Divorce and unpaid work during marriage

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Divorce and unpaid work during marriage

Hi, I am wanting to divorce my husband after 4 years of marriage. During these 4 years, I worked unpaid for my husbands company. We cant reach a mutual agreement, and will be taking the proceedings to court. I am just wanting to know if I am likely to be compensated in a way roughly equal to the hours worked for the 4 years of unpaid work I did for his company I can provide evidence I worked those 4 years without pay? I should note, there was no formal agreement we made prior to me working unpaid it was a gesture of good will on my behalf.

Asked on September 16, 2016 under Family Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You will not be compensated with salary or wages--you and your husband jointly made the decision for you to work without pay, and the court will not now order him to retroactively pay you $X.XX per hour. But your contribution to the success of his company, and therefore to his current income and to the family assets, will be taken into account in a more subjective (i.e. not by multiplying hours by some rate or wage) way and will likely lead to your receiving some interest in his company, or a greater share of assets, or more spousal support, because what you did has helped him have more income or assets, and/or helped his business grow. If you're going to court with a complex, but important, issue like this, make sure you are represented by an experienced family law or divorce attorney; such a lawyer will know how to make sure that your contributions are recognized and you receive something for them.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption