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OhioQuestion
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Ohio Husband - put Dr. wife Through Med School...
      #34009 - 09/28/05 10:24 PM

Curious about my little brother - Ohio resident. He is a 27 yr. old college graduate who has worked for the past 6 years earning approx $50K. Including 5 years as a captain in the army (with 6 mos. in Irag). 5 years ago, Married college grad wife who started medical school after marraige. She uproots couple to Ohio for residency. She started earning approx. $45K last year, husband still earning about $50K. Upon completion of residency in 6 years she will be making $500 - $1M per year as a neurosurgeon. They currently have no savings as all of his salary has gone to supporting them and to paying off her undergraduate and medical school loans, he had no student loans. She has recently decided that she loves another man and wants out.

Any chance for spousal support in this case? This situation is revolting - aren't they all. Marraige only 5 years but her future earnings potential is tremendous and was achieved (at least partially) on the back of my brother's work. Curious as to your thoughts. Thanks,

Ohio.


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Susanf31
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Re: Ohio Husband - put Dr. wife Through Med School... [Re: OhioQuestion]
      #34062 - 09/29/05 09:23 AM

No way. They have similar earning power NOW, no children and a short-term marriage. There are no grounds or "need" for alimony on either of their part.

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OhioQuestion
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Re: Ohio Husband - put Dr. wife Through Med School... [Re: Susanf31]
      #34067 - 09/29/05 09:50 AM

Thanks for your thoughts,

What about the concept of Reimbursement Support??

From the New Jersey case Mahoney v. Mahoney:

To provide a fair and effective means of compensating a supporting spouse who has suffered a loss or reduction of support, or has incurred a lower standard of living, or has been deprived of a better standard of living in the future, the court now introduces the concept of reimbursement alimony into divorce proceedings. The concept properly accords with the court's belief that regardless of the appropriateness of permanent alimony or the presence or absence of marital property to be equitably distributed, there will be circumstances where a supporting spouse should be reimbursed for the financial contributions he or she made to the spouse's successful professional
training.

Or Iowa's Francis v. Francis:

Another case often cited by various states is the Iowa case of Francis v. Francis. Here the court recognized that property awards and alimony have been used interchangeably as means of compensating a nonprofessional spouse for the contribution made to the other spouse's advanced degree or professional license. It stated, "insofar as the advanced professional degree created an expectancy of higher future earnings, the degree may and should be taken into account in calculating that future earnings capacity."

Just curious, trying to help him out. Thanks.


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Susanf31
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Re: Ohio Husband - put Dr. wife Through Med School... [Re: OhioQuestion]
      #34071 - 09/29/05 09:59 AM

I am receiving "reimbursement" or "compensatory" alimony right now.

Your case is slippery though. He willingly put her through college....he made it a gift to the marriage. If it wasn't a gift, the he should have put it in writing that he would pay for her school in exchange for participating in her high income once she started earning it. Since he didn't do that, her college was a gift from him that she doesn't have to "pay back."

He already has his degrees, so he didn't put his career or education on hold to support her (it would be very hard to show that he did.)

He could, on the otherhand, show that he paid for her college and, therefore, has a vested interest in the high income she will be making. He could argue that he had a reasonable expectation that he would participate in the income her education would earn her. But you said that she won't be making that big money for 5 or 6 more years. If she were making it right now or within the next year, it would be a different story.

Certainly an angle worth pursuing with a very good lawyer. I don't know if he'd prevail or not.


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Stirling
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Re: Ohio Husband - put Dr. wife Through Med School... [Re: OhioQuestion]
      #34159 - 09/29/05 02:38 PM

What does your brother's attorney say about the SS issue?

Also, what exactly is your brother trying to accomplish here?

It doesn't appear from your post that your brother's career has suffered while his wife attended medical school. In addition, their incomes are currently similar, and he should be able to support himself on $50K a year so there is no perceived need for SS for your brother's support. Also, if his STBX is currently making $45K a year it is unlikely that she has the ability to pay. I am not certain if a judge will consider the financial pay off she will enjoy six years down the road.

Again, what does your brother hope to accomplish here? SS is typically not intended to be punitive. In my mind your brother should maybe pursue trying to get some kind of reimbursment for the school loans he has paid on his STBX's behalf. This could be accomplished by her paying him back, her assuming more of the marital debt, or he getting the majority of the marital assets. The general idea is that your brother needs to be made whole/reimbursed for the debts he paid on his STBX's behalf.

As far as financaly supporting his STBX during medical school goes, those expenses are probably not something that a judge would award.


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Miranda
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I toatlly disagree with Susan... [Re: OhioQuestion]
      #34161 - 09/29/05 02:42 PM

My good friend is a lawyer. She will pay her ex alimony as HE put HER thru law school. I forgot the term that was used, but those who do help their spouses thru a "professional school" can possibly get future profits of that degree. They were married 14 years and she left him about six months after finishing law school.

That case you posted is VERY similar to my friend's situation. VERY similar...

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13.1...because I am only half crazy!

Edited by Miranda (09/29/05 02:43 PM)


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Stirling
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Re: I toatlly disagree with Susan... [Re: Miranda]
      #34171 - 09/29/05 03:41 PM

I do think that you make a good point. However, the problem I am having with a Judge awarding SS is that this is only a five year marriage which is significantly different than your friend's 14 year marriage. In addition the original poster's STBX won't be making the big bucks for another 6 years which is longer than their marriage. I think that this is an interesting issue and I hope that the original poster will with us what the final out come is.

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Miranda
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Re [Re: Stirling]
      #34187 - 09/29/05 04:16 PM

Those are also valid points Stirling, however I think that he will get some sort of compensation for putting her thru school. Beit from division of property or alimony.

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13.1...because I am only half crazy!


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Stirling
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Re: Re [Re: Miranda]
      #34197 - 09/29/05 04:29 PM

I also agree that he will probably get some form of equitable compensation based on supporting her through medical school and paying on her student loans. I guess I am just having a problem tapping into a cash flow tream that starts six years out in the future. He maybe better off taking what he can get up front out of the marital estate. Like I said I would be very interested to find out how this all plays out.

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Miranda
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Re: Re [Re: Stirling]
      #34199 - 09/29/05 04:31 PM

Maybe it would be on some kind of contingency of something. I have seen this with people who have in their decree the mandated sale of a home say 5 years post divorce.

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13.1...because I am only half crazy!


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