Maintenance/support

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11JB68

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Maintenance/support
« on: August 11, 2020, 06:58:04 PM »
In another thread poison ivy mentioned that her ex didn't ask for support.
My understanding is that in my state it is required and that even if the other spouse says they don't want it the judge may order it anyway...
What have your experiences been with this?

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GettingOOTF

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Re: Maintenance/support
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2020, 07:35:04 PM »
My ex didn’t ask for it either. I don’t think it’s a simple as most people assume. The judge looks at things like the other persons ability (not willingness) to earn an income and a bunch of other things.

This is really a question for an attorney.

What I found with my ex was that it was very important NOT to discuss these things with him. If he knew I was worried about something he’d latch on to it and demand it. For a while he threatened to take my cats. One day I got sick of it and said that if he really wanted them it might be for the best that the took them as I worked such long hours anyway. He never mentioned it again. This was a real turning point in the divorce for me as it was clear that all he cared about was sticking it to me. I knew almost nothing about PDs at the time.

We had agreed that he would get a sum of  money from me. With the help of my therapist I talked him out of that too. I was incredibly fortunate with my divorce.

Of course there wasn’t much cash to fight over but I have much higher earning potential than him and had been fully finding my retirement since I started working.

Part of what worked in my favor was that my ex was distracted by his new girlfriend so it became more about locking her down than fighting me.

I basically used Grey Rock and bit my tongue the entire divorce to get it over with. The more I engaged the more trouble I got myself. I let him take every single personal possession he wanted, even stuff that was mine from my family. Yes it sucked but I kept my eye on the prize the entire time. The prize to me was getting out without having to pay him alimony or have to touch my retirement.

 
« Last Edit: August 11, 2020, 07:36:43 PM by GettingOOTF »

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Poison Ivy

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Re: Maintenance/support
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2020, 08:52:51 PM »
11JB68, I'll write more later about my experience with maintenance and how it's handled in my state.

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Poison Ivy

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Re: Maintenance/support
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2020, 10:48:19 PM »
Here is the primary statutory provision regarding maintenance (formerly called alimony) in my state:

"Upon a judgment of annulment, divorce, or legal separation, or in rendering a judgment in an action under s. 767.001 (1) (g) or (j), the court may grant an order requiring maintenance payments to either party for a limited or indefinite length of time, subject to sub. (2c), after considering all of the following:
(a) The length of the marriage.
(b) The age and physical and emotional health of the parties.
(c) The division of property made under s. 767.61.
(d) The educational level of each party at the time of marriage and at the time the action is commenced.
(e) The earning capacity of the party seeking maintenance, including educational background, training, employment skills, work experience, length of absence from the job market, custodial responsibilities for children and the time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party to find appropriate employment.
(f) The feasibility that the party seeking maintenance can become self-supporting at a standard of living reasonably comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage, and, if so, the length of time necessary to achieve this goal.
(g) The tax consequences to each party.
(h) Any mutual agreement made by the parties before or during the marriage, according to the terms of which one party has made financial or service contributions to the other with the expectation of reciprocation or other compensation in the future, if the repayment has not been made, or any mutual agreement made by the parties before or during the marriage concerning any arrangement for the financial support of the parties.
(i) The contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other.
(j) Such other factors as the court may in each individual case determine to be relevant."

In my state, if the parties reach an agreement before the final hearing, they can avoid having a trial. A judge has to approve the agreement, and the judge will consider whether the agreement seems to be fair and equitable. The judge is supposed to specifically ask the parties about maintenance. E.g., in my divorce, the judge asked us something like the following: "Wife, I see that you are waiving maintenance. Is that correct?" Wife: "Yes." "Husband, I see that you are waiving maintenance. Is that correct?" Husband: "Yes." The judge could still have ordered me to pay maintenance or vice versa despite us agreeing that we were waiving it.

One of my primary goals in the divorce was that I not have to pay maintenance. Here's why: My ex had two long periods of unemployment during our marriage. He is very intelligent and he chose to not look for work after being, in essence, fired from a relatively high-paying job when our children were 3 and 5. After four or five years of unemployment, he finally applied for jobs. He got a job with the post office and worked there for about six years, until he was fired for breaking a work-safety rule. He got a lot of free help from our state because he was considered a "dislocated worker." He accepted the free help but didn't look for work again. Eventually, his dad started paying him for caregiving. The caregiving work was difficult and ex-h deserved to be paid, but he was paid under the table, which I considered to be a slap in the face from him and his dad. I suspected and still believe that my ex was given or had access to a lot more money than he deposited into our joint bank account while we were married and than he reported on his financial disclosure statement for the divorce.

When I filed for divorce, I explained to my husband that I would try to put together a fair and equitable agreement for division of assets (which I did) but that I didn't want to pay maintenance. He said that was okay; he said he would be embarrassed to ask for it. I believed him.

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11JB68

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Re: Maintenance/support
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2020, 11:22:30 PM »
Thx ivy. I'll have to re read the law in my state. If I leave I have no real idea how uocpdh will respond. As with most pwpd he is unpredictable, volatile, and his reactions are arbitrary and based on emotion not logic.
He has a low threshold for embarrassment, and some very traditional ideas of male/female roles... But again that changes with his needs.
Thanks everyone for your feedback on this