If a couple has been separated over 5 years, would alimony still be awarded when filing for divorce?

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If a couple has been separated over 5 years, would alimony still be awarded when filing for divorce?

After 26 years of marriage, my wife left me for another man and moved to OH. That was over 5 years ago. Since that time I have assumed the vast majority of debt and signed over titles to vehicles. I have also kept her on my health insurance at an expense of approximately $800/month for over 5 years. No other tangible assets to discuss, no real estate and no retirement funds other than social security. I was the primary wage earner for most of our marriage. Since she moved into his residence and is still living with him, would she be awarded alimony once I start the paperwork?

Asked on November 22, 2010 under Family Law, Alabama

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In AL, the 2 most important factors to be considered in determining alimony payments are: the need of the spouse requesting alimony; and the ability to pay by the spouse supporting alimony. Accordingly, the courts takes into consideration the following:

  • Standard of living during the marriage
  • Age and gender of each party
  • Length of the Marriage
  • Bad conduct by a party that caused the divorce(adultery)
  • Health of each party
  • Potential for maintaining their standard of living without spouse

The fact that your separation has been of 5 years duration will not in and of itself preclude your wife from being awarded alimony but it can be used to show that she is now self-supporting or the like.  At this point you need to consult directly with a divorce attorney in your area.


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