Need Help with Alimony!


#1

Ok, my stbx and I went through the court to settle PSS in Wake County. I asked for collaboration but he insisted on using the court system in which we both incurred legal fees of over $7,000.00 each. I had to take out loan and borrow from my parents to pay for mine. I am the supporting spouse by legal terms because he refuses to get a real job. I make 100 K and he makes 24K even though he is an accomplished Chef and very capable of earning more. After much debate back and forth from our attorneys to the judge; after 5 months she finally came back with a reasonable amount for me to pay, $390.00 per month and denied legal fees. I am broke while I continue to pay for the house, our back taxes and my own living expenses.
My stbx and I have a physical property agreement that was completed and notarized in June of 2010 when he left the home. So, the contents of the home are already split. We have through email settlement offers finally agreed on financial settlement in which I am going to give him the rest of my 401K, $15,000 through QDRO plus $2,500 cash. These are the only liquid assets that I have, but he is adamant that he is entitled to them. The house that we bought in 2008 is deeded to the both of us, but I have the mortgage and live in it. The real value of the home has depreciated and if I were to put on market and sell today, I would lose about $20,000. My stbx has indicated that he is planning to go back to court and argue for alimony for a much larger amount than what the judge ordered for PSS because his attorney has told him that he is entitled to 10 % of my income regardless of my ability to pay. He says his attorney has told him that the court will based its decision on the standard of living established during the marriage and that and her award for PSS is not a sufficient for him to obtain housing and healthcare ( I have been carrying him on my health insurance and he lives with friends) and maintain standard of living.
I have no more money to pay for attorney although his parents are obviously prepared to pay thousands more for him to battle this Alimony case out in court.
My questions:
Will the Judge order an amount that I am not able to pay, or is it really based on standard of living? If she does, I will be forced to foreclose and file bankruptcy.
How can I protect myself when he has attorney and I do not?
BTW, my attorney says that even if I could pay him, he will not work with his attorney because he doesn’t trust him and thinks he is just milking my stbx for money.


#2

His attorney’s advice is incorrect. There is no standard percentage for alimony, and the ability of the supporting spouse to pay is always a factor. While the dependent spouse’s standard of living is considered, his ability to work, and your ability to pay are also considered in an alimony determination.


#3

Since I cannot afford an Attorney at this point ( I have used every dime have) do you beleive I could go Pre Se and be ok?


#4

Many folks proceed on their own and do fine. I suggest you visit the AOC website and download a copy of the local rules for Wake county. http://www.nccourts.org/Courts/CRS/Policies/LocalRules/Documents/682.pdf- You will want to ensure you are up to speed on all the deadlines with respect to updated document disclosure, ect. It may also help to attend a few alimony hearings to observe how the trial process runs.


#5

Thank you very much for you help! In your experience will the Judge increase the award amount of the PSS in alimony if pushed by his attorney?


#6

In my experience PSS is usually a good indication of the amount of alimony, however the health insurance cost after divorce may be reason for an increase.