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Can my husband sue me for alimony if he did not work at all during the marriage, did not take care of any children or the house?

Hackensack, NJ |

My husband is an artist and did not earn any money throughout our 4 year marriage and refused to work. I am a lawyer with a high income, we just had a baby 6 weeks ago, that I have been taking care of during my 3 month maternity leave. He made no plans on taking care of her when I go back to work and we have already made arrangements that my mother will take care of the baby. We specifically moved to NJ so my mother can help out. I own the condo we live in (bought before the marriage) and own all furniture, car, credit cards (no joint accounts). What am I in store for? He also takes a variety of prescription drugs (xanex, lexipro)

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Attorney answers 3


It is difficult to answer your alimony and divorce questions without more information. Alimony was created to assist a spouse who lost the opportunity to advance his or her career during the marriage.  The purpose of alimony is to assist that spouse in maintaining a comparable life style that he or she shared while he or she was married.  Some of the factors that a court will consider in determining whether or not to award alimony include, but are not limited to, their respective ability to pay, the duration of the marriage, the age and health of the parties, the standard of living during the marriage, their earning capabilities and employability and equitable distribution of the marital property.

If there is alimony, and I am not saying there should be, it would not be very long or for a much money. The key factor in your case is the duration of the marriage. Duration is important because the underlying issue is really the amount of economic dependency created during the marriage. Not much dependency is created in 4 years.

Here is a link to my eBook: "Divorce: the Financial Impact" that should help you prepare.

Additionally, below are blog posts and additional information.

You should consider meeting with an attorney well-versed in these areas. I recommend you seek a law firm that concentrates in family law. This concentration allows the attorneys to better understand the issues and complexities of you matter.

Additionally, below are links to articles and information that may assist you with your case.

Good luck.
Brad M. Micklin, Esq.
The Micklin Law Group
187 Washington Ave., Suite 2F
Nutley, NJ 07110

Please mark as "Helpful" or "Best Answer" if our advice helped you. This information is based upon the limited facts you presented. My advice is based on New Jersey law and may be different if I find that the facts presented are different. Additionally, this answer does not contain any confidential information nor does it create any attorney/client relationship.


You should be meeting with an experienced family law attorney at your earliest convenience. The longer the term of your marriage is, i.e. the date of marriage until a Complaint for Divorce is filed, the greater financial exposure you will have, i.e. the likelihood of paying alimony over a longer period of time; the possibility of your husband securing a right to share in the equity existing in your pre-marital property, etc...

While you likely have exposure to an alimony obligation, on a 4 year marriage that exposure likely capped in the neighborhood of 2 years (if a Complaint for Divorce is filed in the immediate future). Of course, without having all relevant information available there is no way to provide you with a reliable opinion at this time.

Kenneth A. White, Esq.

The Answer provided was based on the limited information provided, and represents information based on the law in general, not a legal opinion that can be relied upon. Before a formal legal opinion can be offered I would need an opportunity to review all possible relevant facts and circumstances. You cannot rely on the advice of an attorney given over the internet. The exact facts of your sitaution, including facts which you have not mentioned in your question, may completely change the opinion that is being offered. Please be aware that the above comments are neither protected by attorney-client privilege, nor may the same be the basis for a malpractice lawsuit.


Agreeing with the previous responses, your situation is an unfortunate one. Many factors play into whether or not the court will award alimony and how much and for how long that support will be. The length of marriage, disparity between incomes, and employability of the other party are some of the considerations. Remember, at the end of the day the family court is a court of equity. This will allow your counsel to make a wide range of equitable arguments on your behalf. It won't be easy, but you do have some fighting room available to you. A free consultation with a family law attorney would be a prudent move here, sooner rather than later as every day you wait to file the Complaint is another day tacked onto his potential claim for support.