As a general rule, in almost every state in the nation nowadays, there is no "entitlement" to spousal support. Rather, it is a discretionary decision to be made by a judge (if the issue cannot be resolved and settlement by the parties themselves). And the question is usually resolved on the basis of economic need.
Also, the fact that wife
is the one who wants the divorce, and the fact that she is "at fault" for breaking up the family, is generally of no consequence. (That's the result of "no-fault" divorce.)
Most state divorce laws contain a list of factors that are supposed to be considered when resolving the issue of spousal support. Typical is Oregon's statute, which says:
----> The factors to be considered by the court in awarding spousal maintenance include but are not limited to:
- (i) The duration of the marriage;
- (ii) The age of the parties;
- (iii) The health of the parties, including their physical, mental and emotional condition;
- (iv) The standard of living established during the marriage;
- (v) The relative income and earning capacity of the parties, recognizing that the wage earner’s continuing income may be a basis for support distinct from the income that the supported spouse may receive from the distribution of marital property;
- (vi) A party’s training and employment skills;
- (vii) A party’s work experience;
- (viii) The financial needs and resources of each party;
- (ix) The tax consequences to each party;
- (x) A party’s custodial and child support responsibilities; and
- (xi) Any other factors the court deems just and equitable.
So the question as to how much spousal support -- if any -- is appropriate in your particular case cannot be answered without a full in-depth analysis of your particular facts and circumstances. Such individual case analysis is beyond the scope of what we can do in this forum. You would be well-advised to confer with a family law lawyer in your particular state.
By the way, as to child support, the rule in most states nowadays is that if your children receive a Social Security "child's benefit" as a result of your own entitlement to Soc. Sec. disability (or retirement
) benefits, the otherwise court-ordered amount of child support will be reduced on a dollar-for-dollar basis. In many cases, if the children's Social Security benefit exceeds the otherwise court-ordered child support amount, you would have no additional child support obligation.
I wish you well and hope that I have provided answers to your questions that you find to be acceptable (even though, perhaps, not totally agreeable).