Divorcing a Husband Who Won’t Work

Updated July 24, 2023
6 min read
Divorcing a Husband Who Won't Work; pen, paper titled "Divorce Settlement Agreement", books, rings, calendar


Divorcing an unemployed husband is not a straightforward affair, especially in the context of U.S. laws where unemployment is often a leading catalyst for marital dissolution. The data suggests a heightened likelihood of divorcing an unemployed husband as compared to a scenario where the wife is unemployed. When divorcing an unemployed husband, whether the unemployment is voluntary or involuntary, divorce rates increase by a substantial 33 percent compared to situations where the husband maintains full-time employment.

When you're divorcing an unemployed husband, it's crucial to bear in mind the potential legal implications such as child support, alimony, and the division of property.

1. Child Support

Despite the employment scenario of the husband, all fathers are compulsorily required to pay child support if their ex-spouse has custody of the child. When divorcing an unemployed husband, the husband’s lack of employment does not absolve him from this responsibility. However, the sum of child support owed could significantly reduce to align with his employment situation when divorcing an unemployed husband.

2. Spousal Support/Alimony

Counter to what most might assume, divorcing an unemployed husband might necessitate the wife to pay alimony under U.S. laws. The conditions for spousal support payments differ across states, so it's better to seek advice from a professional lawyer before divorcing an unemployed husband.

3. Distribution of Property

Typically, all states in the U.S. are categorized as either community property states or equitable distribution states. The residency state dictates property division laws when divorcing an unemployed husband.

How To Divorce a Husband Who Won’t Work

Navigating the steps of divorcing an unemployed husband involves complexities that might not be prevalent in other divorce scenarios. As you plan to set the wheels of divorcing an unemployed husband in motion, two main pathways lay before you.

The first option is to go about the legal process independently, in what is called a "do-it-yourself" divorce. This involves filing all necessary paperwork, navigating court procedures, and, ideally, amicably negotiating settlement terms with your spouse. Opting for self-representation when divorcing an unemployed husband might be economically savvy, especially when funds may be tight due to the husband's lack of income. This option works best in uncomplicated situations where both parties are in accord and there are no severe disagreements over asset division, child custody, or other significant matters.

However, when you're divorcing an unemployed husband who doesn't agree with your decision, the situation gets markedly complex. Deciding to go ahead with divorce in the face of a resistant spouse may lead to disputes over asset distribution, child custody, alimony, and more. In such scenarios, securing the support and guidance of a legal professional is a wise consideration. Soliciting the services of experienced lawyers when divorcing an unemployed husband might be necessary. An attorney can aid you in navigating the legal labyrinth, ensure your rights are upheld, and possibly champion a more favorable settlement.

During the divorce process, a signed agreement that encapsulates all the terms and conditions of your divorce, called a divorce settlement agreement, becomes essential. This legal document details all the decisions regarding the division of assets, spousal support, child custody, and other pertinent matters when divorcing an unemployed husband. It's crucial to ensure this agreement is comprehensive and fair, and having an attorney review this document can be beneficial.

In the end, the chosen path ultimately depends on your specific situation when divorcing an unemployed husband. Independent divorces work well when both parties are in agreement, while in more conflict-ridden situations, professional legal counsel is recommended to safeguard your interests. Bear in mind that the ultimate objective is to ensure a fair, amicable split of shared resources, maintain parental responsibilities, and ensure both parties can start anew on a firm footing after the process of divorcing an unemployed husband.

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It is important to understand all the legal aspects involved when divorcing an unemployed husband. Understanding these can vastly influence the final result of the divorce settlement when you are divorcing an unemployed husband. For other divorce-related matters, you can find other family-related templates or explore Lawrina for more enriching content.

Article by
Yevheniia Savchenko

Yevheniia Savchenko is a Product Content Manager at Lawrina. Yevheniia creates user interface copies for Lawrina products, writes release notes, and helps customers get the best user experience from all Lawrina products. Also, Yevheniia is in charge of creating helpful content on legal template pages (Lawrina Templates) and up-to-date information on US law (Lawrina Guides). In her spare time, Yevheniia takes up swimming, travels, and goes for a walk in her home city.

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the product or UX content for Lawrina, feel free to contact Yevheniia directly at y.savchenko@lawrina.org or connect with her on LinkedIn.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to divorce my husband if he is not working?

Yes, it is possible to divorce your husband even if he is not working. In the U.S., you can file for divorce for any reason that leads you to believe that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Your husband's lack of employment does not constrain your freedom or rights to seek legal separation.

How does child support work when the father is unemployed?

Child support is mandatory regardless of the father's employment status. If the custodial parent is the mother, the unemployed father is mandated by law to provide child support. However, the amount might adjust according to his current financial state. If the father's unemployment is involuntary and he's receiving unemployment benefits, child support can sometimes be collected directly from these benefits. If the father is voluntarily unemployed, courts could "impute" income, which means they estimate potential earnings based on various factors like education, past earning, and general work history, and based on that, decide the child support payments.

Am I obligated to pay spousal support if my husband is unemployed?

It’s possible that you might have to pay spousal support or alimony if your husband is unemployed and financially dependent on you. The requirement and amount vary widely based on different factors such as the length of the marriage, the standard of living during the marriage, and the age and health of both parties. The courts will also consider other factors, like whether the husband is unable to work or if he has chosen not to work.

How is property divided during a divorce if my husband doesn't have a job?

Property division during a divorce does not directly depend on whether your husband has a job. In community property states, all property acquired during the marriage is equally owned by both spouses, regardless of who earned the income to purchase it, and is divided equally in a divorce. However, in equitable distribution states, assets and earners are divided fairly but not always equally. This division is based on numerous factors including the length of the marriage, age and health of the parties, future financial prospects, and contribution to marital property.