You gave up your career to support your spouse’s career instead, and that generally meant taking care of the home, the kids, the pets and all the mundane details of life. You never minded the sacrifices you made — until now.
Now, your spouse wants a divorce and you’re scared you’ll be left without the means to support yourself. Your spouse points out that you’re still young and healthy — and you do have a degree and some job experience, but you know that your skills are seriously outdated.
You may qualify for rehabilitative alimony
You have every reason to ask the court to award you “rehabilitative” alimony. This kind of spousal support acknowledges that the transition from full-time homemaking to a self-supporting career can take some time. You may need time to pursue updated certifications or new training, and you may have to accept a low-paying job to get some new experience before you can eventually provide for yourself.
Rehabilitative spousal support is not meant to last forever, but it can last for quite a while. In fact, North Dakota law is somewhat unique in that it does not even terminate upon the recipient’s cohabitation with a new romantic partner or remarriage, unlike other forms of spousal support.
If you intend to ask for rehabilitative spousal support, it helps to go into court with a plan. The more clearly you can articulate your financial needs (and back those up with documentation) and your plans for eventually achieving self-support, the more receptive the court is likely to be.
Divorce can be a frightening prospect when you’re financially dependent on your spouse. Make sure that you learn everything you can about your legal options so that you can make good decisions each step of the way.