Thursday, January 10, 2013

Can I get alimony based on supporting his career during marriage?

Q: My ex and I was married for 10 year. During that time he went to medical school and became a doctor. I am a social worker. We have two children together. He left me and got someone else pregnant. I supported him during his time during medical school, residency and fellowship program. If it possible to get spousial support based on this? 

David’s answer: First, it must be said to make sure not to mix-up two concepts: maintenance (i.e., alimony) & your claim for a share of his degree (1 poster appears to have done so). Your contributions as a spouse to the attainment of his degree is absolutely a factor in considering whether to award you maintenance. Nevertheless, the Court will also consider your respective incomes as well as your receipt of assets among a host of other factors in assessing the maintenance issue. The cited "O'Brien" case relates to the enhanced earnings of an asset (i.e., the degree), NOT to the maintenance issue. You absolutely have a claim to a share of his medical degree & license. The next question would be whether he'd get an off-set if your social worker degree and/or license was earned during the marriage.  -- David Bliven, Bronx Co. Divorce lawyer (

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