Stimpson v. Stimpson
A court can find that a spouse of 29 years is entitled to alimony as the spouse begins life as a single, independent person. The parties married in 1983 and have two children. The husband, 53, earns about $3,988 gross per week as a lieutenant and intends to retire and to earn $1,000 gross per week as a service manager at a radio communications company. The wife, 52, suffers from bipolar disorder and depression and receives $900 per month in Social Security disability. The court awarded the husband the marital residence and ordered the husband to refinance and to pay the wife a lump sum property distribution of $90,000. Alternatively, the court ordered the parties to sell the marital residence and to divide equally the net proceeds of sale. The husband argued against the payment of alimony. The court found that although the husband earned the right to retire after 33 years on the police force, he was obligated to provide alimony to his wife of 29 years, as she begins life as a single, independent person. As soon as the wife vacates the marital residence, the court ordered the husband to pay alimony of $600 per week, plus 33 percent of his overtime pay, to be reduced to $200 per week when the husband retires from the police department in November 2012 and to be paid until the wife's death, marriage, cohabitation or Oct. 23, 2029, whichever takes place first. The court ordered the parties to divide equally the marital portion of the husband's pension. The wife maintained that she did not agree to pay for their children's college tuitions and should not be responsible for tuition-related debt, because she believed the children should pay. The court found the wife is financially unable to contribute, to pay back the children's tuition-related debt, and that the husband, who controlled the family's finances, is solely responsible, although it was a legitimate joint debt. The court awarded the wife the Ford and the dogs and the husband the Chevrolet. The court ordered the husband to pay $5,000 toward the wife's attorneys' fees.