When to divorce to maximize alimony.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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When to divorce to maximize alimony.

Hi I have quit my job to take care of my
twins of five months old. I want a
divorce and I also want the custody of
my two children. My husband will be a
doctor in two years. I want to fight for
the max alimony for myself and
children. Should I start filing for divorce
now or wait till he becomes a doctor?
Thank you.

Asked on May 30, 2017 under Family Law, Iowa


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

To "maximize" alimony you'll have to wait longer then just until when he becomes a doctor, unless he instantly steps into a very-paying position, practice, partnership, etc. Alimony or spousal support is based on lifestyle and earnings. While there is some abilty to project future earnings, there must be solid evidence to support the projection, such as earnings history. Many doctors do not earn alot--and also, their need to repay medical school or college loans is taken into account--so a court will not assume that just because he is a doctor, he will be high earning and able to pay a lot of alimony (and if you and he are living a modest lifestyle at the time, that will also cut against you, since you will not need large payments to sustain a comparable lifestyle). If you are looking to maximize alimony, you will remain in what is presumably an unhappy or unsatisfactory marriage for years, until there is evidence of high earnings.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

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