Wife Awarded Spousal Maintenance Despite Substantial Assets And Income

Family LawWe represented the wife in this action for dissolution of marriage. The parties had been married for 15 years. They had two minor children, ages 8 and 4. The husband, 56, was a licensed psychologist and worked in the field of behavioral health. The wife, 45, held a masters degree and worked as a marriage and family counselor.

Prior to filing the divorce action, the parties had attempted with limited success to mediate their differences. At issue in the divorce action was whether the wife, who the husband contended could earn $40,000 per year, was entitled to spousal maintenance. Additionally, the parties had acquired substantial assets during their marriage which, when divided equally, contributed to wife’s income.

Our client’s position was that she was entitled to spousal maintenance because she was unable to support herself through appropriate employment or was the custodian of a child whose age or condition was such that she should not be required to seek employment outside the home. Indeed, one of the parties’ children demonstrated special needs.

Prior to trial, the parties agreed that the husband would pay spousal maintenance to our client in the amount of $1,000 per month for 60 months. The parties also agreed to share custody of their children. In addition, the husband agreed to pay child support in the amount of $1,251 per month, and to contribute $5,000 toward the wife’s attorney’s fees. The parties, accordingly, submitted a stipulated decree to the court for entry.

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