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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3692
Experience:  Experienced in both state and federal court.
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Q: My husband said that he didnt have any debts, but I have

Customer Question

Q: My husband said that he didn't have any debts, but I have no way to find out if it's true.
I want to know after divorce, if he actually owe money during our marriage, will I still be entitled to the unpaid debts after divorce?

Q: My husband said that his attorney told him earlier if his income minus child support is lower than mine, he can try to request spousal support from me, too. And, his attorney also told him there is no formula to calculate spousal support. It does has some guidelines but it is up to judge to decide. Is it true?

I did see the formula about spousal support. Do you have any suggestions on this?

Q: Is it legal for one spouse read the other spouse's e-mail during marriage?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 1 year ago.

TexLawyer :

Good evening. I'll be assisting you with your question.

TexLawyer :

What state are you in?

Customer:

PA

Customer:

Are you still there?

TexLawyer :

Yes.

Customer:

Could tell me the answers to my questions?

TexLawyer :

Give me a few minutes to look a few things up. I needed the state before I could proceed any further.

TexLawyer :

To answer your first question, any debts he had before the marriage are his debts alone. Being married to him does not make those now your debt. Of course, that only applies to debt acquired by him before the marriage, not debt acquired during the marriage.

Customer:

So even after we divorce, I will still be entitle to those debts he owed during marriage, right?

TexLawyer :

As for alimony, yes, a judge could order you to pay alimony, since it is solely based on income and need. Without knowing all of your individual finances and needs, it is impossible for me to say if he would be awarded alimony, but it is possible in theory.

Customer:

When they do the calculation, the income is before tax or after tax?

TexLawyer :

You would be partly responsible for debt that was acquired during the marriage. So, if he bought a car before marriage, you have no liability for that debt. But if he acquired one during marriage, you would have liability.

TexLawyer :

It is pre-tax.

Customer:

Can we exclude unit dues and health insurance from the income?

TexLawyer :

You don't exclude unit dues, but the judge can take health insurance into consideration.

Customer:

My husband changed his job to a lower pay job after I filed child support? When we do the calculation, do we put his income for last year or for the current year?

TexLawyer :

You look at his current income, but keep in mind that a judge can consider whether one spouse is willfully underemployed.

TexLawyer :

Regarding the email, it really depends on how it was accessed.

TexLawyer :

If the one spouse "hacked" the email, that is against the law and they cannot do that. However, if it was simply left open or logged in, it isn't against the law for the spouse to read it.

TexLawyer :

Below are the 17 factors a judge will take into consideration when deciding alimony:

TexLawyer :

(1) The relative earnings and earning capacities of the parties.


(2) The ages and the physical, mental and emotional conditions of the parties.


(3) The sources of income of both parties, including, but not limited to, medical, retirement, insurance or other benefits.


(4) The expectancies and inheritances of the parties.


(5) The duration of the marriage.


(6) The contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other party.


(7) The extent to which the earning power, expenses or financial obligations of a party will be affected by reason of serving as the custodian of a minor child.


(8) The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage.


(9) The relative education of the parties and the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking alimony to find appropriate employment.


(10) The relative assets and liabilities of the parties.


(11) The property brought to the marriage by either party.


(12) The contribution of a spouse as homemaker.


(13) The relative needs of the parties.


(14) The marital misconduct of either of the parties during the marriage. The marital misconduct of either of the parties from the date of final separation shall not be considered by the court in its determinations relative to alimony, except that the court shall consider the abuse of one party by the other party. As used in this paragraph, "abuse" shall have the meaning given to it under section 6102 (relating to definitions).


(15) The Federal, State and local tax ramifications of the alimony award.


(16) Whether the party seeking alimony lacks sufficient property, including, but not limited to, property distributed under Chapter 35 (relating to property rights), to provide for the party's reasonable needs.


(17) Whether the party seeking alimony is incapable of self-support through appropriate employment.

Customer:

If the account was left open and logged in, can the other spouse read it and make copies of it and use it for the evidence?

TexLawyer :

Legally, yes. If it is left open, the owner of the account has no reasonable expectation of privacy, according to the law.

TexLawyer :

Do you have any questions?

Customer:

I have two hundred pages of my medical history, including three surgeries, medical procedures and physical therapy. I was not disability, but will that medical records help me to get spousal support?

TexLawyer :

It really depends on how your medical history impacts your income and potential future earnings.

Customer:

If it doesn't have any impact, then it won't matter, right?

TexLawyer :

Correct.

Customer:

Will I allow to change my full-time job to part-time job, since I am the primary care giver for two kids and receiving child support? If I have part-time job, I will have less income. I just got child support this June, and considering quit full-time job to part-time job? so I will have less income for spousal support?

Customer:

If my husband's income is $72000 and mine is $52000, I received child support monthly for $1800. Will I be able to get spousal support?

TexLawyer :

The judge has no way to force you to keep a certain job or a certain employment level. If you have less income, obviously, that would impact the alimony calculation. The only that could harm you is if the judge thinks you are intentionally underemployed simply to avoid paying alimony.

TexLawyer :

It is impossible to say if you will get alimony since it is up to the judge and in his sole discretion.

Customer:

If my husband is $72000 and mine is $52000, I received child support monthly for $1800. Will I be able to get spousal support?

TexLawyer :

However, a $20,000 disparity is typically not enough to warrant significant alimony, if any at all.

Customer:

So even if I asked for my attorney, he will not have a figure to ask for alimony for me, right?

Customer:

How about attorney fee? Even if I earned less, will I be able to ask for partial of reimbursement for the attorney fee?

TexLawyer :

Yes. If there is a disparity in income, the judge has the power to order one side to pay some or all of the other side's attorney's fees.

Customer:

So, alimony and attorney fee will be something by the judge, not something we can ask from the other party or negotiate the amount, right?

TexLawyer :

You can always come to an agreed amount, but if you can't, the judge will make the final decision.

TexLawyer :

Again, keep in mind that if you are working less in order to require your husband to have to pay more of the costs, the judge can take that into consideration and award you less in attorney's fees or alimony, or nothing at all.

Customer:

There was one time, my husband's computer was open with his e-mail account open, too. I saw that he and his family planned for a year to have him leave me and my child purposefully. He moved out to other states for 2 and half years. He said he couldn't find a job in the place we lived, so he has to move out, then after 2 and half years later he moved back and 3 years later, I saw from his e-mails that he actually purposefully abandoned me and don't want to live with me. Can I use that e-mail as evidence for more spousal support, or is it irelevent?

TexLawyer :

One of the 17 factors I listed above for alimony is marital misconduct. You could argue that is misconduct, so it could help.

Customer:

My husband's family wired money around 10 to 16 years ago in our joint account. We spent it all. When my husband's family wired the money, they said it's for the family, but now, my husband wants to claim that money is only gift to himself alone. Can he do that?

TexLawyer :

Unless he can establish that it was intended as a gift or inheritance, no, he can't do that.

Customer:

If he asked his father to write a statement saying that it's a gift only for him, can he use that to exclude that money from marital asset? But, we spent all the money.

TexLawyer :

It he can prove to a judge that it was meant, at the time it was given, that it was a gift to him alone, then yes, it can be excluded, even if it has been spent.

Customer:

But his parents said it's for the family, and it's in the joint accounts. Can his father change his statement?

TexLawyer :

Again, it all comes down to what the judge believes the intent at the time was. They can say whatever they want. All that matters is what the judge believes.

Customer:

During our property division, I will split half of his house mortgage payment. I will pay half of the mortgage money to him, but he will need to refinance for the load under only his name. But when it comes to the spousal support, can judge still use that house mortgage payment as his debt, for example, his debt was $40000, I will pay $20000 in cash, but on his house load will still show $40000 in debt. When do the spousal support calculation, will the judge take $40000 out of his savings?

TexLawyer :

Since you are each paying the same amount (you paying $20k, but him taking on your half of the $40k debt), that would seem to come out even. That said, the judge will take all debt into consideration.

Customer:

I don't understand. I already pay for my debt to him in cash. why he will still be have $40000 taken out from his marital asset?

TexLawyer :

He won't.

TexLawyer :

It is basically even.

Customer:

But, I have my saving to pay for $20000 in cash to him, but he didn't have saving to pay his mortgage. After we do our property division, he will still have $40000 in debt in house mortgage.

TexLawyer :

So, he gets $20k in cash, but is responsible for your $20k in the mortgage. Maybe I'm not understanding you correctly, but these are issues you will need to work out with your lawyer since he is more familiar with the details and can explain it to you face to face.

Customer:

My mother inherited a partial of the land from her father. My mother is 60 years old. Now, my husband said that likelihood of receving inheritance is part of equation of calculating spousal support so he wanted me to tell him if my mom inherited a land. If I told him, will that have any impact on my spousal support? But, my mom is not dying and she is healthy. Can I write a statement that I will give up my inheritance from my mom to protect my husband to claim that inheritance will be my separate property?

TexLawyer :

That is a fairly complex legal question that is really outside the scope of your original question.

TexLawyer :

To answer that I would have to do a significant amount of research that was not part of your original question.

Customer:

Will I still be able to ask more questions, or time is up?

TexLawyer :

There is not a time limit, but you are supposed to be limited to your original question. We've answered much more than that, so if you have any additional questions, you will need to post another question.

Customer:

O.K. I will do that. Thank you. XXXXX have a copy for our conversation by e-mail?

TexLawyer :

This chat will always be accessible through your profile.

TexLawyer :

Also, before you go, please remember to "rate" my answer using the set of faces below.

Customer:

Yes, I will do that.

Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3692
Experience: Experienced in both state and federal court.
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