Can a woman ask for and receive alimony after 32 years of marriage once separation papers have been signed?
Question Details: After 32 years of marriage my husband and I both acknowledged that our marriage was over, through no fault of either of us. We have legally separated. He agreed to give me part of his pension and $73,000 on the home we bought when we married. The house is now worth approximately $275,000 to $300,000. The attorney who helped me with the separation never mentioned alimony to me, so I thought that I must not have been entitled to it. I have been told, however, based on the number of years we have been married that I probably would have been eligible for alimony. So what I'd like to know is even though separation papers have been signed and I have received some sums of money, am I entitled to still ask for alimony? Can I appear in court without an attorney when the time comes and ask the judge for alimony? Do I need to retain an attorney to represent me or do you think I could just represent myself and ask the judge to grant me alimony based on the length of the marriage? I have asked my older sister to help me and at my request she is writing as I dictate. I ask that you respond to her instead of me. She will rely the information to me. I do not want my husband to possibly find out I have written to you.
If the separation papers have been signed, it is too late to ask for alimony. The separation papers are in essence a contract or legally enforceable agreement: once it is agreed to (signed) neither side can change it unless the other side agrees to the change--and it is unlikely your husband will agree to pay alimony, when you have already agreed to not get any. The time to seek alimony was before the papers were signed.