Can I re-open my divorce case to seek alimony based on a change in my ex’s finances that were not previously disclosed?

UPDATED: May 27, 2011

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Can I re-open my divorce case to seek alimony based on a change in my ex’s finances that were not previously disclosed?

My divorce went through 11 months ago by default. I’ve just learned that he knew prior to moving out of the marital home (3 months before I filed) that he was getting a substantial promotion and raise 3 months after the final decree. I did not get alimony. Grounds were adultery and extreme cruelty (on his part). I am now on unemployment and looking at food stamps. I’ve got applications out all over the place. We were married 27 years, and I’m sinking. Can I reopen my case and seek alimony even though I “won” the case? Also, he has not paid the debts that he was court ordered to pay.

Asked on May 27, 2011 under Family Law, Idaho


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Ok the keyword here I believe is "default."  Generally speaking a court will not asses support or distribute assets when one of the parties defaults and fails to appear. I am very surprised that they assessed debt.  The way things stand now, though, does not necessarily mean that the matter is dead.  You need to get legal help. Go and speak with legal aid or go and see if your local bar association or law school has a pro bono  (free) clinic or department to help.  There should be something that you can do procedurally to set aside the judgement based upon fraud or misrepresentation or something else.  But you need someone familiar with state law to help here.  Good luck.

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