Am I entitled to compensation after divorce if we have been separated for years? 17 Answers as of June 08, 2011

I've been married for 21 years, but separated for for 9 years. At that time we had an 11 year old son. My husband is military, if we get a divorce now that my son is almost 20, am I entitled to any compensation?

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Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
You may get Spousal Support, but you won't get child support. The fact that you have survived for 9 years without Spousal Support could affect the amount, or even whether you get an order for, Spousal Support. Whatever property was accumulated during the marriage is community property, and you should have a right to FUSFSPA retirement benefits. You would best retain an experienced Family Law Attorney to represent you in your divorce.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/8/2011
Berner Law Group, PLLC
Berner Law Group, PLLC | Jack Berner
It depends on your definition of "compensation". If you're a Western Washington resident, feel free to contact my office for a free, no obligation consultation regarding your situation.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/8/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
Define compensation. You can split the community, whatever community property there is. After 9 years though? If you are asking if the Court will grant you a cash award for being married and absent for 9 years, you can ask, but don't get your hopes up. Your husband can ask for the same thing by the way, it is a two way street.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 6/8/2011
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
That depends entirely on what you mean by "compensation". You are entitled to a fair division of marital property, whatever that is. What is fair has to be decided based on all the circumstances. Your husband's future military retired pay is considered marital property to the extent that it was earned during the marriage. After living apart for 9 years you will probably not have much of any argument for spousal maintenance. Since your son is not over 19, child support is not required.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 6/8/2011
Law Office of James Lentz
Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
Depending upon your state law, you may be entitled to spousal support (what we used to call alimony). Please consult a local domestic relations attorney for further information.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 6/8/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    You have an argument that you are entitled to support and a portion of his retirement. Although the length of separation would cut against you to some extent, I would expect. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    Other than what military benefits you might be entitled to, you probably wouldn't get alimony, given the long separation, and while you won't get child support, there may be college education expenses that husband might be obligated to.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    The answer to your question is not a simple one. Although on its face, it would seem as if some spousal maintenance is likely, it would require a review of all circumstances surrounding the case. Unlike Minnesota's child support statutes, there are no percentage guidelines to determine when spousal maintenance is appropriate or at what level. In Minnesota, trial courts have broad discretion in deciding whether to award maintenance and in determining its duration and amount. As a result, spousal maintenance often becomes one of the most contested issues in divorce proceedings. Currently, spousal maintenance awards are granted pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 518.552 if the spouse seeking maintenance demonstrates that he or she: (1) lacks sufficient property, including marital property apportioned as part of the divorce to provide for the reasonable needs of the spouse considering the standard of living established during the marriage, especially, but not limited to, a period of training or education; or (2) is unable to provide adequate self-support, after considering the standard of living established during the marriage and all relevant circumstance, through appropriate employment, or (3) is the custodian of a child whose condition and circumstances make it appropriate that the custodian not be required to seek employment outside the home. In determining the amount and duration of spousal maintenance, Minnesota statutes require that Courts address all relevant factors. The statute specifically identifies the following as relevant issues in determining spousal maintenance: (1) The financial resources of the spouse seeking maintenance; (2) The amount of time that is necessary for the spouse seeking maintenance to acquire necessary skills or education to find appropriate employment; (3) The age and physical and emotional health of the recipient spouse; (4) The standard of living established during the marriage; (5) The length of the marriage; (6) The contribution and economic sacrifices of a homemaker including loss of seniority, retirement benefits and other employment opportunities foregone while working at home (7) The financial resources available to the spouse from whom maintenance is sought. No single factor is dispositive and the Courts must weigh all factors giving appropriate weight to each.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    While, as your question suggests, you may not be entitled to anything, it still remains a possibility, if, for example, you still own a home or other property together. Another thing to discuss with your attorney is whether you helped build up a retirement account or helped remodel a home or other property. Other possibilities exist. The important thing is that you should consult with your own divorce attorney and discuss all the facts, along with all your rights and options.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    You may be entitled to alimony & retirement benefits and a portion of marital assets but support for the child ended when he was 19 at the latest.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Compensation for what? You would be entitled to a fair and equitable division of your assets and debts and perhaps maintenance.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    In Washington State, the court will divide assets and liabilities fairly and equitably. If you are talking about child support-unlikely.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Willick Law Group
    Willick Law Group | Marshal S. Willick
    Well.... Compensation for what? In Nevada, property rights continue to accrue until divorce, regardless of separation. Up to 4 years back child support is possible - but that clock is ticking, and you may have only two years to claim at this point, depending on the facts - which still may be a lot better than nothing. And you have a presumptive entitlement to half the military retirement benefits earned during the time the marriage overlapped military service - which is probably worth more than everything else put together. What you need most is a full consultation with qualified family law counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    I would say that it is unlikely, although as a military member, your husband has a duty under the Military Code of Justice to support his spouse and minor children. If he isn't doing so, then you can contact his commanding officer to get support, but it is likely a short term step. If you are looking for an attorney and are in my area, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    If you mean "child support" when you ask about "compensation," the answer (given the limited facts you stated) is "no." If you never requested orders on child support while your child was still a minor, then you cannot cast the proverbial stone back and now ask for support arrears that were never previously requested or ordered.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    I don't know what you mean by "compensation". As far as child support I would think not because your son is an adult. As far as spousal support, since you have been self-supporting for 9 years, that would make it difficult for you to get alimony. As far as property division, that's another issue altogether and since you were married for 21 years and are still married, you might be entitled to military retirement/pension, but you would have to have a consultation with an attorney to talk about that further.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Maybe, maybe not, depending on many details we do not have. Sit down with a lawyer who can examine those details.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/7/2011
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