Family Matters.
When It Really Matters.

Q: My husband keeps telling me he thinks he should divorce me because he will soon inherit his parents’ Carlsbad estate…

On Behalf of | May 25, 2013 | Divorce

…and he doesn’t want me to get any of it. I think he is also fearful he will have to pay me alimony for the rest of my life. We have only been married for 7 years, have no children and we currently live in a modest home in Encinitas, California. How can I assure him I am willing to let him have his parent’s money and I don’t really care about it.
A: Any money or property you or your husband inherits will be the separate property of the party who inherits it. It is not joint property nor is it community property so he will not have to share it with you whether he receives it before or after you divorce. Spousal support is a different issue. The best divorce attorneys will disagree on many aspects of the alimony because the California divorce court has broad discretion in determining the amount and the duration of the spousal support. If the marriage is not a lengthy marriage, in California that means a marriage of less than ten years, then the Court usually terminates its spousal support authority after about one half the length of the marriage. If your marriage is 7 years [84 months] then spousal support would most likely expire within about 3 ½ years [ 42 months]. The amount will depend upon a variety of factors the court is required to consider while also evaluating the marital standard of living (see Family Code Section 4320). Obviously, if he inherits a substantial estate he will have the ability to pay more spousal support but the court will look to your respective incomes, assets, debts, etc. in exercising discretion to ascertain an appropriate amount.