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My husband won't get a job- what happens if we divorce?

Houston, TX |

My husband has been unemployed for about 8 months, ever since leaving the military. He claims he's trying to get a job, but he's really not. In reality, he's sleeping all day, playing video games, and going out at all hours of the night without telling me where he's really going.

If I divorce him, I have several concerns:

1) Since he's not working, will he be obligated to pay child support? Can the judge make him get a job?

2) Since I'm the only breadwinner, will I have to pay him spousal support?

3) Who gets to stay in the house? If we separate before divorce, is it better to kick him out of the house rather than having me and the kids leave?

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Attorney answers 2

Posted

1) Since he's not working, will he be obligated to pay child support? Can the judge make him get a job?

The judge can't make him get a job, but most judges have a minimum that he must pay.

2) Since I'm the only breadwinner, will I have to pay him spousal support?

Probably not. I doubt you have a very long-term marriage, and it sounds like he is able-bodied -- he’s just being lazy.

3) Who gets to stay in the house? If we separate before divorce, is it better to kick him out of the house rather than having me and the kids leave?

Well, it would be hard for him to say he should stay in the house since he does not have a job and can’t pay for it.

This reply is provided for information purposes only and does not represent legal advice or an attorney-client relationship.

Posted

If you get custody of the children, then he will be obligated to pay child support. If he is not working, then the court will presume, at a minimum, that he makes minimum wage. If he could work at a higher pay job, then the court could find that he is underemployed at minimum wage and assign a higher wage.

Spousal support is paid only where the marriage is 10 years or more and one spouse does not have the ability to earn near as much as the other (such as in the situation where a wife puts the husband through medical school and they later divorce...) OR, where there is an allegation of abuse (you against him if he wants you to pay).

Do you want the house? It would probably be a better situation for your children if you are seeking custody for them to stay in their home. Thus, I would have him leave (and if he won't, then have him served with papers which award you at least temporary possession of the home).

You will need a lawyer so talk to 2 or 3 before you make a decision.

Although I have answered the question to try to help you, you should consult with a lawyer in your area in person on the matter. In addition, my answer does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us.