Post Separation Support and Alimony

I have been in a heated battle with my STBX since last August. I filed for a divorce in March and he fought it indicating we separated in 8/08 versus our true separation date of 4/2004. We had to appear before a judge to decide on the date and because of the Equitable DIstribution case my STBX filed (although we have nothing together that I want and he is not asking for anything from that standpoint), the judge would not agree to the divorce because of the differing date of the DOS. I was advised by an attorney to cancel the divorce proceedings and to refile using the 8/08 DOS he gave. Once I did this, he assumed he could get me back so he dropped his Equitable distribution case and custody case. I tried to explain that I was dropping mine to refile in September 09. We have lived apart since 4/2004 and have not been finacially responsible for each other. He filed for the divorce before me and also included alimony and Post separation support indicating I had an affair since I would not take him back. This was a lie and something he’s doing out of anger. This has been the biggest problem since the beginning of our marriage and the main reason I want out as I can’t deal with the emotional abuse anymore. My question is…can he get Alimony or Post Separation Support? He is not working as he was fired (for the third time) back in Aug 08 because he stalks me and is so consumed with me that he can’t function at work but we haven’t lived in the same house nor been financially responsible for each other since 4/2004. I drive a Toyota Highlander and he drives a Mercedes. He loans money to our sons football league yet his complaint indicates he cannot take care of himself. He worked as project manager for an engineering company up until he was let go. He has harrassed me with 100’s of text messages, called the police while I was at our sons football games stating he doesn’t want me there, stalked me at my job and subdivision, harrased male co-workers that he thought I was seeing, broken into my home as well as my online phone bill and checking accounts. Prior to 8/08, in spite of the accusations and there were many, I’ve never had an affair. Recently, I started dating and told him I would. I’ve been through hell with this man and I just want out. I don’t want any of his 401K, I don’t want the property we own in Florida, I just want out. Can he get alimony and post separation support because he is not working and hasn’t been since 8/08 which was 4 years after we physically separated from each other? He has maintained his household since 4/2004 and I have been maintaining mine.

Alimony and Post Separation Support can be awarded to a dependant spouse when the court finds that the dependant spouse is actually and substantially dependant on the other spouse (supporting spouse) to maintain the standard of living he enjoyed during the most recent years of the marriage. If the judge determined that the two of you did not separate until 2008, the most recent years of the marriage will be the last few. If however you simply dismissed your action and there was no judicial finding that the date of separation was in 2008, you will need to prove that your spouse has been supporting himself for the past four years, and that prior to separation you were not the supporting spouse and he was not dependant.

Based on his conduct you can allege that his behavior since the separation is corroborating evidence of how he treated you during the marriage as martial misconduct is a factor the courts consider in making a determination of alimony.

Thanks Erin. So basically it comes down to the separation date again - reason why the previous divorce was not granted and I’m still involved in this mess. So the fact that we were both in living in separate homes since 2004 has no bearing on this? How can he be a dependent spouse or anyone even think he is a dependent spouse when we were not living under the same roof? I was not taking care of him and he was not taking care of me. He’s continuing ti use this 8/08 date because from 4/2004 to 8/08, we were intimate a few times. However, we spent the majority of those four years arguing and I was fearful of filing for a divorce because of how he would react - the way he is now with his threats. This is crazy to me.

If you both have been living in separate residences from 2004 your date of separation is in 2004 and you will need to prove that in court. The statute does not prohibit a spouse from receiving alimony after living separate and apart for any specific length of time, but it is pretty strong evidence that your spouse is not dependant if he has been living on his own for 5 years without seeking support.

The statute does address sexual intercourse, and states that isolated incidents of the same are not considered a reconciliation if, by the totality of the circumstances it could not be gleaned that the parties reconciled.