Retired military spouse gone AWOL during separation


#1

I have found myself in bit of a predicament now I have left my husband and returned home to Australia and was hoping to get some answers and see if I have a case to make as I have yet to receive anything from him. No alimony, no divorce papers, nothing.

In a nutshell, we were married in 2006, while he was stationed in Japan. He is military (US Navy) and we lived abroad for the duration of our marriage.
Things got rocky 3 years in but I stuck around to try make it work up until about a year ago when I left and came back home (at the insistence of the counselors I was seeing at the time, they informed me all about the ERD - Early Return of Dependent clause the military offers when a dependent is being mistreated in any way and they summed it up as neglect and emotional abuse.)

In coming home, I lost touch with everyone who was assisting me in some way, it was all quite awful, but wont get into all that, and the Navy JAG lawyers I was in contact with could only do so much in terms of making him pay alimony etc… he left the Navy in May this year so I have since not had any contact with anyone and he is not paying any alimony after I got excuse after excuse so I stopped pursuing it, feeling helpless as to what to do from way over here.
And any time I tried contacting him he was incredibly difficult and really quite mean to me so that proved pointless. At this stage I have no real way of contacting him as every means of contact I have pursued he just blocks me; phone, e-mail etc…

We have now been separated well over a year and I have still yet to receive divorce papers or any alimony equaling anything even close to what he was meant to be paying in support to me and find this unacceptable as we don’t have any children, properties or anything that could prolong the process of getting divorced.

So what I want to know is:
Can I pursue the alimony and possibly get back-paid what he owes me? He has inherited his mother’s house in North Carolina, and is getting full retirement benefits from the Navy as far as I know so he is more than able to and is just skipping out on his responsibilities as far as I can tell…

I have been trying to gain full-time employment since I have returned home and been on my own again but its been hard since returning and I only have a casual job at the moment. I am still job searching and in school on an accelerated business course on a full scholarship via our government (bless them), but I don’t have any real money and am at home with my parents still.

I could really use that money and he never once offered to help in any way like I did to help him (there is SO much to this story, but I basically helped him keep his Navy career when they were going to discharge him - I testified on his behalf, even with how he was treating me at the time… and he was able to retire with full benefits) and now he wants to act like I am nobody and don’t deserve what’s rightfully mine, let alone just help me because I need it at this point.

I am still trying to contact the Navy JAG Lawyers, to no avail. I just leave message after message, and get no response… I would just like to at least find out his permanent residence so I can seek US counsel - at the advice of an attorney here - to pursue this matter although I have no idea what kind of fee’s I am in for to do this or how that even works.

I really appreciate any information you may have for me and look forward to your reply. I could really use some help here as I am at a loss as to what to do now and feel it just isn’t right for him to skip out on is responsibilities, especially considering I was nothing BUT a great wife to him (everything is on record, just have to get those records from the Navy) and I miss out on what’s rightfully mine.

I appreciate your time.
Thank you.


#2

The way to get alimony is to bring a court action. Since you do not reside in the states, you should bring the action in the state where he resides. Whether you are entitled to alimony, the amount of alimony, the duration, and whether you are entitled to retroactive alimony are going to be governed by the law of the state where the suit is brought. You are also likely eligible for a portion of his pension from the military for the period of time he was enlisted during the marriage.


#3

thank you Kathleen… I really appreciate the reply and advice.
If I was to pursue the court action how would I go about the next step? Can your firm help me with this? Still no word from the Navy lawyers so I don’t even know where he is…
Could really use some help to get this going… thank you.


#4

I dont know why men have to act like that but if you read some of the posts on here you will find out that you are not the only one…if that can give you some sort of comfort…


#5

Please contact our client liaison by contacting any of our numbers. She will speak with you and help determine if our firm will be able to assist you and schedule a consultation.


#6

thank you @No regrets and kathleen, I appreciate the advice so much.