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After 28 years of marriage my wife filed for divorce. For 25

After 28 years of marriage...
After 28 years of marriage my wife filed for divorce. For 25 of those years i was the larger income earner. We used community funds for her to go to law school, go back again and get a LLM, and community funds to start her own law practice. I retired two years ago, and my wife's first year in practice was huge, $509,000 gross, at 221,000 after expenses. There is 15 years difference in our age, I am 70, she is 55. I think she made a business decision in filing for divorce. She knows I will probably need long term care eventually and she might be required to pay for it. I think she decided it was best to divorce me now and take one-half the community property. Her monthly income is about $21,000 per month (her income & 1/2 of our rental income) and mine is $6500 from SS, STRS and 1/2 our rental income. I have requested spousal supporty. We are working with a mediator, but I think my wife will pull out of mediation, since the mediator has said I am entitled to temporary support of $3900. My wife refuses to pay. Also, because of the huge disparity in income, can I get her to pay my legal fees?
JA: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: California
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: Yes, we both hired attorneys that favor mediation. But after our session with the mediator she dismissed her first attorney and hired an attorney that is against mediation. i feel I will need to do the same.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Yes, it will take a few minutes to write it. I know she is going to use the 5 year averaging to show that I am not entilted to any spousal support, temporary or permanent. Her last year her net income from work alone was $221,000. Before that she had three years of around $65,000, and a first year of about $180,000 from working at Deloitte. She worked for Deloitte for two years at $180,000, and when she told them she was going to leave they offered her $210,000 per year. She chose to leave to take a job for $65,000 when she could have been making over $200,000 those three years. I also postponed my retirment for two years to ease the money flow issues, thinking I was preserving my marriage and supporting our future life together. i was wrong.
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Answered in 10 minutes by:
6/26/2017
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 120,242
Experience: Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
Verified
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
I agree with the mediator, because of the current disparity in income AND your support of her to get her education and build her practice. If she pulls out of mediation, that does not mean she will not have to pay spousal support. For a long term marriage with your support of the marriage and disparity of income, she would be liable to pay your spousal support.
Legal fees are discretionary to the court, but based on this situation and your prior support and the significant disparity of the income, there is a significant probability that the court will order her to pay at least a portion of your legal fees for forcing you to get an attorney and take this matter to the court.
Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 120,242
Experience: Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
Verified
Law Educator, Esq. and 87 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
I know that of the probably millions of divorce cases, there must be a court decision where a spouse starts a new successful business after years of lower income getting the education for the new business. Can you give me any court citations for similar cases that I an review?

Thank you for your reply.

The issue is that these cases are not searched by fact patterns, it is done by actual legal issues. Also, case law research costs the expert, who is not a site employee, about $160 per hour and is beyond our scope of service. You can access the databases for free by going to the court house library, but we attorneys have to pay for home access.

In general, CA does not consider the education of the spouse per se as a community property asset. See: Todd v. Todd, 272 Cal.App.2d 786 (1969) and In re Marriage of Aufmuth (1979) 89 Cal. App.3d 446, 461 [152 Cal. Rptr. 668].

However, the support you provided during that time in taking care of the needs of the marriage is something the court would consider in your participation and support during the marriage when considering spousal support awards.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thanks, ***** ***** really helpful.

Thank you. I wish you the best.

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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
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