Alimony - where to start?

My husband and I used to make about the same amt of money when we first married. A few months later when I started questioning why his live insurance and retirement benefits were still in his ex’es name, he said he was still attached to her and only planned on our life being a 3-year deal. Shortly after, all heck broke loose with 2 of my 3 kids becoming severely ill over the course of 2 years, and I became disabled and am now on social security. My 3rd child has autism. He wouldn’t help me with the mortgage modification I was working on, nor our bankruptcy, nor the kids. Now my husband tells me he doesn’t want to be married anymore, or have a house, or me or my kids, and is moving out. Of course he wants a separation agreement in place first, and he appears to be trying to aggrivate me into submission. I am pretty sure he’s cheating but have no proof, and since he locked me out of all his computers and personal information long ago, it’s going to be hard to get. I’m not sure I care. He has lots of money for attorney help, I do not. I tried getting help, but legalaid doesn’t help with separation.

Except… now it comes to alimony. The house is worth nothing (-$70k) compared to what we owe, so he says he will sign it over to me, except he wants me to refinance it first. We are just out of bankruptcy, so I can’t, not that I have the money to fix the arrears or being upside-down. The loan remains in both our names, but I’ve agreed to take the debt and liabilities if I can have the asset. Do I really need the quitclaim deed at separation, or is a separation agreement that says I have the house and he is not liable adequate? Is he right that he shouldn’t sign it over to me until I refinance? The ch 7 bk alleviated both of us of any liability on the house - I’m just trying to not have to move my kids and traumatize them further. I can’t afford the house on my own without support. He makes almost 3x what I do after my disability payments, and he’s trying to count the little child suport I get for 2 of the kids in my income. So, he makes rughly 10k/mo, and I 4k. He’s leaving me, and I am the one who had money when we married - he was living on a shoestring after giving his ex most of his money each month. I supported him mostly while I was working, for about a year, then he supported me primarily for the remaining 3.5 years of marriage. I put $10k down on the house, he put nothing, and we married after we bought it.

Where do we start with alimony? I’ve read all the “factors” but that doesn’t help me. I know there’s not a clear calculation like for child support, but there has to be some generality of where to start. By the “factors”, I’m disabled, I have 3 dependents, he’s leaving, he traumatized us constantly with his self-injurous beating on himself, and he’s been telling me he was leaving me for over 3 years.

I have 3 children living with and still depending on me, he has 2 kids, but he has custody of neither, and they rarely visit and he spends almost no money on them aside from CS for one of them. I spend more on them than he does. I had $28k in medical expenses last year, almost none of which was for him and his kids, mostly my kids.


In order for the property to actually become your sole and separate property, you will need him to sign a deed, and have it recorded. It is not wise to sign over your rights to an asset if you are still liable for the debt associated with the same. Being the dependent spouse, you likely have a claim for alimony and post-separation support. You also are of course entitled to child support from any children you have with your ex. Your child support for prior children does count as income to you.

Thanks for your response. We have no children together.

In the Ch 7 bankruptcy, we did not re-affirm the house, so neither of us has any liablity for the house. In that case, is it still unwise for him to sign over his rights to the asset if I am taking all voluntary financial responsibility? My continuing to make payments will only keep it out of foreclosure as long as I pay for it, but should it be foreclosed on, neither of us can be held liable for the remaining balance of the leins - this is why we converted to a ch 7, to not be liable for the house and have the option for it to be surrendered. Is it still a liability for him, and should that keep him from signing the house over? Conversely, am I in a poor position by continuing to pay the mortage with his name still on the deed, and agreeing to take all liablity in our separation agreement without a quitclaim deed? Or does his signing the separation agreement and giving me all interest in the property sufficiently protect me?

Is there another solution here that I am missing? I don’t want to move my kids, especially with the situation being as it is. If he pays alimony, I can possibly afford to stay here.

The question I didn’t see answered was, where do I “loosely” start to figure an alimony number? and how do these factors considered usually effect an alimony number?

Should I ask for only alimony assuming we agree upon and sign a separation agreement before he moves out, or would that be post-separation support? What is the difference? I see some references to them being the same, others that they are different.


The SA is fine and you can sue for breach in the future if necessary- he can sign the deed over so long as he no longer has personal responsibility for the loan.