How much alimony is a stay at home wife entitled toin a long-term marriage?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How much alimony is a stay at home wife entitled toin a long-term marriage?

I’m 60 years old. I’ve been a homemaker our 35 year marriage although I did do some part-time work which required no skills. My husband is now retiring and divorcing me and says that I have to find a job to support myself because with no income he won’t be required to pay alimony. Will the Court agree with this? What should I do now?

Asked on February 14, 2011 under Family Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

Brian McLaughlin

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You should also read a recent decision Pierce v. Pierce were an individual attempted to retire and the court held that he must continue to pay alimony. As I read the proposed legislation it would not change the alimony in a long-term marriage. You should consult with an attorney however. 

The purpose of the alimony in general is to make the spouse in the home whole. The spouse may not have the job skills necessary to compete in a competitive environment. A judge commented that the purpose of alimony is to keep a wife from having to flip hamburgers after her time in the home. 

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In MA, as the law currently stands,  there are no real guidelines for judges to follow in awarding alimony. Cosequently it can be difficult to forecast with any certainty on how much, if any alimony, would be awarded by a judge in any specific case.  That having been being said, there are a few general guidelines regarding.  Awards are based upon the need of one spouse for financial support, and the ability of the other spouse to pay.  Additionally, alimony is more likely to be an issue in a long-term marriage where the earning capacity of one spouse is significantly lower than the earning capacity of the other.  Finally, alimony can be temporary or permanent.

However, there is pending legislation that may possibly reform existing laws.  At this point, you need to consult directly with a divorce attorney in your area for a fuller explaination and how this may or may not affect your situation.

 


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 with SHA-256 Encryption