Can a woman ask for and receive alimony after 32 years of marriage once separation papers have been signed?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a woman ask for and receive alimony after 32 years of marriage once separation papers have been signed?

After 32 years of marriage my husband and I both acknowledged that our marriage was over, through no fault of either of us. We have legally separated. He agreed to give me part of his pension and $73,000 on the home we bought when we married. The house is now worth approximately $275,000 to $300,000. The

attorney who helped me with the separation never mentioned alimony to me, so I thought that I must not have been entitled to it. I have been told, however, based on the number of years we have been married that I probably would have been eligible for alimony. So what I’d like to know is even though separation papers have been signed and I have received some sums of money, am I entitled to still ask for alimony? Can I appear in court without an attorney when the time comes and ask the judge for alimony? Do I need to retain an attorney to represent me or do you think I could just represent myself and ask the judge to grant me alimony based on the length of the marriage? I have asked my older sister to help me and at my request she is writing as I dictate. I ask that you respond to her instead of me. She will rely the information to me. I do not want my husband to possibly find out I have written to you.

Asked on August 9, 2019 under Family Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If the separation papers have been signed, it is too late to ask for alimony. The separation papers are in essence a contract or legally enforceable agreement: once it is agreed to (signed) neither side can change it unless the other side agrees to the change--and it is unlikely your husband will agree to pay alimony, when you have already agreed to not get any. The time to seek alimony was before the  papers were signed.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption