How can I get money from my husband during or after divorce?
1 attorney answer
If your husband owns property, you may be entitled to some of it in a divorce. The general rule for division of property in a divorce is "equitable distribution." Oregon is not a "community property state." This means that married couples do not automatically own all property together. Rather, when a couple divorces, each retains ownership of any property and debts they had at the start of the marriage. Any property (or debt) obtained during the marriage is divided equitably between the spouses. This can include real estate and retirement accounts.
Also, if you file for divorce, you can ask the Court to order your husband to pay spousal support. There are three reasons that spousal support might be ordered under Oregon law:
Transitional support: This is ordered on a temporary basis, to allow a spouse who has been supported by the other to find work and become self-sufficient.
Compensatory support: This is ordered on behalf of a spouse who made a significant contribution to the other spouse's earning capacity, typically by helping them pay for school or otherwise advance in their profession. The spouse who was assisted in this way may be asked to compensate the spouse who made sacrifices to help them.
Spousal maintenance: This is ordered for a person who has spent so long supported by their spouse, they are incapable of supporting themselves and divorcing any other way. It is typically ordered only in marriages that have lasted many years.
Spousal support is never automatic, and is ordered at the discretion of the court. The main issue is generally, how long has one spouse been supporting the other? The longer the period of dependence, the greater the chance that the court will order the spouse who's been providing support to continue to do so. This may seem unfair, if you're the spouse who's been providing support already - but the purpose of the law isn't abstract justice; it's to ensure that everyone can keep a roof over their head.
Oregon is a no-fault divorce state. That means that any person who is married is entitled to a divorce if they want one, for any reason or no reason. Put another way, the reason for the divorce is mostly irrelevant to how things shake out. This may seem harsh, but I think on balance it is a good rule. Otherwise, you would need to drag all your most painful and private business out into the open of the courtroom, and a judge would have to decide who was truly 'at fault' - which is a deeply subjective and value-laden determination. It's better to be done without that public argument.
There's also a more fundamental problem: If your husband doesn't have any money - which seems likely, for someone who was a seasonal field worker and then incarcerated - you won't be able to get any, even if a court ordered you to. You can't take from someone something that they don't have.
It certainly sounds like divorce is appropriate for you; but you may have to recognize that there's no money to be gotten out of it. You may need to just go your separate ways and rebuild from there.
Please read the following notice: Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and the Federal District of Oregon, and cannot give advice about the laws of other...
Sign up to receive a 10-part series of useful information and legal advice about the divorce process.