Verbal agreement

My husband and I have been separated since July 2013. He left on his choice, not mine. When he left I had a part time job as a waitress and was a student. I could not pay for the home (in both our names), a car to pay for (in both our names). He continued to pay bills at my home until November 2013 when he got mad at me about something and that was his retaliation. I was able to get a full time job and kept my part time job, working 7 days a week to be able to keep my home and car. My daughter, not his daughter (he has been in her life since she was 4, her real father died when she was 2) agreed verbally with me to pay for her car insurance. Her grandparents gave her a vehicle and I could not even with the two jobs I had afford to pay her outrageously high car insurance since she was a new driver (16). He stepped away from everything and didn’t have to pay a dime for anything and all he had to pay was the car insurance for her. He once again got mad at me about something and has stopped paying that. If I take him to court for not honoring our agreement, what are the chances I will win? It was only a verbal agreement.

We are not yet divorced. I can’t afford a lawyer and he will probably be awarded an absolute divorce when he finally files and won’t have to pay me a dime.
What can I do? Can I file for alimony on my own? Am I entitled to it? Married for 9 years.

A verbal agreement is not legally binding, so you have no legal recourse to enforce the terms of an oral agreement.

You can file for alimony without an attorney; you are certainly free to represent yourself. Or, you can get access to a library of legal forms and communicate with an attorney through our Rosen Online Service. This service only costs $199/month, and would be a great resource for you to help with filing your alimony claim.

Be advised that if there is no claim for alimony or equitable distribution before the absolute divorce is granted, those claims are lost forever. You will need to make sure you claim is pending before the divorce judgment is entered. If you have questions about this or are unclear, I would advise you consult an attorney. Failure to preserve this claim can be a costly mistake.

Whether you are entitled to alimony will depend on the facts of your case. At a minimum, you will need to show that you were the dependent spouse during your marriage and that your ex was the supporting spouse. For more information about how alimony works, including a complete list of factors a judge will consider when determining alimony, you can read our article Alimony: The Details.