How To Get Alimony From A Short Marriage

Question

Short marriage, rich husband, lots of premarital assets, paid off home. I had roughly $400K in premarital assets. I purchased a home worth $350K with $180K down payment 2 weeks before marriage. Wife had a brother do the loan and claimed I needed her income on loan ($17K/ year) to qualify. I’m self-employed and pay a salary of $50K/year but make more. The home was gradually paid off through marriage until July 2014. Wife separated November 30, 2014. Marriage was August 1, 2013. She’s attending nursing school, 25 years old,trying for $2,000/month in alimony and half equity in my home. Wife claims emotional abuse. Last week, however, she was caught committing adultery.

I feel completely betrayed but I realize I need to project myself. What are my chances of “winning” this divorce? A “win” is giving her nothing. She’s trying for temporary al. too. No kids.

Answer

If there were a prenuptial agreement, it would generally be enforceable. The underlying issue is whether you will receive your premarital money absent a prenuptial agreement. If you used your inheritance to pay the down payment, you generally can get back your premarital investment and at least a portion of the house will be yours alone.

However, if your monthly payments came from using your earnings, she has a claim to half of your income during the marriage and half of the equity paid with that income. If all house payments were made from your premarital account, her claim is harder. A second issue here is whether you will have to pay alimony for a marriage 18 months ago. To get alimony, generally, you need a longer marriage. The longest your wife could get alimony is the period between divorce and marriage. You should consider mediating the house division if there is some marital investment. Click on my blog below, “Mediation Tips”, for more information.

Peter ChristensenHow To Get Alimony From A Short Marriage