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  1. #1
    TripMom is offline Junior Member
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    Arguments against spousal support

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California

    I am getting ready to meet with my husband and his lawyer to go over the proposed martial settlement agreement I drafted. I suspect that his attorney may try to fight me against spousal support and wanted some advice on my argument.
    Little background, my husband was awarded temporary spousal support for a lousy $300/mo which basically means he pays a little less in child support now. In his original response he waived spousal support, I suspect he asked for temporary spousal support as a way of clearing some of the child support he would have been in arrears on. If he tries to pursue permanent SS I fully intend on fighting it.

    Here are my arguments:
    For most of our marriage he has turned down numerous jobs that he has been offered because he didn't want to commute or didn't like paperwork ( I have documentation of this and witness willing to give statements to this).
    He has had two GI bills that he has let go to waste and never used so he could have gotten training for a better job.
    He currently and for the next ten years has educational training available through the VA that will fully pay for any schooling or job training AND pay him a significant monthly stipend and he won't do it because "he doesn't like school".
    In the six months that we have been separated he has done nothing to try and make himself self sufficient, which my understanding of spousal support is it is a temporary way of helping one spouse out until they can become self sufficient.
    He currently has the means to be able to go out to restaurants all the time, by video games, take trips, subscriptions to dating sites etc ( all documented courtesy of his facebook page). This is no where near the manner in which we lived so it doesn't match the financial stability of the duration of our marriage.

    Does this seem like strong enough arguments against awarding spousal support?
  2. #2
    LdiJ is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TripMom View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California

    I am getting ready to meet with my husband and his lawyer to go over the proposed martial settlement agreement I drafted. I suspect that his attorney may try to fight me against spousal support and wanted some advice on my argument.
    Little background, my husband was awarded temporary spousal support for a lousy $300/mo which basically means he pays a little less in child support now. In his original response he waived spousal support, I suspect he asked for temporary spousal support as a way of clearing some of the child support he would have been in arrears on. If he tries to pursue permanent SS I fully intend on fighting it.

    Here are my arguments:
    For most of our marriage he has turned down numerous jobs that he has been offered because he didn't want to commute or didn't like paperwork ( I have documentation of this and witness willing to give statements to this).
    He has had two GI bills that he has let go to waste and never used so he could have gotten training for a better job.
    He currently and for the next ten years has educational training available through the VA that will fully pay for any schooling or job training AND pay him a significant monthly stipend and he won't do it because "he doesn't like school".
    In the six months that we have been separated he has done nothing to try and make himself self sufficient, which my understanding of spousal support is it is a temporary way of helping one spouse out until they can become self sufficient.
    He currently has the means to be able to go out to restaurants all the time, by video games, take trips, subscriptions to dating sites etc ( all documented courtesy of his facebook page). This is no where near the manner in which we lived so it doesn't match the financial stability of the duration of our marriage.

    Does this seem like strong enough arguments against awarding spousal support?
    How long have you been married?
  3. #3
    mistoffolees is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    How long have you been married?
    And what are the respective income levels?
  4. #4
    TripMom is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    How long have you been married?
    We have been married for a little over 12 years
  5. #5
    TripMom is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mistoffolees View Post
    And what are the respective income levels?
    His gross is at about $3,500 where mine is at $5,100
  6. #6
    LdiJ is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TripMom View Post
    His gross is at about $3,500 where mine is at $5,100
    Is that monthly?

    There is not a huge difference between your respective incomes, but some short term alimony might come into play since you have been married for 12 years.
  7. #7
    TripMom is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    Is that monthly?

    There is not a huge difference between your respective incomes, but some short term alimony might come into play since you have been married for 12 years.
    yes, it is monthly.
    Even with my arguments that you think he could still get some sort of alimony. What do you think about the fact that if he actually utilized his VA rehabilitation training award and went to school or training for 1/4 time he would be paid $480/mo. He only got awarded $300/mo on temporary spousal support. If he got training not only would he be getting MORE money than he currently is but he would be getting trained for a better paying job making him more self sufficient.
    Thoughts on this?
  8. #8
    Silverplum is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TripMom View Post
    yes, it is monthly.
    Even with my arguments that you think he could still get some sort of alimony. What do you think about the fact that if he actually utilized his VA rehabilitation training award and went to school or training for 1/4 time he would be paid $480/mo. He only got awarded $300/mo on temporary spousal support. If he got training not only would he be getting MORE money than he currently is but he would be getting trained for a better paying job making him more self sufficient.
    Thoughts on this?
    He can certainly get alimony from you.

    Your chance to "control" him is over with the marriage. You can't FORCE him to do a dang thing about his future or his earnings.
  9. #9
    TripMom is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silverplum View Post
    He can certainly get alimony from you.

    Your chance to "control" him is over with the marriage. You can't FORCE him to do a dang thing about his future or his earnings.
    This isn't about me "controlling" him, it is about his "ability" to earn more than he currently is so he is purposely keeping himself underemployed. So no, I can't and have no intention of asking the court to "force" him to do anything. Bringing up the argument to the judge is about me showing that he has the ability if he chooses to to earn more money and if he CHOOSES not to fine but I shouldn't have to pay him just because he doesn't want to get off his rear and actually play grown up.
  10. #10
    Silverplum is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TripMom View Post
    This isn't about me "controlling" him, it is about his "ability" to earn more than he currently is so he is purposely keeping himself underemployed. So no, I can't and have no intention of asking the court to "force" him to do anything. Bringing up the argument to the judge is about me showing that he has the ability if he chooses to to earn more money and if he CHOOSES not to fine but I shouldn't have to pay him just because he doesn't want to get off his rear and actually play grown up.
    Sure.
    .....
  11. #11
    mistoffolees is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TripMom View Post
    yes, it is monthly.
    Even with my arguments that you think he could still get some sort of alimony. What do you think about the fact that if he actually utilized his VA rehabilitation training award and went to school or training for 1/4 time he would be paid $480/mo. He only got awarded $300/mo on temporary spousal support. If he got training not only would he be getting MORE money than he currently is but he would be getting trained for a better paying job making him more self sufficient.
    Thoughts on this?
    He's making $3500 - which is a pretty good income. I'm not sure how much better he'd do with VA rehab training. And while he might be able to do better with a college education via GI Bill, he has no obligation to do so. If you want to use that logic, why don't you go back to school to get an M.D. degree so you can make more money?

    His self-sufficiency is not your problem. He's making a good, livable wage and you can't force him to do anything to earn more. (it would, of course, be different if he voluntarily left a higher paying job).

    $300 / mo temporary support is not unreasonable - you're making $1600 more per month - so that's less than 20% of the income differential. And that's only temporary. Chance are that the 'permanent' support would be that level or less - and probably only around 3-4 years. You could spend a lot more than that fighting over it.

    Bottom line - if he is voluntarily underemployed, you MIGHT be able to argue for him to be imputed a higher salary - but he'd have to be imputed a salary of over about $4500 in order to reduce your temporary support from its current level. And it's hard to prove voluntarily underemployment when he's never earned more than he does now.
  12. #12
    Silverplum is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mistoffolees View Post
    He's making $3500 - which is a pretty good income. I'm not sure how much better he'd do with VA rehab training. And while he might be able to do better with a college education via GI Bill, he has no obligation to do so. If you want to use that logic, why don't you go back to school to get an M.D. degree so you can make more money?
    *I* think OP ought to go back to school to get a JD in order to make more money.

  13. #13
    TripMom is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mistoffolees View Post
    He's making $3500 - which is a pretty good income. I'm not sure how much better he'd do with VA rehab training. And while he might be able to do better with a college education via GI Bill, he has no obligation to do so. If you want to use that logic, why don't you go back to school to get an M.D. degree so you can make more money?

    His self-sufficiency is not your problem. He's making a good, livable wage and you can't force him to do anything to earn more. (it would, of course, be different if he voluntarily left a higher paying job).

    $300 / mo temporary support is not unreasonable - you're making $1600 more per month - so that's less than 20% of the income differential. And that's only temporary. Chance are that the 'permanent' support would be that level or less - and probably only around 3-4 years. You could spend a lot more than that fighting over it.


    Bottom line - if he is voluntarily underemployed, you MIGHT be able to argue for him to be imputed a higher salary - but he'd have to be imputed a salary of over about $4500 in order to reduce your temporary support from its current level. And it's hard to prove voluntarily underemployment when he's never earned more than he does now.
    Although I do make $1,600 more a month I have primary custody of our 3 children and the spousal support reduces what he currently pays in CS. He needs to be paying the full amount of child support not trying to hid behind spousal support to fully pay his obligation to his children.
  14. #14
    LdiJ is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mistoffolees View Post
    He's making $3500 - which is a pretty good income. I'm not sure how much better he'd do with VA rehab training. And while he might be able to do better with a college education via GI Bill, he has no obligation to do so. If you want to use that logic, why don't you go back to school to get an M.D. degree so you can make more money?

    His self-sufficiency is not your problem. He's making a good, livable wage and you can't force him to do anything to earn more. (it would, of course, be different if he voluntarily left a higher paying job).

    $300 / mo temporary support is not unreasonable - you're making $1600 more per month - so that's less than 20% of the income differential. And that's only temporary. Chance are that the 'permanent' support would be that level or less - and probably only around 3-4 years. You could spend a lot more than that fighting over it.

    Bottom line - if he is voluntarily underemployed, you MIGHT be able to argue for him to be imputed a higher salary - but he'd have to be imputed a salary of over about $4500 in order to reduce your temporary support from its current level. And it's hard to prove voluntarily underemployment when he's never earned more than he does now.
    The bolded would be my argument AGAINST alimony.
  15. #15
    TripMom is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    The bolded would be my argument AGAINST alimony.
    Thank you, that is a good point.

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