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Alimony and Divorce

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I filed for divorce over 6 months ago. I am disabled and get SSD. My husband was putting money into our joint account until a year ago. He closed the account and never told me.  He lives in a different state. We have not lived together for a long time. He was suppose to move here and never did. I have told my lawyer I need money, that I do not get enough monthly to make it. First my lawyer said he needed to be served to get alimony. It took 45 days for her to serve him. This I feel only happened because after a month I started to ask what was going on. Then, his lawyer sent me questions to answer, I did. Then, my lawyer asked him questions. I had to have my answers turned in within 30 days. He took longer than that and then either omitted info, said I had the info or just lied about the info. I met with my lawyer and said that he did not answer the questions correctly. Now my lawyer wants another financial form done. I just want to know if it should take this long to get alimony started? We have been married almost 30 years. She keeps changing the amount I could get for alimony. He is making more money now than when he put money in our account for me. He was putting in about $1600/month. First my lawyer said I could maybe get $300/month. Then $1000. Now is saying $500/month and only for a short time. I said I wanted him to have a life insurance policy covering me if he dies. My lawyer said they don't do that. He also works side jobs and makes even more money than he put on the form. Also the form says you could get in trouble if you lie. I am about to become homeless waiting for alimony and my lawyer. I feel like hiring another lawyer but don't have the money.  I also was on his dental plan and my lawyer said he does not have to have me on his plan.

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#1- How long should it take to get a temporary alimony order started and what has to be done prior to this happening besides filing for the divorceExample: Serving my spouse with the divorce papers. (I filed divorce over 6 months ago and there still is no order in place.) If it were for child support I would not have to wait over 6 months and still not even have a temporary order in place. My lawyer gives me a different reason every time I ask about it. 

#2-How is the alimony amount calculated? I did see online where the wife got 40% of the husband's income, but I can't find that information now.

#3-  Would the fact that he had been giving me around $1600/month before he closed our account be looked at as a possible amount of alimony? My husband knows I do not get enough SSD to pay my monthly expenses. My medical costs have greatly increased recently.

#4- How long is alimony usually for? We have been married almost 30 years. I am disabled and no longer able to work. I get SSD which is not enough to make ends meet.

#5- Usually is there an order placed where the spouse would have to maintain a life insurance policy totaling the amount of the alimony owed? My lawyer said that is not done. 

#6- If my husband had me on his dental insurance is it possible for him to be ordered to keep me on his coverage for a certain time period? Is it very common or rare to get that? I really need the coverage and can't afford it, let alone the amount that is not covered. I think he recently took me off his dental plan.

 

I feel like my lawyer is not helping me. From day one and many times since then I have said I do not have enough money to make it each month. My family is getting info a financial bind helping me. My lawyer knows this too. I really don't know what to do. I thought after he was served I would get an alimony order. Instead, like I said I then had to complete paperwork his lawyer requested, and then my lawyer requested paperwork from him. All these things took time and now it will soon be 7 months and no alimony.

 

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I will reiterate.  There is no way anyone here can possibly give you answers more meaningful than those that can be given to you by your lawyer.  The answers to your questions depend on practices and procedures in the city or county in Arkansas where the divorce is pending.  It also depends on the case load.  The odds on anyone on this website being familiar with timing of divorce cases in your county in Arkansas is about zero.  Sorry.

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1. This is a uniquely local question.  To the best of my knowledge, no lawyers from Arkansas post here regularly.

2. Same answer, but you probably can google "arkansas alimony calculator" to get a rough idea.

3. Yes.

4. With a 30 year marriage, the possibility of permanent alimony is on the table.

5. Do you have reason to believe your lawyer provided you with incorrect information?

6. In the abstract, virtually anything is possible.  However, if his dental coverage is through his employer, you likely won't be able to remain on the coverage after the divorce is final.

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I am only qualified to answer questions 5 and 6, and my experience is not in Arkansas.

 

5.) In the states for which I am most familiar, which are the New England and Mid-Atlantic states, this happens occasionally but it is the exception rather than the norm. New England and the Mid-Atlantic states tend, overall, to be more generous than Arkansas. If your lawyer says this is not an option, I see no reason to disbelieve him.

 

6.) If your husband's insurance is through his employer, it's about 97% certain that you will no longer be eligible for coverage after the divorce is final. Few employers will provide coverage to ex-spouses and for the few that do, there is a tax dis-incentive for the employee to do so. Even the most liberal states do not require coverage for ex-spouses; I live in what is arguably the most liberal state in the nation and my state allows it - it does not require it. If ex-spouses are not eligible dependents under your husband's employer's  rules, a court cannot order them to cover you in violation of their plan  documents, and in the unlikely chance that they are eligible, it will cost your husband more in taxes to cover you after the divorce than before. The tax dis-incentive is Federal, not state, so it doesn't matter if I'm from Arkansas or not.

 

I'm sorry to be giving you bad news, but it's as well that you understand from the beginning that you're not likely to either get life insurance or keep dental insurance and that you not continue hoping for something that's got only a very slim chance of ever happening.

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Thank you for your responses.  Basically I feel that my lawyer is not helping me. Every time I ask about the alimony she comes up with another thing that has to be done first. From the start it was that my husband  needed served. He was served in August. It seems like a temporary support order should have been in place months ago. I feel like my lawyer is not fighting for me. What I mean by that is that I feel she is not concerned that I could become homeless at anytime. I do not want a long drawn out divorce. I want it done and over with. The last time I gave her money, part was to go to court for an alimony order. Instead, I meet with her and went over the answers to the questions she asked my husband. He gave inaccurate information, omitted information, and straight out lied for some answers. She made a list of the information I gave her. It is against the law for him to lie when giving these answers, yet nothing is being done about it. I really like how he put his girlfriend's name and information and said she is his "landlord". She has a 2 bedroom house and a teenage son. exactly what is he renting from her? The bills he listed in his monthly budget are his girlfriend's bills. Seems like he should have to provide proof to back up the information he provided. In the meantime, he is paying her bills, living with her, remodeling her home, and spending money I really could use for rent and food. Now don't take this wrong, I don't care if he has 10 girlfriends, I want a divorce from him and his abuse. I am just saying things do not seem like  they are being handled correctly or in a timely manor. I now understand I can not get him to provide me with dental coverage. What I don't understand is why I sit here almost 7 months after I filed the divorce and nothing has been settled. Just time has gone by, I had to complete questions, which I completely did, and he just put what he wanted for his answers and nothing is being done about it. And I had to wait months for just that to be done. I do understand that laws vary by state. I was hoping a lawyer could tell me just as an example what they would have done by now and if their client would be waiting 7 months without a temporary alimony order worrying they may become homeless. I have a number of health issues that this situation is not helping. I hope you can understand my situation.

 

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I understand they do not practice in Arkansas. I was hoping I could find out how they would handle a case in their state. Seems like it should not take almost 7 months for any temporary order. It should be handled shortly after the other party is served. After all, it is the temporary alimony, not the permanent order at the end of the case.  Certainly if it were for child support the parent would not have to wait this long for a temporary support order.  My lawyer even had to amend my original paperwork that my husband was served because she did not have the alimony listed on the first paperwork. And, I do understand I am not her only client. Whenever she responds to my email or phone call, which does not allows happen, she always says she was busy with other cases. It makes me feel like my case does not mater. I just don't know what to do. No progress is being made.

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