Just separated - what are my rights?


We were married for a year and two months and I moved out on December 5, 2009. We just could not get along anymore and things got considerably worse when he told me he found me sexually unattractive. So, I took that as my cue to exit. When I moved out, I had to quit my job as well, as I had to relocate to another city to live with my parents again. He makes approx $80k a year and I was making approx $12-$15k a year, but am now unemployed and diligently looking for work. He purchased our marital home before we were married and it is titled in his name only. I have no interest in the property, I don’t plan to fight for that at all. We kept separate checking accounts throughout the marriage and he has a savings account and a 401k. I had no savings or retirement plans. We also kept our vehicles separately titled and we kept our bills separated as well. What are my rights here? Do I have any right to alimony? If I were to get a lawyer, what kind of expense am I looking at? Being unemployed, my money is very limited. Please help! Thanks!


Just my $.02, but I don’t think you’ll get alimony since you were married for such a short amount of time…


You may be entitled to some alimony as it is clear that you are the dependant spouse. Alimony has no statutory term set for how long you must be married to receive it, nor is there a statutory provision for how long you must be married before seeking alimony. A rule of thumb lawyers use to estimate a term, is one half the length of the marriage, in your case 7 months.

Alimony is meant to allow the dependant spouse to be able to enjoy the same standard of living enjoyed during the most recent years of the marriage. The issue is that a court may not find that you were married long enough to establish such a standard.

A dependant spouse is also entitled to seek reimbursement of their attorney’s fees spent seeking alimony, and the award is solely up to the discretion of the presiding judge. You could receive an award of total reimbursement, or none at all, and you could spend anywhere from $200.00 seeking alimony to upwards of a few thousands of dollars depending on if the case settled at some point, or went all the way to trial. In this case, I would say seeking alimony is at best a gamble.