Asked in Divorce for Alabama

Q: In the case of an emotional abusive vulnerable narcissist wife of 30 years, will I have to pay her alimony?

Disguised as anxiety and depression, my wife has finally shown her true colors as a vulnerable narcissist, admitting that she threatened suicide and even asked me to help her commit suicide because she is a drama queen and just did it for attention. Claims her anxiety and depression prevents her from respecting boundaries like respectful communication and manipulation. She has two college degrees and worked the first 10 years. Has many achievements in volunteer emergency services arena, but now all she really wants to do is watch TV and be waited on - and disrespect me. It would actually be unhealthy for her to have all her bills paid and not have a care in the world. I'd be fine splitting everything down the middle. But she needs to find a purpose and carry her own weight. I have audio recordings of some of the abuse, including the admission of threatening suicide for attention. And a journal of abuse over 12 years. Is it possible to not owe alimony? We have no children.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Michael E. Underwood

A: **I am a New York Attorney - so my answer only applies to laws in New York.

New York is a "no fault" state. As such, absent "shocking the conscious" claims, maintenance is determined by parties' income and a percentage of length of marriage. In other words, most of the times it is irrelevant if someone is not a "good" spouse and they are still entitled to some maintenance. It is a math formula to determine the amount and the duration is a percentage of the years of marriage.

If the party is unemployed, their income is usually imputed to minimum wage to ~$29,500. If the party is under employed and they have an education and training level to make a significantly higher income, sometimes you a need a "vocational assessment" which is an expert meet with them and determine their earning capability in the area you reside and based on their education and training level.

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