"standard of living"


well I am not a woman, but as a guy I will make this comment. IF you GAVE UP a career/education to stay at home to raise children THEN you totally deserve more than poverty level for the years spent raising said children. IF you just married the guy and lived off of him for 21 years and didn’t work and didn’t raise children all 21 years, then why didn’t you go to school and better yourself? Why didn’t you work? I wish I had a 21 year long vacation. If he didn’t want you to go to work, then yeah that is a different story, you deserve way more as well.

I have to work the rest of my life as well, and I am a guy with a college degree who makes a decent salary. That’s just how it is. Most people have to work.


It is hard for me to assess alimony issues without reviewing all the facts. However, it is often hard for two people living apart to maintain the standard of living they had when they were together.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit radio.rosen.com for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

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Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
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The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.


Well, all I have to say to your attorney response is that my ex earns more than the president of the U.S. Last time I checked, the salary of the president was over 400,000 per year. I receive 24,000 a year in alimony. Review those facts! Thanks!


Will you please stop attacking Helen everytime you get a response you don’t like? She isn’t the person who did all this to you. She is doing her best and the Rosen firm has set up this forum and provided a rather valuable service for free. She doesn’t have to spend her free time at sometimes ungodly hours to respond to requests for information on this forum for little to no compensation.

Would you expect a brain surgeon to be able to operate without blood work or at least an x-ray? Then why do you expect an attorney to be able to tell you good advice if she doesn’t have the complete facts of your case? There are many nuances and loopholes in the laws. To navigate them well, she would have to know the whole story.

I’m sorry you feel victimized. But you know what? There are absolutely no guarantees in life. Your husband could’ve died destitute and you might’ve had to go back to work with no money whatsoever. You yourself could’ve been killed in a car wreck or from a fatal long-term illness. A flash flood or sinkhole could’ve taken your home. Life is change.

Being a stay-at-home mom was partially YOUR CHOICE. No one put a gun to your head and made you do it. And, for over 21 years?? You’ve got to be kidding me. While it’s an honorable choice, it is also a luxury. I couldn’t even afford to take time off to spend the first year with my child, much less 21 years. There are single moms who put their 6-year olds on the bus every morning, then take another bus to a minimum wage job themselves.

Yes, it sucks that all your hard work got rewarded in the manner it did, but wringing your hands and crying “foul,” then lashing out at those who are trying to do what they can for you isn’t going to solve anything and will completely alienate those who are trying to help. Self pity and recriminations will not bring you back your old lifestyle. It is wasted energy. You can only pick yourself up and do the best you can for yourself from now on.

And, no, there are plenty of men on this site who will be paying for the rest of their lives for a lifestyle they couldn’t support when they were married, but now are expected to because of state laws.

BTW, I kept my standard of living after my divorce. I worked and we had an amicable split. Yes, he made more money than I did, but I did not request alimony. Why? Because I wanted complete freedom in the end.

[i]Originally posted by lostinspace[/i] [br]Well, all I have to say to your attorney response is that my ex earns more than the president of the U.S. Last time I checked, the salary of the president was over 400,000 per year. I receive 24,000 a year in alimony. Review those facts! Thanks!

Wow…do I feel terrible now. I have been at my current job for 12 years and I don’t even make 1000 more than that a year…you make in alimony more than minimum wage pays. Is it fair? NO. Is it going to change? Only if you make it change. Your husband treated you badly and you feel betrayed and used…I understand that. I honestly do. But it WILL come back around. I have seen it happen more than once. Do the best you can for yourself. Taking care of yourself and being happy is the sweetest revenge.


Athos is right. Life has NO guarantees. Change is inevitable. This may sound disloyal, but I have learned the hard way to NEVER depend on ANYONE to take care of you. You have to take care of yourself. I don’t care how happily married you are, you have to always be prepared to make it on your own. Death, Divorce, illness all are possiblities.

I was a stay at home mom too. I DID have an at-home business (Preschool) and I did have an education, but I didn’t sign up for NOT being with my kids during the day. When my ex left, I struggled for sure. I did not ask for alimony eventhough I qualified. No way was I going to take money from him and have him hold it over my head. I just wanted him to support his kids. I got a job doing something I didn’t really want to do out of neccesity. I had NO retirement and had to start from scratch at age 34 (yes, I ‘trusted’ he would provide for our future—he didn’t) HE had no 401K (my stupidity).

Bottom line, ignorance of family finances is no excuse. Not having a ‘back-up’ plan is no excuse. Expecting to maintiain the same lifestyle you had when you were married is unrealistic.

I know you’re hurting and mad at the world and mad at him. But you have to find strength to pick yourself up and move on. Lashing out at those who are trying to help is not fair.

I am at a time in my life that I will never depend on anyone or any man to ‘take care of me’ financially. My pride and independence won’t allow it. I’ve done well on my own. I don’t have much, but it’s mine and I earned it myself.


well it sounds as if you are really hurt and understandably so. did you have an attorney? I am pretty certain if you were a “kept” woman for 21 years that legally that has some sort of weight in court. Sort of like an arrangement. If it’s not too late, I’d ask your attorney what your options are. It sucks being taken advantage of, I know that. But as others have said, you can’t change what you can’t change and you must just move on and try to live the best you can. I don’t know you from adam but I will say this.

Lose weight.
Start exercising.
get involved in clubs etc.
Take classes? you should qualify for grants etc…You are never too old to learn and get that education you missed out on!

You will feel better with yourself and who knows, maybe you will fall in love again in process. You just never know what is around the next corner. Live your own life and forget about how good he has it for now. Think positive thoughts. Better yourself! It takes time and won’t happen over night but you will feel better and will be a better person after you get through adjusting… just hang in there…


Well, thanks to all who replied. It seems as though the mind set is that I didn’t do enough to protect myself! I thought “marriage” was a partnership, but apparently, it is not! Yes, I may have had a more “privileged” lifestyle than some others because my ex made more money than most people can ever dream about. I did not go into my marriage planning for a divorce! MY BAD! Yes, maybe I was fortunate in that it was actually BAD for me to work and I stayed home and raised my children…something that many mothers cannot do! I did not sit around eating chocolate candy and doing NOTHING! I was the one always present at everything my children did! I was the one volunteering at school, at sporting events, and making sure the kids had every opportunity that was possibly available! I was also the one they came home to and hugged every day because daddy was out screwing around! Now, I can’t be there for them! My 14 year old is saving money so we can go to Italy! He doesn’t want to go with his father, but there will be no trip to Italy! Laugh about that if you will, but they have no semblance of the life that they once knew when they are with me! And they prefer to be with me! Sure, by most standards, I should be able to “make it” and I wish to hell that I HAD NOT STAYED HOME now, because at my age, I could have retired! Maybe I did choose to stay home, but he chose to marry me and he chose to screw around! This is the same “double standard” that the Court employs! Woman, YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN and the marriage counts for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!


Since this has become an argument of perception rather than a legal question, perhaps it’s best that it get moved from this forum to the “Emotional Issues” one.


I would like to know from women on this forum how many were successful in retaining the “marital standard of living”. I was forced to sell my home of over 20 years because I could not afford to keep it. I was forced back into the work force after 21 years of absence and will have to work the rest of my life. My ex earns more than the president of the U.S. while I received a mere pittance (poverty level) in alimony and for limited duration. I am too old to start another career and have lost wages due to the marriage. Meanwhile, his transgressions carried no weight (adultery). Does this just happen to women? I’d really like to know. Thanks!