If I divorce, will I be able to remain in my home and receive alimony?

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If I divorce, will I be able to remain in my home and receive alimony?

I have been married for 38 years. My husband drank 30 of those years and quit 6 years ago. He is now drinking again. I can’t live through it any more. We own our own home and are building a workshop on the property right now. What grounds would I have for a divorce and how can I do this without any money of my own? I have worked and paid half the bills most of our marriage but I have no savings other than my 401k which I have only been contributing to for 4 years. I had worked in earlier years for the state and used my retirement from there to finish building our home which is 24 years old now.

Asked on November 18, 2011 under Family Law, Ohio

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation.  First I need to let you know that any money earned during the marriage from either party to the marriage is known as marital property.  It is not "his" or "hers" but rather "yours" together.  Also any property purchased during the marriage (or built in this case) belongs to the two of you as well.  So are any retirement money or plans - 401K, IRA's, etc., - considered marital property for distribution.  Now, you can file for divorce and request to the court to allow you sole temporary occupancy of the marital home.  But with out knowing more here - like are there any minor children, etc. - it is difficult to know if the court will let you stay in the home permanently unless you are awarded the home as an asset.  Alimony is a possibility in Ohio and there are several types.  The fact that you have been married for so long is a plus there.  Get some advice fro an attorney in your area.  Use the food money if you have to.  Good luck.


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