While alimony is often a controversial topic, it is an especially important consideration when a spousal partner has not worked during the marriage. In a recent case, a woman whose husband cut her off financially and demanded she get a job asked for a divorce as a result.
Her story is similar to many stay-at-home parents'. The woman had a college degree but had not worked for 27 years. Her husband "suggested" that she get a job although the couple was financially solvent. Finally, he began insisting, stating that he would no longer give her an "allowance." The wife sought a job, but she could find only menial work. After two weeks, she told her husband she wanted a divorce and began proceedings with a lawyer.
She was told that she would receive the bulk of the assets and possible alimony. However, she has yet to appear in court to hear a judge's take on the situation. One of the major questions will be if a partner can withhold funds and force his or her spouse to go to work after the children are grown. This woman's family and friends have apparently fallen on both sides of the issue.
Alimony and other issues surrounding divorce are complicated, especially when ending a lengthy marriage. It's important, however, to make sure you know your options and what you are entitled to. The advice of a professional divorce attorney can help individuals and couples make informed decisions about the realities facing them financially.
Source: Chicago Sun-Times, "Stay-at-home mom seeks divorce after her husband withholds money," Cheryl Lavin, Sept. 18, 2012