Alimony-abuse not in initial claim-still to be considered?


#1

I was in an abusive marriage but could not include this in my claim for alimony because of husband’s threats that if I did claim this he would sue for sole custody and I would not see my children again. He has the financial resources to make good on this threat

An initial claim was filed for Child support , PSS, Custody, Attorney’s Fees and Divorce without mention of 1. Illicit sexual behavior 5. Cruel or barbarous treatment endangering the life of the other spouse. 6. Such indignities as to render the condition of the other spouse intolerable and life burdensome. At the hearing I felt safe from threats and testified to the court of the conditions above and more that I had endured throughout the almost 15 year marriage and provided documentation to back it.

I also care for a disabled child which is a full time job in its self not to mention the physical, emotional and mental stress of knowing the quality of my daughter’s life is in my hands alone – father refuses to help in her care. I am not in good health, mounting medical expenses, already 75000.00+ debt (26,000 is legal fees), with the time devoted to my daughter’s long list of special needs as well as my own I have little to no income with no back up financial resources. Annual income Wife $10,000 - Husband’s over $80,000. Our 2 children are with me over 300 of 365 days/year. All of this testimony and extensive documentation was accepted into evidence.

Question for the wise - Would or should my testimony on husband’s abuse and marital misconduct introduced at the hearing be a factor when calculating an alimony award when it was not in the initial claim?

If same testimony IS considered a factor under G.S. 50-16 and is used to calculate alimony along with the other facts pertaining to my case listed what would an expected or reasonable “balk park” alimony award $ amount be ?
Expected dollar figure if testimony on abuse and marital misconduct should not be allowed?

Does anyone have personal experience or are there case references of similar circumstances to mine and resulting outcome?

last one… is there a rule of thumb of awarding attorney fees that could be expected to be applied in my case?
Any direction would be greatly appreciated !!


#2

Your claim of indignities should be sufficient to raise the issue of abuse in testimony for you alimony. The award of alimony is not only based on incomes but on your need and the opposing party’s ability to pay. The award of attorney’s fees is completely at the discretion of the judge.