What happens when you decide to get divorcedbut your spouse loses their job and is on unemployment?

I never worked while we were married – 9 years. I am leaving my husband the house (which we are currently upside down $30,000) and am moving in with a friend with my daughter and I will have her 70% of the time. My husband makes usually $5,000 per month. He is currently paying me $100 a week for alimony and child support. I want to know how to get him to pay more and how that works?

Asked on November 9, 2011 under Family Law, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation.  I am a little confused by your question here because initially you state that he has lost his job and is on unemployment.  Then you state he makes about $5000 a month.  So I will tell you generally how things work.  Money earned during the marriage is considered a marital asset by whom ever earned it.  And just because you did not work outside the home does not mean you are not entitled to anything.  Now, spousal support and child support are two different things.  Child support is mandatory and is based upon income from both parties.  Each state generally has what is known as child support work sheets and a model of support that requires little more than plugging in numbers and a calculation of the amount to be paid by each party to support the child or children.  Spousal support on the other hand is not necessarily mandatory and takes in to account many factors.  You need to seek help here to file for a temporary order of support but procedurally I a insure if California allow that outside an action for divorce (Family Curt in New York allows a party to file for temporary child support).  Get help.  Good luck.

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