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Ask LegalKnowledge Your Own Question
LegalKnowledge, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 28370
Experience:  10+ years handling Legal, Real Estate, Criminal Law, Family Law, Traffic matters.
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I want to know if I gave up too much in my settlement and

Customer Question

I want to know if I gave up too much in my settlement and what I can do
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 1 year ago.

Was this a settlement in a divorce? Were you represented? Just trying to get a better idea of what happened.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was not represented, my ex had the lawyer.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I gave up the equity in the house and half my 401 k up till the separation.about 90 k on the house and 58 k from 401k in addition I pay 1500 alimoney.....waa married 35 years
Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 1 year ago.

If you made a voluntarily decision to not retain counsel and wanted to handle this on your own, it may be hard to argue that the settlement was unfair, since you voluntarily undertook the task of negotiating and settling. No one settlement is the same, so it would need to be looked at and determined, if you were taken advantage of and if anything with misrepresented. The Judge has to sign off on this, so if it was so one sided and unfair, the Judge may have been hesitant to sign. If there is evidence of this, then the burden would be on you, as the moving party, to show the Judge you were taken advantage of, did not know what you were doing and as a result, gave up more then what was legally allowed or what your ex should have gotten.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is $1500 a month alimoney high if I make 140 K a year and she makes 70
Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 1 year ago.

What State are you in?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I kept my pension by giving her 100k plus 58k from my 401k
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. The issue is always that is it never just about the numbers and the courts rely on a number of factors, when deciding what to award. As such, she may have argued and based the amount on not only your income and hers and the length of the marriage but the other things within the statute, which her attorney advised her of. If you can show that none of these factors were present and you were taken advantage of, then you could have grounds to go back.

  • The controlling statute that the court must consider in establishing permanent spousal support states the following:

Family Code Section 4320. In ordering spousal support under this part, the court shall consider all of the following circumstances:

  1. The extent to which the earning capacity of each party is sufficient to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage, taking into account all of the following:
    1. The marketable skills of the supported party; the job market for those skills; the time and expenses required for the supported party to acquire the appropriate education or training to develop those skills; and the possible need for retraining or education to acquire other, more marketable skills or employment.
    2. The extent to which the supported party’s present or future earning capacity is impaired by periods of unemployment that were incurred during the marriage to permit the supported party to devote time to domestic duties.
  2. The extent to which the supported party contributed to the attainment of an education, training, a career position, or a license by the supporting party.
  3. The ability of the supporting party to pay spousal support, taking into account the supporting party’s earning capacity, earned and unearned income, assets, and standard of living.
  4. The needs of each party based on the standard of living established during the marriage.
  5. The obligations and assets, including the separate property, of each party.
  6. The duration of the marriage.
  7. The ability of the supported party to engage in gainful employment without unduly interfering with the interests of dependent children in the custody of the party.
  8. The age and health of the parties
  9. Documented evidence of any history of domestic violence, as defined in Section 6211, between the parties, including, but not limited to, consideration of emotional distress resulting from domestic violence perpetrated against the supported party by the supporting party, and consideration of any history of violence against the supporting party by the supported party.
  10. The immediate and specific tax consequences to each party.
  11. The balance of the hardships to each party.
  12. The goal that the supported party shall be self-supporting within a reasonable period of time. Except in the case of a marriage of long duration as described in Section 4336, a “reasonable period of time” for purposes of this section generally shall be one-half the length of the marriage. However, nothing in this section is intended to limit the court’s discretion to order support for a greater or lesser length of time, based on any of the other factors listed in this section, Section 4336, and the circumstances of the parties.
  13. The criminal conviction of an abusive spouse shall be considered in making a reduction or elimination of a spousal support award in accordance with Section 4325.
  14. Any other factors the court determines are just and equitable.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do you think I should obtain a lawyer and how much should the advice cost.
Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 1 year ago.

You can retain an attorney to look over the records and the order and determine if this was a reasonable amount. They will charge you an hourly rate, most likely, so there is no way to know for sure and it all depends on who you retain and what they charge. If it was not complicated at the time and you can present the attorney with everything, it should be rather quick for them to share with you their finding and if the amount was reasonable, based upon the facts.

Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 1 year ago.

I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!