Alimony, post seperation support, and attorney fees


#1

I was just served with some papers today from my stbx that I have been seperated from a little over a year. I was expecting the papers for the custody mediation but also got some other notices I wasn’t expecting. The papers are a summons for hearings for alimony, post seperation support, and to pay for her attorney fees, and also going after the 20% ownership I have in a family business (my family, and interest in the company was gifted to me 6 years ago). She works full time at the same company as I, and makes around 39K a year, while I make around 43k a year. She is also about 6 mos away from a masters degree as well ( I have only high school ed, and supported her while in college) and is fully capable of supporting herself. I also get around another 8k a year from the business in the form of milage, cell phone, and partial car allowances because I’m in outside sales and need to drive about 50k miles a year. So she is also showing that as my earnings. Besides the child support (which I will of course pay willingly and happily), does she have much of a chance in getting alimony, attorney fees, and post seperation support?? LOL - she can have the businesss interest, and the heavy debt that goes along with it… I’m just not sure if the alimony etc. is something that I should really be concerned about or not. I was hoping to do this all without a lawyer, but I’m afraid that these are the things that I can really get screwed over on without one. (pardon my French…) As a business, my family loves her and we have never considered firing her, but I was considering leaving myself. It is too much drama there, and she is the accountant so of course has complete knwledge of every penny I receive. Smart for me to find a new job as well?


#2

The papers she filed concerning alimony/PSS and attorneys fees is pretty standard. It’s because you can’t persue those issues once divorce is finalized. You have to make a request for those prior, I believe. I also believe you have an opportunity to ‘answer’ to the papers and outline your reasons for NOT having to pay. Your income is CLOSE, but you still make more than she does. You really should have a lawyer on your side to walk you through the legailities of these issues. Being unrepresented, when the OTHER party IS represented, is like setting yourself up for failure unless you have super knowledge of the laws and ins/outs.


#3

It is typical for alimony claims to be filed, even if there is a slim chance at an award. Your extra income allowances (8k) will be considered when a judge determines your income, and if she can demonstrate that she has a shortfall (need) of funds needed to maintain her standard of living, and that you have an excess (the ability to pay) she will receive an award of alimony.
You really should consider meeting with an attorney to ensure you have all of the proper paperwork filled out before the Pss hearing it is important that you present all of your numbers just as accurately as she presents hers in order to get a fair shake in court.