What are my rights to alimony in a long-term marriage if my husband doesn’t want to pay it?

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What are my rights to alimony in a long-term marriage if my husband doesn’t want to pay it?

After 30 years my husband asked for divorce. I am on disability from federal gov for 5 years .He hasn’t worked in 3 years; he’s been living on my disability. Can I get alimony from someone who has stop looking. I know he is trying to develop new business venture with partners with money, can I ask for future earnings? He keeps telling me that they can’t make him pay what he doesn’t have. I think he will try getting paid under the table to keep from helping me. During our marriage we have lost 1 home due to his insistence on taking wild risks now it looks like it will happen again; we have $100,000 equity but bank is refusing to work with us. What happens now?

Asked on September 3, 2010 under Family Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You need to consult with a marriage or family law attorney. As a general matter, you have a right to a share of marital assets. Whether you will be awarded alimony, and how much, depends on the facts--if he has no income for example (while you do--the disability), the court could order minimal alimony for you, or none, or even order you to pay him. Courts don't take speculative future earnings into account (e.g. maybe he'll finally make it big), though if there is an existing business, even if currently unprofitible, you might be given an interest in that could pay off later. If he's trying to hide assets (e.g. being paid under the table), if it can be proven or shown that's the case, the court will take into account his actual, provable earnings, not just what he voluntarily reports...though this could require some digging and "detective" work. Consult with an attoreny to see what your rights and recourse are. Good luck.


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