Do I have to pay Spousal Support? 26 Answers as of July 12, 2013

I have been married 30 years and legally separated for 5. My husband does not have a job and I do. Will I have to pay him spousal support?

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Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
Spousal support is based on many factors including the length of the marriage and one spouse's ability to pay spousal support and the other spouse's need for spousal support.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/20/2011
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
Just that information alone is not sufficient to provide an answer. It is possible that you might have to pay.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 7/11/2013
Glenn E. Tanner
Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
Maybe. Depends on the other financial aspects of your case.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/17/2011
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
If he is unable to work, then it is likely you will have to pay support to him. And it could be permanently because of the long term marriage. Consult with a lawyer who does matrimonials about this matter. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/17/2011
Michael Apicella
Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
Not possible to give a complete answer based on so few facts in your question. However, assuming he's been self-supporting for the last 5 years (i.e., you've not been paying any spousal support or contributing to his living expenses), then there's a good argument that no support would be due because he is self-supporting. You can look up California Family Code section 4320, which sets forth the factors a judge will consider to determine whether, how much, and for how long any spousal support should be paid. You can also read the following legal guide I drafted on this subject. If you need more assistance, it would be best to consult with a local family law lawyer. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/17/2011
    Michael Rose Attorney at Law
    Michael Rose Attorney at Law | Michael Rose
    Maybe. You say you have been legally separated for 5 years and does that mean you did get separated by the court? Did he have a job when you separated? Are you planning to get a divorce? As you can read there are many questions.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/12/2013
    Deal & Hooks, LLC
    Deal & Hooks, LLC | Shawn P. Hooks
    In Ohio spousal support is calculated taking into consideration several factors: including length of marriage, relative income, relative opportunity to work, his reasons for not working, and other equitable considerations (where has the money gone, who has the debt, who has the assets, etc). It is likely that you will have to pay some spousal support after that long of a marriage if you are employed and he is not.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Your statement that you are "legally separated" isn't clear. Normally, that term means there has been a judicial proceeding that resulted in a "legal separation" and one of the things that judicial proceeding should have resolved was spousal support. If you have a real "legal separation" then the answer to your question should be at least partly provided in the court order that granted the legal separation. If there were no court proceedings and you and your husband are living apart, or if a court order leaves the support question open, you may be required to pay spousal support. State laws vary, but as a rule the question of spousal support involves a balance of need against ability to pay.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    Spousal support is determined based upon your and his earning capacities. That may be different that his actual income. Here are some of the factors a court will consider in deciding whether to order spousal support. (I) The duration of the marriage; (ii) The age of the parties; (iii) The health of the parties, including their physical, mental and emotional condition; (iv) The standard of living established during the marriage; (v) The relative income and earning capacity of the parties, recognizing that the wage earner's continuing income may be a basis for support distinct from the income that the supported spouse may receive from the distribution of marital property; (vi) A party's training and employment skills; (vii) A party's work experience; (viii) The financial needs and resources of each party; (ix) The tax consequences to each party; (x) A party's custodial and child support responsibilities; and (xi) Any other factors the court deems just and equitable.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    While it is impossible to say absolutely what would happen in your case, my initial reaction is to say that you would probably not have to pay spousal support. However, this opinion could change with further and more detailed information. Was there an actual decree of legal separation entered? If there is, and if it was entered in Washington, then, normally, it could be converted from a decree of legal separation to a decree of divorce by simple motion to the court. The issue of spousal support would, therefore, never come up, unless it was already addressed in the decree of legal separation.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Under Washington law it is up to the court to decide whether you will be required to pay spousal support. Often the court will look at potential income rather than just actual income. Therefore it may make a difference how long he has been unemployed and what his job prospects are. The fact you have been separated 5 years may also make a difference.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    Whether you will have to pay spouse support depends upon many factors. How long has your husband been unemployed? What is the likelihood that he could be easily reemployed? How much of your income must go not only for your support but support children? While the above applies to Ohio and Michigan some states have many more questions that enter the mix as to whether you would have to pay spouse support. In Ohio and Michigan spousal support is not something mandatory, but rather something that is either sensible due to long-term marriage are required for the short term. The only way that you will know for sure which obligation will be is by contacting and spending some time with the domestic relations attorney. I recommend you do that today.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Pontrello Law
    Pontrello Law | William Pontrello
    Under Florida law you may. spousal support is awarded on ability to pay and need. if he needs it and you are able to pay. he will get it.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    It is possible. However, there are more factors than just making more money than him and the length of the marriage. He would need to have a legitimate need. I would suggest speaking with an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible to discuss the potential issues should dissolution proceedings commence. My office offers free initial telephone consultations if you would like to discuss this matter in more detail, as well as explore the potential rights and options available.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    You should sit down and discuss all the facts with a divorce lawyer. Alimony, or spousal support, depends on a number of factors, some of which you have not provided here. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    There should already be orders if you are legally separated.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C.
    Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C. | Fredric Harlan Aaron
    The determination of spousal support (called maintenance under New York Law) will depend on issues like employment, and the lifestyle that both spouses experienced during the marriage. During the course of your marriage, were you the sole breadwinner or did your husband contribute as well? If you were the sole breadwinner, did your husband contribute to the marriage such as being primary caregiver to the children? And does your legal separation agreement make any statement about maintenance? All of these issues will be used to determine whether you will have to pay your ex-husband maintenance as part of your divorce.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    You may have to pay spousal support to your husband, under those circumstances. However, you should at least consult with, if not retain, an experienced Family Law Attorney to represent you, because it may be possible to impute income to your husband, or the attorney may be able to obtain an order that your husband submit to a Vocational Evaluation by a Vocational Training Consultant, with a view to imputing income to your husband.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
    Not enough information to make a determination (in my opinion).
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Maybe, but how has he been supporting himself for the last five years? If you are in my area and are looking for an attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law | Gregory T. Buckley
    Spousal support (alimony) would not necessarily have to be paid. The court would have to determine that there was a need for it, and that you would have the ability to pay it. Whether there is a need for it is dependent on many factors, including income, length of marriage, and standard of living during the marriage.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Possibly. Discuss this with your divorce attorney, who will need detailed financial information before he can answer.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    Quite possibly, yes. The higher earning spouse in a divorce may be required to pay spousal support.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
    In your case a process by which the court can impute income to your husband is necessary. Then if he does not want to work, that is his problem. However the court will "act like"..."impute" income to him for the purpose of establishing spousal support. We are very successful with this procedure through this office.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    The Reed Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
    The Reed Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Vanessa Reed
    There are many factors which are taken into consideration in determining whether spousal support will be ordered. This, unfortunately, is not an easy question to answer. Spousal support (often called Alimony) is based on the income and needs of each party as well as a host of other factors, such as the length of the marriage, and standard of living established during the marriage. There is no set formula for calculating spousal support, although some counties established spousal support guidelines. An attorney can help you determine how much you should request or expect to pay in spousal support. Please click on the above hyper-link to read content from my website concerning this issue.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    In Georgia alimony is based on the need of the person asking and the ability of the other person to pay. Some of the factors the judge will look at are length of marriage, relative incomes, relative work experience, relative education, relative financial position, the health of each party, the age of the parties, whether someone needs time and/or continued education to go back into the work force. The judge can also take the behavior of the behavior of the parties during the marriage into account. You need to talk with an attorney about your specific situation to help determine if alimony is an issue.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/16/2011
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