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N Cal Attorney
N Cal Attorney, Attorney
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  since 1983
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I'm an American engaged to marry a Brazilian. Of course like

Customer Question

I'm an American engaged to marry a Brazilian. Of course like most people entering a marriage I'm sure we'll be together forever. But also my business side tells me to research a little to understand Brazilian laws in case of divorce down the road.
My situation is I DO share a child with my future wife. I have no
valuable assets but I make a very good living by most standards (income ~$150,000 annually). If I were to marry and later in a few years divorce can you tell me what kind of alimony payment might be expected? Are alimony payments based upon income levels or as a percentage of income?
Also I read where you said the divorce proceedings might be determined by wherever the case is filed. We actually don't live in the USA or Brazil. We currently live in Australia. So if the divorce was filed there in that case everything would carry out according to Australian laws?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I am a licensed attorney and look forward to helping you. I am reviewing your question and will reply back shortly.

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for your patience.

How alimony is calculated can vary depending on where you are living. If the marriage is short term, it's very likely that no alimony at all will be ordered, or at best, ***** ***** may order you to pay something short term, such as temporary/rehabilitative alimony - something to allow your former spouse time to get back on their feet, go back to school perhaps, get settled in a new home, that sort of thing. Typically however, at least in the United States, a marriage must last at least 10 years before a court will even consider the issue of spousal support/maintenance.

As a general rule, to decide whether spousal support is appropriate, the judge will look at the needs of the spouse asking for support and whether the other spouse has the financial ability to provide financial help. For example, if her income is lower than yours but she is able to support herself, she may not be entitled to alimony. The court will also look at other factors when making a decision about support:

  • the length of the marriage
  • each spouse’s age and health status
  • each spouse’s present and future earning capacity
  • the need of one spouse to incur education or training expenses
  • whether the spouse seeking maintenance is able to become self-supporting
  • whether caring for children inhibited one spouse’s earning capacity
  • equitable distribution of marital property, and
  • the contributions that one spouse has made as a homemaker in order to help enhance the other spouse’s earning capacity.

Where you live will determine where you would file for divorce, correct, it's not based on where you marry. So if you are living in Australia when and if you decide to get divorced (and hopefully that never comes to pass) the laws in Australia would apply.

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Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Ok assuming we were living in Brazil at the time either party filed for divorce and assuming this was two years into the marriage - based on this can you give me an idea of the possible outcome for alimony? I'm trying to decide now if it makes sense for me to make a prenuptial agreement or not. I would prefer not to make such an agreement as it sours what marriage is supposed to be about. But I have heard of some very high alimony amounts being awarded by Brazilian judges. I've also been told that if divorced in Brazil I could expect to pay 40% of my earnings as alimony & child support. And since there is a chance we will be living in Brazil in the future I want to confirm how likely such a scenario might be for me.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 9 months ago.

I'm going to opt out in favor of other legal experts who may be more familiar with the laws of Brazil. While I know it falls under the Civil Code, I cannot find it online and I don't want to mislead you with incorrect information. We don't have a "Brazil legal category" so it may be a bit before someone can assist you.

Please do not reply back to this message as the site will automatically send the question back to me for an answer and other experts will not be able to see it. No need to stay online - you'll be notified when another expert answers.

Thank you for your patience. Please do not leave a rating -save that until another expert answers and is able to assist you. T=

Expert:  LegalGems replied 9 months ago.
Prenuptials that attempt to limit or deny alimony are not enforceable in Brazil as the courts have deemed it to be against public policy, since alimony is only awarded if there is need. Thus if there is need, the spouse can petition for alimony notwithstanding a prenuptial to the contrary. The same applies to child support. the US, a prenuptial is enforced in regards ***** ***** but not child support. If you let me know the state you may reside in the US I can get you that information.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
As far as I understand it alimony is not awarded only if there is a need. Are you a Brazilian attorney? It sounds like you are an American attorney. I have had Brazilian friends use prenuptials so I am a bit surprised by your answers.
Expert:  LegalGems replied 9 months ago.

I am an American attorney; I included the link to the cases that discuss how prenuptials will be voided if there is a need. Alimony can be awarded even if there is not a need; but if there is a need, the court will void the prenup if it bars support. Did you want information on that issue in a particular state, because the state law varies (although to my knowledge, most states will only enforce the prenup if there is a full disclosure of financial assets and if there is an attorney review by both party's independent attorney. I will opt out to see if there is a Brazilian attorney to review the case law in more detail.

Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 9 months ago.

New Expert here.

Prenups are allowed in Brazil. Where are you located?

Where do you plan to get married?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Obrigado mas eu quero um advogado no Brasil. Se voce nao e um advogado em Brasil por favor nao tento responder para esse pergunta. Voce nao vai saber e eu tambem posso usar Google. Obrigado!
Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 9 months ago.

You can find one at

I hope this information is helpful.

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