Can I get half of my husband's assets in a divorce if I do not have a job? 28 Answers as of June 25, 2013

I have been married 25 years and want to get a divorce. Am I entitled to half of all assets? I lost my job and am solely dependent on my husband. Is there an attorney who will let me pay out the fees, and how do I get money to live on once I tell my husband?

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Horizons Law Group, LLC
Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
Yes, you are still entitled to 50% of the assets. All assets are marital, whether in your husband's name or yours, with very few exceptions. Maintenance/spousal support may also be a question for you. Unfortunately, most attorneys will require payment on deposit (retainer). Some will take guaranteed payments, such as credit card or such, and some have creative ideas regarding lien on assets. So it is definitely worth it to meet with attorneys to discuss your options.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 9/14/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
You are entitled to 1/2 of the community assets. Community assets consist of property purchased or acquired during the marriage that are not shown to be separate assets. With a 25 year marriage, most assets are likely community. The process starts with a petition and in your case, a request for temporary orders and temporary support. There is a hearing on this matter that should provide you with some form of income during the pendency of the proceedings. You still need to look for work, but it can at least help. As for fees, that is all up to the attorney.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 9/13/2011
Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
You could be entitled to spousal support based on the facts. The attorney would have to ask the Court to Order the husband to pay you support pending the completion of the divorce.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 9/13/2011
Dunnings Law Firm
Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
If you are divorcing in Michigan, you would be entitled to at least half of the value of the property (and debt) acquired during the marriage regardless of whether you were employed during the marriage. You might also be entitled to spousal support based on the duration of the marriage and the disparity in income between you and your husband and inability to get employment, a portion of his retirement benefits, if any, and a portion of his Social Security Retirement benefits. Also, upon filing the divorce, a motion can be filed simultaneously to request the Court that your husband be required to pay spousal support while the divorce is pending. Some attorneys will be willing to make payment arrangements, but you may still have to pay a sizable retainer fee up front.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/13/2011
The Law Office of Cathy R. Cook
The Law Office of Cathy R. Cook | Cathy R. Cook
You are generally entitled to one half of all assets accumulated during the marriage whether you worked to accumulate them or not. If you lost your job through no fault of your own, you will probably be entitled to spousal support. Some attorneys will take payments for fees or seek a court order for your husband to advance fees.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 9/13/2011
    Linda C. Garrett Law
    Linda C. Garrett Law | Linda Garrett
    Sounds like you need to learn more about your legal rights. For instance, 50% of EVERYTHING acquired "during the marriage" is yours! The phrase "during the marriage" is defined as the period from date of marriage to date of separation. This includes the good (assets), the bad (debts) and ugly (liabilities. Your options: 1. Hire an attorney in your area; 2. Hire a legal (attorney) coach to coaching you through the legal process. You are not limited to your area-so long as the attorney is licensed to practice in California 3. Do it yourself.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    You are entitled to half of the net community assets. You are not entitled to any of your husband's separate property, i.e., property that he owned before marriage, property that he received via inheritance or from a trust, or property that he received as a gift, with certain specific exceptions where you may have some community rights in his separate property. You will need to call and interview experienced Family Law Attorneys to determine who would be willing to take your case under your circumstances (you also will need to determine who you have confidence in). You are likely entitled to an attorney fee award from the Court, payable by your husband, and you may find an attorney who will file an Order to Show Cause for attorney's fees without receiving an up-front retainer, either on a limited scope basis (to see if the Court will award sufficient fees for the attorney to take your case on a full-scope basis) or on a full-scope basis. You will likely be entitled to aSpousal Support award, if your husband is earning money. Your attorney can file an Order to Show Cause for Spousal Support (along with Attorney's fees), which can be heard by the Court about a month or so after it is filed. I suggest that you do not tell your husband that you plan to divorce him, because of the risk that he may leave you without funds to survive, among other things. Let your attorney advise you what, if anything, to tell your husband.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    You are entitled to a fair share of the marital assets regardless of whether or not you have a job. Marital assets are those acquired during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the account or title. You have a long term marriage and therefore it is reasonable for you to expect to ask for spousal maintenance (alimony) if you are not able to meet all your reasonable needs from appropriate employment. You need to consult a lawyer to get a better understanding of what to expect based on your actual facts and circumstances. Many divorce attorneys will work out some sort of payment plan, but you may need to contact a several different attorneys to find one will to do so in your situation.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/13/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    You are entitled to an equitable distribution of the marital assets - meaning all assets owned by either of you whether jointly or solely. You should consult with attorneys in your area who practice family law to discuss your options for hiring.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    In any divorce, all assets are presumed marital until proven otherwise. Those marital assets would be presumed divisible in an equitable manner which means roughly equally. Based on a 25 year marriage, if there isn earning disparity, spousal suport may also be likely.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    In California, you would be entitled to one half of the assets that have been accumulated during the marriage. You would also be entitled to support orders. You need to go to court and get a hearing so the judge can determine what you are entitled to.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    Yes, you are entitled to approximately half of whatever assetswhich have been amassedthroughout your marriage by either or both of you. If you cannot afford and attorney, you may ask the court to direct your husband to pay for your attorney. You will have to find a way to put together a down payment for most divorce lawyers by borrowing or some other way, but you may be able toget that money back through the court once the case is started. Usually courts will direct the "moneyed spouse" to pay for the attorney's fees of the non-moneyed spouse for the divorce.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Get a lawyer. What you get depends on the state and the case. You left out what state you are in, which matters greatly.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Riana Durrett
    If you live in Nevada or California, then you live in a community property state and you would generally be entitled to half of the community property accrued during the marriage. For example, unless exceptions apply, you would be entitled to half your husband's income and assets purchased with that income. Your case will be especially favorable given the length of your marriage. Any income earned before the marriage or and some other types of income, such as inheritance, is considered seperate property and you will not be entitled to that, unless some exception applies. With regards to money to live on while the divorce is pending, you could make provisions for this before you tell him, or your attorney can help you get a temporary award for spousal support, if you are entitled to one. It appears from the facts that you have provided that you would want to consult with an attorney prior to approaching your husband about the divorce. In Nevada, attorneys are not permitted to make retainer agreements based on a contingency fee (or what you will receive from a divorce settlement0, but my office is certainly reasonable and willing to work with any budget.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C.
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C. | Paul A. Eads
    Yes, will get 1/2 assets. I take payments. You can request spousal support.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/25/2013
    Law Offices of Steven A. Hemmat
    Law Offices of Steven A. Hemmat | Steven A. Hemmat
    You have an undivided equal interest in all community property obtained through the duration of your marriage. Depending upon your individual circumstances, a court could award you more than 1/2 of the community assets. It appears that you will need to obtain temporary orders, including maintenance and temporary attorney fees, in order to proceed.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    In Washington you are not entitled to "half" but a fair and equitable division of your assets and debts, plus maintenance potentially. Once you file you can seek temporary support until things are finalized. Whether you can work a deal with an attorney depends on the attorney and you.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    You are entitled to equally divide all assets acquired during the marriage with the earnings made during this period of time. Assets include real and personal property, bank accounts, stocks, retirement, and cars to name a few. You also have a right to spousal support. You should meet with a skilled family law attorney in your county that can help you decide how to proceed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law | Gregory T. Buckley
    You are entitled to an equitable share of the marital assets, regardless of your current work situation. There are some attorneys that may let you make payments towards their retainer. You can ask the court to order your husband to help pay your attorney fees. You will also have the opportunity to ask the court to order your husband to pay you temporary support during the pendency of the divorce proceedings.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    ROWE LAW FIRM
    ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
    Louisiana is a community property state. You are entitled to half of the assets and are obligated for half of the liabilities that you accumulated while you were married. To the extent that your husband had assets prior to your marriage, you would not be entitled to half of those assets. You should be entitled to temporary spousal support while the divorce is pending, and for up to six months thereafter. Louisiana has a statute that allows a court to make a partial distribution of liquid (cash or equivalent) community assets while the divorce is pending, in order for a spouse in your condition to pay for living and moving expenses and attorneys fees. That statute is discretionary with the court, and courts do not always agree to applying it. You may need to get help from a friend or relative to fund your attorney's retainer while your property and support case is pending.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Law Offices of Sheryl S. Graf
    Law Offices of Sheryl S. Graf | Sheryl S. Graf
    All assets and debts acquired during the marriage are presumptively community property. Upon divorce, all community property is divided in half, regardless of which spouse's earnings were used to acquire each item. You have a long term marriage and would likely qualify for spousal support to allow you to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage. Before doing anything, you should consult with an attorney who is experienced in family law and divorce for specific advice. This information is general and should not be construed to constitute specific legal advice nor to create an attorney/client relationship.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    It is impossible to make specific predictions about your case without having vastly more information. However, you will probably be able to get at least some amount of maintenance. Regarding the property division: If the two of you can agree on how to divide the property, then, the two of you can divide it just about any way you want. However, if the two of you are unable to agree, then, it will be up to the court to divide the property and debts. If the court is going to divide the property, it first has to classify it. All of the property is going to be classified as your separate property, her separate property, or community property. Which of these classifications a particular piece of property falls into will depend on how and when the property was obtained. In most cases, property obtained during the marriage will be community property. Once the property is classified, how it gets divided will depend on a number of factors. Some of the factors that the court may consider are: the duration of the marriage, the ages of the parties, the health of the parties, the educational background of the parties, the employment history of the parties, and each party's future prospects. The court then has to come up with what the court believes is a fair and equitable division of all of the property using these and other factors. Finally, as to attorney fees, each attorney sets his or her own fee schedule. Therefore, you will probably have to call several attorneys to find one that does the kind of fee arrangement you want.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    The Law Office of Erin Farley
    The Law Office of Erin Farley | Erin Farley
    Whether you are employed or not, the general rule is that the assets acquired during your marriage are community property, i.e., they are one-half yours already. In order to obtain representation, you can request an order that your husband pay your fees based on "need and ability to pay". The hard part will be finding an attorney who will prepare the documents and attend such a hearing without an up-front fee. Often, people are forced to borrow money in order to initially retain legal counsel. Keep in mind that you are entitled to withdraw money from your accounts and/or acquire credit cards. Once the dissolution process has begun, you may request spousal support and child support (if applicable). Support calculations are based on the income and expenses of each spouse. The court will move you toward self-sufficiency, so take this interim time to prepare yourself with further education and/or job training. Best of Luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    Maclean Chung Law Firm
    Maclean Chung Law Firm | G. Thomas MacLean Jr.
    You normally are entitled to half of all assets acquired during marriage, and that includes both his and your assets. You may also qualify for spousal support if you are not working or able to work, and he is. As far as paying your attorney, if there exists real property that you are entitled to, you may be able to have an attorney represent you by giving him or her family law lien in the property. For more specific information on your case, you should set up a consultation with a divorce attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/12/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    To give you a short answer: half of assets: you will probably get half of everything that you and he got during the marriage lost your job: you will get alimony, probably permanent. How much depends on his income and your income and other things. Attorney fees: I deal with this problem all the time. Let’s talk, and I will set up something that makes sense for me the attorney and for you. When and how to tell your husband: complicated.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 9/12/2011
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