What are my chances of getting child and spousal support? 30 Answers as of August 24, 2011

I am unemployed since I got pregnant with my one year old. My husband and I want a divorce. He works and I am a stay at home mom. What are my chances of getting custody of my child and will I get child and spousal support? We've been married for 3 1/2 years.

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Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
You will receive child support if you are the primary parent. Spousal maintenance is unlikely but may be awarded for a brief period of time.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/24/2011
Bagwell Holt Smith Jones & Crowson, P.A.
Bagwell Holt Smith Jones & Crowson, P.A. | John G. Miskey IV
Post-separation support and alimony are based on a number of statutory factors, including your financial need and his ability to pay. Speak with an attorney to review your case and push for a settlement that includes spousal support. Our firm offers legal consultations (via office/phone/skype) throughout NC for a fee of $75.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 8/24/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
No one can guess your chances of getting primary custody with so little information. Please consider setting an appointment to discuss the facts and details and I would be happy to advise you of my opinion at that time. Simply stated, you do not get custody just because you are the mother - in Texas, there is a prohibition against considering the sex of the child or the parent seeking custody, you have to win Primary Custody on your own merits and the best interest of the child. As for spousal maintenance, that is a very difficult matter within itself. Suffice it to say, you have to be married a minimum of 10 years or there must be credible evidence of spousal abuse before you even qualify and that does not mean you get, only that you can ask. Assuming you get past the qualification requirements, the support is very limited, not more than 20% of the payor's net resources, for not more than 3 years (and the Court must use the shortest time period that will serve the purpose) and then only if you lack the earning ability to meet your own minimum reasonable needs and do not get sufficient assets from the marriage to meet these needs.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 8/22/2011
Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
If you retain primary physical custody the odds are high you will be able to obtain child support. However, we need many more facts. As to spousal support, that is normally not awarded for marriage of less than five years, but there are exceptions. You need to meet with an experienced family law lawyer immediately.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/22/2011
Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
If you obtain custody of your child you would receive child support. In a marriage under five years it is very unusal that spousal support is paid.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 8/21/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    You need some financial assistance from your husband, and you will get a court award of child custody (almost certain), and child support (absolutely certain so long as you get custody) and very likely some alimony to help you get back on your feet.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/20/2011
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC | Patrick Meriwether
    The award of child custody is dependent on a variety of factors and it is difficult to provide advice without asking numerous questions. If you are concerned about custody, I recommend you at least have a consultation with a local divorce lawyer. An award of alimony is dependent on a variety of factors, including the length of marriage. The shorter the marriage, the less likely there will be an award of alimony.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/20/2011
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C.
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C. | Paul A. Eads
    Very high. Of course the support number depends on his actual income.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/20/2011
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
    You may be entitled to spousal support for a limited time, generally the time of the marriage. Custody is decided based on what is in the best interests of the child. The Courts tend to favor a custody agreement which provides for frequent and continuing contact with both parents. Since you have been the primary caregiver of your child and you are available to care for your child, the court will likely grant you primary physical custody and award him custodial time when he is not working. You would also be entitled to child support based on his income. You may wish to seek the assistance of an attorney so that you can fully be advised of your rights.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/20/2011
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
    Yes, you should have a good chance of getting some form of shared custody as well as child support, and some alimony, maybe.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/20/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    You should be entitled to both child and spousal support.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/20/2011
    Goldberg Jones
    Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
    You have not provided enough information for me to confidently guess at your outcome, but given the facts you did supply, it is very likely you would get custody, child support, and spousal support. The question then, is how much and for how long.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/20/2011
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    If the child resides predominately with you, then you will most likely receive child support. As for alimony, it is unlikely for any length of time due to the short length of the marriage. However, it is possible that you might be entitled to alimony for a couple months or maybe even a year or so in order to assist you with getting on your feet, especially if you are currently unemployed and he has the ability to pay.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Law Office of Daniel B. Rubanowitz, APC
    Law Office of Daniel B. Rubanowitz, APC | Daniel B. Rubanowitz
    There are not enough facts to make the definitive statements that a) yes you will get child/spousal support from your husband and b) you will have custody of your child. Generally speaking, assuming no allegations of domestic violence and inability to parent, you will share joint legal custody of your child with your husband. If you are the primary custodial parent, you will likely continue to have primary physical custody with custodial time being awarded to your husband. However, just because you were a "stay at home mom" and the father of your child worked full time, it does not mean that you and he should not share custody and possibly have an equal timeshare arrangement. With regard to support issues, assuming you have zero income and little or no earnings or earning capacity, you would be entitled to child support and temporary spousal support. Keep in mind that it is the goal in the State of California for each parent to contribute to the support of their child(ren) and to become self-supporting. You should consult with a Family Law Attorney. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    There are no fixed rules that would permit determining your chances of anything. Where the child lives most of the time and when the child resides with the other parent must be decided based on the best interests of the child. If you and your husband cannot agree, a judge will make that decision. The parent with whom the child does NOT live the majority of the time normally must pay child support to the other parent, but child support will be ordered. The actual amount of child support is determined from the total parental income and certain other authorized adjustments. For purposes of child support, you will not be expected have income from employment until the child is 2 years of age, so your husbands income may be all that is considered. For purposes of spousal support (alimony) for you, there are no rules or guidelines and each case must be decided on its facts. You will probably be able to obtain some alimony, but it isnt possible to predict how much or for how long without all relevant information. You need to consult a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    You may get spousal support depending on his ability to pay. On a short term marriage, if you do get support, it will not be for a great amount of time. Child support will be awarded by statute. There are many factors the court will consider on the custody issue. The stay at home parent does not necessarily get preferential treatment. The court will have to look toward all the other factors as well. I suggest you consult an experienced Family Law attorney to discuss your case in greater detail and learn all of your rights and options. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/20/2011
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law | Gregory T. Buckley
    To determine who will get custody of the child, the court will examine many factors to see what the best interests of the child are and how best to serve those interests. If you get custody of the child, you would be entitled to child support for the benefit of the child. With a marriage of such short duration, it is fairly unlikely that you would be able to get spousal support (alimony.)
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    If your child lives primarily with you, then, you are certainly going to be entitled to some sort of child support from the father. However, spousal support (maintenance) is a bit more problematic. You have a short term marriage (3.5 years). Court's generally don't award a lot of maintenance in those circumstances. You might be able to get some very temporary maintenance. However, the court is likely to be expecting you to be out looking for a job.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    You would be entitled to child support as long as you were awarded sole physical custody (which you probably would be). It is less likely that you would be awarded spousal support given the fact that it is a relatively short-term marriage; but it would still depend on your comparative financial circumstances. You would need to speak to a divorce attorney in much greater detail to get a better picture of how you should proceed.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    Depending on what County you would be filing your divorce in might make a difference. There are a number of factors to consider in determining whether spousal support should be paid and one of those factors is length of marriage. Due to the short duration of your marriage I would say spousal support is unlikely. Did you work before you got pregnant or prior to the marriage? How far did you go in school? Due have any physical or mental disability verified by a Doctor since the marriage which would affect your ability to work? If you get primary custody of the child, you will at least get child support.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Whether or not you are entitled to custody and visitation orders is separate from finances. As for child and spousal support, if you have no income and he does, I'd say the odds are pretty good of you getting support, but at some point you will need to become employed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    if you have been the primary care giver for your child that probably will continue, with child support from the father. Spousal support is likely. Call me to discuss your situation, if you like.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy | Robert W. Bellamy
    Child support yes. Spousal support (alimony) probably not. You need a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    On a short term marriage, spousal support is unlikely. If it is awarded, it would be awarded for a short duration. Child support is dependent on how custody and parenting time is awarded and the income and/or earning capacities of the parents.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Lewis, Pfanstiel & Williams, PCLO
    Lewis, Pfanstiel & Williams, PCLO | Ryan J. Lewis
    You will absolutely get child support. Spousal support is unlikely due to the length of your marriage and the age of your child.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    If the child ultimately primarily resides with you, there will be child support. As to alimony, there are many different factors that would need to be considered. You list a couple of them (length of marriage, employment status, etc) but not enough to make an informed opinion. I would suggest that you meet with a local attorney and provide all the information that attorney requests before such an opinion could be rendered.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/19/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Both very likely; and you will definitely receive child support if awarded custody.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/19/2011
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