If my husband I divorce after less than 10 years of marriage and my income is significantly greater than his, can the court compel me to pay spousal support?

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If my husband I divorce after less than 10 years of marriage and my income is significantly greater than his, can the court compel me to pay spousal support?

My husband and I have been married for 8 years and have not been intimate for 6 (his choice, not mine). His medical deterioration (self-induced for the most part) has made it increasingly unsafe for him to be alone at home while I work. I can’t afford in-home care or a nursing home. He is on Medicare and my insurance, but doesn’t qualify for Medicaid because of my income. If we divorce, he would qualify for Medicaid and additional support services (i.e. nursing home).

Asked on November 21, 2011 under Family Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

B Elaine Jones / The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In the state of Florida, there would be a potential for alimony in the case scenario that you described.  Because among other things, in the state of Florida, alimony is based on need and ability to pay.  The need of the person asking, and the ability of the person being requested to pay.  So if you make significantly more than your husband, there is a potential for alimony to be ordered but only if he requests it.  If the divorce is amicable and if for other pertinent reasons as you elicited in your question, I would think that your husband would not be requesting the alimony.  If the divorce is not amicable, you could potentially be required to pay alimony and maintain his health insurance for a period of time.  Since your marriage is 8 years, it does not qualify for permanent periodic alimony which means for the life of the parties unless of course he remarries or cohabitates with someone else whose income is used to assist supporting him.  However, you really need to check on whether or not he would qualify for Medicaid because if he continues to reside with you, your income may be considered still.  I am not sure about the last part of your question because I do not deal with medicaid alot so I would research that part of your question further.  Hope this helps answer your questions.


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