Do I qualify for alimony in my divorce? 18 Answers as of May 24, 2011

I was married May 23, 2010 my husband has worked for the IRS for the last 4 years. He drove a 2008 vehicle, I drove a 2001 vehicle, and he wanted to buy a new car. I suggested we trade my 2001 keep his 2008 for me and the new car of course his. My family questioned my concern over the title; with his reputation I was not concerned. The financing of the new car paid off the 2008. During an argument he took the 2008 and sold it. Leaving me without a vehicle, during a reconcile he financed a 2006 car for me. I have left him and am getting ready to file for divorce, a. will a judge require him to make the car payments on the 2006 b. do I qualify for alimony c. if so can I use my first alimony payments to pay my lawyer? May 23 2011 we will be legally married for one year we have no children, his income is approx. 64,000 with a raise to 75000 in June.

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Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C.
Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C. | Fredric Harlan Aaron
You didn't mention if you work. If so, and considering that the marriage has only been one year as of today, it is unlikely that a judge would award you maintenance (the legal term for alimony in New York). It would be very hard to show that you came to depend on your husband's income for your lifestyle. With respect to question a, a judge may require some payments to you since you sold your car which you owned free-and-clear, for a 2006 car which was financed. As for b, I doubt you will be granted maintenance, but if so, then you can use the money to pay your lawyer. Also, with respect to c, it is also possible to apply for an award of legal fees, but as discussed above, your marriage was only one year, so it is doubtful that a judge would grant this.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/24/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
There is no such thing as alimony in Texas, in fact, it is unconstitutional in this state. There is "Temporary Spousal Support" or "Temporary Spousal Maintenance" but based on the facts you have presented you will not qualify. Right now (the legislature is debating a change) the rule is that you have to be married 10 years or have suffered abuse from your spouse just to "qualify to ask" it does not mean you will get it, there are many hurdles even then.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 5/23/2011
Law Office of Curry & Westgate
Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
Yes you would qualify, but not for very long, just a few months. Not enough info on the car to help you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/23/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
a. Probably; b. probably not, but maybe temporary support to get on your feet; c. probably not, subject to response b. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/23/2011
Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C.
Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C. | Karen A. Clark
You did not mention whether you are working now. Maintenance, which is similar to what is called alimony in some states, is determined by a variety of factors including: a) the financial resources of the party seeking maintenance; b) the standard of living established during the marriage or domestic partnership; c) the duration of the marriage or domestic partnership; d) the age, financial, physical and/or emotional condition of the party seeking maintenance; and e) the ability of the spouse/domestic partner from whom maintenance is sought to meet his/her financial obligations while meeting those of the spouse/partner seeking maintenance. Maintenance is not usually awarded until the dissolution decree has been entered. It sounds as if the car situation is a property issue that can be addressed as part of the dissolution itself.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 5/20/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    You are entitled to a fair and equitable division of your debts and property. Maintenance is similarly awarded. There are many factors that go into the division decision and maintenance decision.More facts are needed than you supply to answer such detailed questions. See a family law lawyer for a free consultation so your questions can be more accurately answered. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    The Grigsby Firm
    The Grigsby Firm | Sherlock Grigsby
    When determining the alimony the court looks at numerous factors including, duration of marriage, need for alimony, ability of other party to provide alimony, reasons for divorce, financial history of both parties. You should speak with an attorney soon to preserve your rights/options based on the totality of your specific factors.
    Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    It is always hard to predict what a judge will do in a particular situation. In terms of property and debts like with the car, the court will try to come to an equitable solution, which usually means balancing the community property and debts between the two of you. In Washington, it is unlikely you would be awarded alimony on such a short term marriage. If you were, it would most likely only be for a few months. In terms of paying your attorney, you will have to discuss that with the attorney you want to hire, but usually they will want some payment up front to start work on the case, especially where the alimony is so uncertain.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Fox Law Firm LLC
    Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
    The courts will look at factors such as to the length of marriage, whether the asking spouse has worked during the marriage, and whether the spouse seeking spousal support is employable when determining whether to order maintenance (alimony) and at what amount. Your length of time of marriage works against you, but I do not know the answers to your other factors. As to your attorneys fees, usually attorneys like to be paid upfront or at least the initial retainer and if the other spouse is order to pay attorney's fees the remainder will be paid by the that spouse.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    The first thing you need is to sit down with a divorce attorney and go over all of this. I need more information to answer your questions, but I can give you a general idea of things that you ask about. Alimony - you may be entitled to some alimony, to get back on your feet (limited duration rehabilitative alimony). Automobiles - payments by him - this will depend on a number of factors; a judge may decide that his income is enough that he should pay both cars payments. When to file for divorce - you may want to plan this a bit, and wait until he gets that raise before you file. Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you. No charge for the first office visit. I know people worry about how expensive a lawyer is, so I am careful to be as inexpensive as I can for my clients. Before you spend a dime, you will know how much this is likely to be.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    First, if you were just married in 2010, the marriage is extremely short term which makes an award of spousal support highly unlikely, but not impossible. Second, a court as part of a divorce may award an equitable division of any marital assets and marital debts. Equitable means the courts makes such determination based on what it believes to be fair.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    probably not but if you had a car that was paid off and now have car payments maybe that can be negotiated/addressed.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC | Patrick Meriwether
    As a general rule in Georgia, Judges do not award alimony in one year marriages.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    With a one-year marriage, you would likely receive guideline Spousal Support based on your income and your husband's income for half a year. Beyond Spousal Support, it is unlikely that the Court would order your husband to make payments on your car. You may, however, qualify for attorney's fees. You should interview experienced Family Law Attorneys in an effort to find one who would be willing to file a divorce case and an OSC for Spousal Support and Attorney's Fees for you, or in the alternative, to file an OSC for Attorney's Fees on a Limited Scope basis, to get the fees to proceed with your divorce.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    In Washington State, it is unlikely you will receive spousal maintenance although the Court may enter temporary orders with regards to the parties' financial obligations.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
    In Oregon, probably not. A short term marriage generally means the court wants to restore people to the position they were in prior to the marriage. The only issue is the vehicle and debts. The court may require him to pay you for the value of the vehicle you traded in, which represents the asset you brought into the marriage but used to buy another vehicle in his name.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    With such a short marriage it is unlikely you will get any alimony beyond the date the divorce is final, but a reliable answer isn't possible without a clear understanding and review of all the facts and circumstances. There are no bright line rules and each case stands on its own. If you and he cannot agree on how to handle all the financial issues, a judge can and will decide what needs to be done. That may or may not include requiring your husband to pay the car payments.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    First, you may be entitled to spousal support for a short period of time, but your marriage is only one year old, so I wouldn't expect more than six months of support. Second, unless there is a significant financial disparity between the two of you, I don't think the court will order him to pay the car payments (that is what the spousal support would be for, among other things). Third, you can use spousal support for whatever you want, although if you make significantly less than he does or you have limited access to funds while he has more access to them for attorneys fees, then he may be ordered to pay your fees (or at least some of them). If you are in my area and need an attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/19/2011
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