Case Summary: Client to be paid rehabilitative alimony even though husband was not presently working

Our office was retained to assist with a divorce matter in Baltimore County.  The client was older, in her sixties, and made her living working with children on their religious studies.  Although she loved teaching her students, due to serious health problems, she was forced to retire.   Her only source of income was the small disability check she received each month.  Since the separation she had received no support from her husband.

On the other hand, her husband had been earning a substantial yearly income.  He had been employed by this same company for a number of years and earned significant benefits in addition to his income.   The client actually helped her husband secure this job after he obtained a two year conditional legal permanent resident card (also known as a conditional green card) on the basis of their marriage.

However, shortly after filing for divorce, the husband was laid off because he no longer had a valid immigration status and work authorization.  Instead of seeking assistance from qualified immigration attorney like the attorneys in our office, the husband attempted to apply for citizenship on his own before he was eligible.   Believing it was unnecessary, he never filed to remove the condition from his green card.  Upon learning he no longer had a valid immigration status, the employer had no choice but to lay the husband off.

Sometimes a spouse will voluntarily impoverish themselves to avoid having to pay child support or alimony.  In these cases, our experienced and knowledgeable family law attorneys have had great success in arguing to the Court that an income should be imputed or attributed to the spouse.  But, this case provided a unique twist.

The husband’s attorney attempted to argue that he should not have to pay alimony (also known as spousal support) to our client because he was not currently employed.  However,  as soon as his immigration matter was concluded and he was once again given work authorization, the husband would resume his prior employment.  The lack of current income had no bearing on his ability to earn a substantial income in the future.

Knowing that the husband was highly motivated to bring the divorce matter to a quick and speeding resolution, and armed with ample evidence that he would soon return to earning a monthly income more than ten (10) times that of our client, our family law attorneys were able to fashion a voluntary separation and property settlement agreement that included alimony payments to our client.

Under the agreement, the husband would start paying alimony to our client in one (1) year’s time.  This would allow him  time to resolve his immigration matter, but also would ensure that the husband didn’t just retire or voluntarily impoverish himself to avoid having to pay alimony.  In one year’s time he would have to start paying alimony regardless whether he was working or not.

The client was ecstatic and overjoyed with this outcome.  Prior to retaining our services, she had previously consulted with another family law attorney who had told her that because her husband was not currently working, she would never be awarded alimony by the Court.  It was only through the perseverance and dedication of our family law attorneys that our client had such a positive outcome.

If you are seeking a divorce from your spouse, you need a qualified and knowledgeable family law attorney who will protect your rights and ensure that you receive everything you are entitled to.  Contact lawyer Anthony A. Fatemi and his legal team to set up a family law consultation immediately.


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