Will my wife be able to get spousal support? 3 Answers as of April 01, 2011

21 yrs married in California. I make 127k, she makes 56k. Our main house is on the market for 700k; we owe 350k in it. We have 5 rental properties and 1 cabin. I have offered her 50% of everything including my 401k and pension. She still wants spousal support of $2k per month. I have emails from an anonymous source forwarded from her email where she is telling our friend that she can easily support herself and only wants spousal support to hurt me. Can I use those emails against her without invasion of privacy?

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Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
It is possible your wife will get spousal support. Your case is where good lawyering can perhaps prevent spousal support. Your incomes are very disproportionate, and the lifestyle during the marriage will be considered at trial. Unless you are able to LEGALLY defend the issue, you will probably be paying spousal support in some amount. Once again, your case is where good lawyering can perhaps prevent spousal support.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/1/2011
Goldberg Jones
Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
Considering you more than double her income, she would likely get spousal support from you if you do not settle otherwise, but $2,000 sounds pretty steep. It will depend on other factors as well (How long you have been separated, the standard of living during the marriage, the division of all the assets, her ability to earn more than she currently does, and many more) The email is tricky issue and it may open you up to liability if the information was obtained illegally. I know we all say it, but you should meet with an attorney. I would be hap to talk with you over the phone or meet you in my office to discuss your options.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/1/2011
Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
Generally, a marriage of long duration such as yours will lend itself to the awarding of spousal support. Further, given the significant disparity of incomes, I think a support order is likely. While she may well be able to support herself based on her salary alone, that isn't the issue when reviewing requests for spousal support. The issue is the marital standard of living, which she likely cannot maintain on her own.

Her "desire" to punish or hurt you probably isn't relevant. Also, although I don't know if yours is a California case, but in California, each party is entitled to 50% of all community assets, so at least according to California law, you aren't offering her anything she isn't already entitled to receive. Spousal support can be "bought out", however, if the parties agree to it. If you are in my area and are looking for legal assistance, please contact me for a free consultation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/30/2011
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