, speaking to an attorney in your area may ease any concerns that your husband or you may have.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. If you are satisfied with my answer, please rate it as "excellent" or in another positive manner. That is the only way that I can get credit for answering the question.

Thank you for your business!

xavierjd and 4 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Jeannine,

Thank you so much for the "excellent service" rating! It is greatly appreciated and I am glad that you found the information useful.

If you have future questions, you can specifically request me by name as the expert.

Thanks again,


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