Do I Have to Pay Alimony if I Give my Ex a Disproportionate Share of our Marital Assest? Does it Matter that we were Married Out of the Country?

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“I’m in divorce process and was wandering if my wife would be entitled for alimony payments. We have been married in Russia about 20 years ago and live in US for 10 years . My wife worked most of the time, but had lower salaries then I did. Currenlu in past 2 years I make about 60 K and she is about 42 K. I agree to live her our house with an equity of about 100 K, 2/3 of our non pension savings (I only get about 35 K, she gets about 70K), and also agree to compensate her to equalize our pension funds. We have an adult daughter of 19 in college.

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

Will I need in addition of leaving her so much assets in her benefit still pay alimony if she decides to go to court? Also, would be divorce process any different for people who married in foreign country?”

Last question first – the Court where the divorce is filed will apply the laws of that state as long as you satisfy the residency requirements and the court has jurisdiction.

If you are already going to just give her a disproportionate share of the marital assets, you should make that property division contingent on the waiver of spousal support, or the limitation of it anyway. For a 30 year marriage, the court can retain jurisdiction to order permanent support, over and above what you are just giving away. If you made more than the 60K during the marriage, you may be asked to pay support consistent withthe marital standard of living.

So if you continue to give away assets for nothing, there will be nothing to stop the Court from ordering you to pay spousal support into the future. Afterall, you’re in good enough position to just give the stuff away, so why not a little more.

My suggestion is to make property division and support part of a holistic, overall settlement of your divorce case. This way if she insists on spousal support, give yourself the best chance to have the assets to pay it.

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.

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