What are a spouse’s rights to spousal support if they are disabled?

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What are a spouse’s rights to spousal support if they are disabled?

I have been disabled for almost 9 years and have been on disability since. My husband and I were married before my disability started. We are now separated and will be filing for divorce. We own a home and I cannot afford to make the necessary payments for our home. My disability isn’t very much and I have to make a trip every three months to my transplant center in AZ. Will he be responsible for spousal support since my income is so low?

Asked on August 13, 2011 New Mexico

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Spousal support is not automatic. If your state allows for spousal support and you have been supported by your spouse up to now, you may have a good argument for the court to order spousal support for you.  If the spousal support will be partly used to pay the mortgage, you need to ensure you are awarded the home in the divorce decree.  If your husband supported you for nine years if disability, I don't see a problem with the court awarding you support.  Make sure you also address issues of medical insurance and you will have an ownership interest in a portion of his retirement benefits, as well. Do your homework and consider at least talking with divorce counsel. You might qualify for low cost or no cost representation.


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