I have been married for 18 and have been a housewife the whole time. Am I entitled to spousal support?
1 Answer from Attorneys
New Mexico statutes 40-4-7 provides for three kinds of spousal support: full support, rehabilitiative support, and transitional support. Support can take the form of periodic payments, tuition payments, or lump sum or some combination.
Full support generally follows when the spouse has been a full time homemaker with no work skills, may be disabled, or for some reason could not be expected to support herself, for an indefinite period. Rehabilitative support is like temporary support so she can go to school or otherwise prepare herself to enter or re-enter the workplace. Transitional support generally means temporary support so she can find a job but probably already has skills. There are very broad guidelines for these so a lot is up to the discretion of the judge, or more often these days, to a Domestic Relations Hearing Officer who makes recommendations to the judge. Generally one starts thinking about indefinite support when the person has been out of work for around twenty years give or take. From what you told me you're bumping up against this but a lot depends on your existing skills and the likelihood that you can improve those skill, plus your physical or other limitations.
If it sounds fuzzy to you, it is fuzzy. You are not "entitled" in the sense that there is some hard and fast rule. You'll have a better shot at it if you get a good lawyer.