Will I have to pay alimony and child support? 15 Answers as of February 24, 2014

My wife and I are getting divorced after four years of marriage. We have a 3 yr old daughter and I am aware I will have to pay child support. Now I am an E6 in the USMC and have been in for ten years now. We haven't filed for anything so I know while we are still "legally" married I have to pay her a certain amount of money. But what I would like to know is that even though we were only married for four years will I have to pay alimony and part of my retirement or neither to my wife. Again I know I’ll have to pay child support.

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The Law Firm of Jessica M. Cotter, P.L.L.C. | Jessica M. Cotter
What you should do is consult with an experienced family law attorney in the jurisdiction in which you would be filing the dissolution. The answer to your question could change depending on the jurisdiction.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 2/24/2014
Peters Law, PLLC
Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
There is no alimony in Idaho. She is entitled to of 4/10s (roughly) of your retirement. I am not sure, but because of Federal rules, it may be easier to just pay her that amount. Talk with a local family law attorney about that.
Answer Applies to: Idaho
Replied: 2/20/2014
Kirby G. Moss PC | Kirby G. Moss
We don't have alimony in Indiana unless the payee is disabled. There could be temporary maintenance while the divorce is pending however.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 2/20/2014
Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr.
Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr. | John F. Geraghty, Jr.
4 year marriage does not include retirement pay or alimony.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 2/20/2014
Law Office of Robert E McCall | Robert McCall
Alimony depends on the Judge, max time in Florida is twice the length of the marriage. Retirement. Usually not in this short of a marriage but rule of thumb formula is 2.5 % for every year of marriage while on active duty. Some Judges stop the clock on date of separation, others use filing date of the dissolution.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 2/20/2014
    Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane | Lauren H. Kane
    You need to consult a lawyer as alimony depends on a number of factors.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 2/21/2014
    John Russo | John Russo
    First of all like many of these questions the most important facts are many times left out, not picking on you but it is difficult on occasion to give folks a concrete answer. The first and most important missing piece is this, does she work, or did she work, and did she have any type of profession, and also whats her health and educational background? Alimony in the majority of no fault jurisdictions is rehabilitative in nature, i.e. Given to the receiving party for the purpose of allowing them some support for a period certain while they attempt to get back into the work force after a long absence. In my jurisdiction, (RI) it is usually for either a 3, 5, or 7 year period, again based on need and the circumstances of the case. Lets say in your case your wife stopped working to stay home and raise the child, after only a 3 or 4 year period it would be inequitable to give her 7 years to get back, or in my eyes even 5, but if she had continued to work during the marriage, or even had a profession that she had been away from for only a short period and could get back into fairly easy, alimony would be difficult to justify, and if it were awarded it would most likely be for only 1 or 2 years. I know you are saying I just said 3, 5, or 7 that's a standard that the court follows not a mandate and the court has discretion within those numbers. Also alimony is need based but only after the division of the marital estate, so again in your case just say after breaking up the marital estate , bank accounts , stocks, real estate , etc she receives 75k the court could determine that alimony is not required and that the equitable distribution along with child support is equitable within the circumstances of your case. So I would say alimony would not be a great concern in your matter and at worse would be awarded for a very short term, again this is based upon missing facts. The pension, she is only entitled to a percentage of the MARITAL PORTION ONLY, so in your case the most that would be calculated is the 4 years you were married, trust me you won't miss that. But like anything else there are other factors that could allow for her to receive almost nothing, i.e. are you vested in the pension, if not then she would be entitled to only a portion of contribution during the marriage not the division amount, so again that could be very minimal. So I would not lose any sleep over that issue. And remember although the states have the authority to determine whether or not a pension is a marital asset, and what portion of same is, that's where it ends, the rest is governed by Federal law not State, that's all pensions not just a military, so QDRO's need to be prepared and they are very complicate documents. Child support is also governed by federal law, most people do not know that, the states implement it and all states have their own little quirks , but the law, and the minimum support guidelines are all federal. So when you are computing the support make sure you press for the court to impute income to her, even if it is only 3 or 4 hundred per week. I always advise people to retain a good divorce attorney, not just an attorney , someone like myself that almost exclusively practices before the family court system, the reason being it will be done correctly, and the cost factor up front should be offset by the savings you should receive both in the short term and most importantly the long term, people who handle their own matters usually find that they left so many open ends that down the road it cost them dearly. Hope this helped and good luck and thanks for your service!.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 2/21/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Alimony is doubtful in such a short marriage, she will have an interest in the pension accrued during the marriage so get on with it.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/20/2014
    Law Offices of Gerard A Fierro
    Law Offices of Gerard A Fierro | Gerard A Fierro
    The general rule for short term marriages in California is that spousal support obligation is for a duration of one-half the length of the marriage. So, in your case the Court may order spousal support for 2 years. The amount of the support would depend on the relative earnings of the parties, and ultimate her needs and your ability to pay. With respect to retirement, the Court could order a share of the community portion unless you negotiate a settlement that includes your being awarded your military pension.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/20/2014
    Barr, Jones & Associates LLP
    Barr, Jones & Associates LLP | Andrew Brasse
    The court would divide up your retirement 50/50 between the two of you. With such a short term marriage, I doubt a court would order you to pay any alimony. In Ohio, you usually have to be married ten years for them to start considering such support.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 2/20/2014
    Welsh Law, LLC
    Welsh Law, LLC | Michael Shane Welsh
    The answer to your question requires more facts - primarily what state your wife and child live in. In Georgia, alimony is not automatic, it is based on a number of factors including infidelity, the needs of the spouse and the incomes of the parties. She may have a claim to a part of your retirement, for the four years you were married and contributing to it. The division of property including any claim to retirement is usually the subject of negotiations. One thing is certain, you ought to retain an attorney to advise you on your options. If you choose to do it yourself, you will put yourself at a significant disadvantage.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 2/21/2014
    Heidi Lauer
    Heidi Lauer | Heidi Lauer
    In California, spousal support is governed by the factors found in California Family Code Section 4320 and generally marriages of short duration have a terminating date for spousal support that is generally 1/2 the length of the marriage, but all factors must be considered - which could lengthen or shorten the period. Further, unless you have a prenuptial agreement or other enforceable agreement, your spouse is entitled to 1/2 of the community interest (contributions made during the marriage) of the pension. Consult with a family law attorney so that you can learn more about your particular matter and your rights and obligations.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/20/2014
    David A. Browde, P.C.
    David A. Browde, P.C. | David Browde
    Child support yes, spousal support probably in a limited amount, retirement pay, similarly a quite limited amount.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/20/2014
    Law Office of Brent R. Chipman
    Law Office of Brent R. Chipman | Brent R. Chipman
    Alimony can be order, even in a short term marriage, if one spouse has a need, and if the other spouse has the ability to pay alimony. In Utah, alimony cannot be ordered for longer than the duration of the marriage unless there are extraordinary circumstances which do not appear to apply to your case. Your spouse will also have a claim on a portion of the retirement or pension benefits that have accrued during the marriage. The court uses a mathematical formula that, simply stated is: your wife would have a one half interest in a percentage of your retirement benefits. The percentage is a fraction where the numerator (top number) is the number of years you accumulated benefits during the marriage and where the denominator (bottom number) is the number of years of service you have when you retire. So if you retire after 20 years, the percentage payable to your wife is 1/2 of 4/20 or 1/10 of your retirement. If you retire after 30 years, your spouse's fractional share would decrease to 1/2 of 4/30 or 1/15th of your retirement of pension (a little less than 7 %). You should talk with an attorney that is familiar with dividing military retirement benefits.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 2/20/2014
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    California law establishes that any property earned or created by earnings during the course of the marriage is community. Consequently, any retirement rights earned during this period of time may have a community property nature. If your wages are greater than your spouses, then you may be responsible to pay spousal support for a period of time.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/20/2014
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