My son’s expected financial obligations of leaving his pregnant wife?

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My son’s expected financial obligations of leaving his pregnant wife?

My son is 32 years, just lost his job of 10 years, is currently unemployed. His wife,
30 years old, is 5.5 months pregnant with their only child, is fully employed with
health benefits. Their only assets are his 150,000 401k. If he leaves her now
what can he expect his responsibility be to her and their unborn child going
forward? Since he is unemployed? Thanks.

Asked on May 13, 2018 under Family Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Regardless of his employment status, he will have to pay child support unless he gets primary custody of the child: the non-custodieal parent *always* has a child-support obligation.
If your son has greater earning potential (even if currently unemployed) and/or has provided more of the family's economic support/money while married, he will likely have to pay spousal support (alimony) to her, too--unemployment does not protect him from doing this as long as he *can* work (is not disabled), since the court presumes he will get another job.
If she earned more, contributed more to the family, has greater earning potential, etc. than him, she may have to pay him support.
It is impossible to say exactly what he will pay, since that depends on circumstances: his and her earning potential, the family's standard of living, etc. But he will almost certainly have to pay something (at least child support). He should meet with a family or matrimonial law attorney to discuss his situation, so as to understand his rights and obligations.


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