Can my ex-wife sue me for alimony after we finalized a divorce with no financial obligation to each other?

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Can my ex-wife sue me for alimony after we finalized a divorce with no financial obligation to each other?

I receive SSDI benefits and barely get by.We currently co-habit ate out of necessity but are separating soon with luck. I use up my benefits to help us and she is set up with housing and is going to reenter college this spring. She threatens to sue for alimony if I leave to reestablish myself independently. I carried us for as long as I could but now that she is in the catbird seat, I seem to be at her mercy. She would sue me out of spite for leaving. She’s emotionally abusive and tortures me psychologically. It leaves me drained and unmotivated when I should be moving on. Feeling trapped.

Asked on November 6, 2010 under Family Law, Iowa

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry for your situation.  With your financial state as they appear to be you would probably qualify for a legal aid attorneyto help you figure out your situation and you should as soon as you can.  Generally speaking, alimony in Iowa is not an absolute right.  there are three different types: traditional, when a spouse can not support herself; rehabilitative, to allow a spouse time to re-enter society and reimbursement if the spouse has made sacrifices during the marriage that curtailed her earning power but enhanced her spouse's earning power.  The court takes in account various factors: length of the marriage, age and abilities of the spouses, etc.  It seems unlikely to me that given your situation you would have to pay alimony.  But get legal help.


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