What Are the Legal Rights of Women in Divorce Proceedings?


Quick Answer

As of 2015, a woman's legal rights in divorce proceedings include financial support, access to equity in the marital home, retirement benefits and access to legal fees, according to Legal Zoom. Rights can vary depending on the state and jurisdiction.

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Full Answer

Financial support is usually available as either spousal support or spousal maintenance, notes Legal Zoom. Some states no longer refer to this type of financial support as "alimony." A woman usually has a right to such support if she needs time to recover after her divorce or if her husband earns more than she does. The longer a woman is married, the greater the chance she can receive financial support.

A woman has a right to a portion of the equity in a marital home if the couple purchased the home during their marriage, states Legal Zoom. There's a chance a woman doesn't have a right to the marital home if the husband used premarital or inherited funds to make a down payment on the home. A woman can also request possession of the home during the course of the divorce if she acts as a custodial parent to her children.

Women are also entitled to retirement benefits, even if the husband didn't make cash contributions to a pension fund during the marriage, according to Legal Zoom. Just like other investments and the marital home, the court considers retirement benefits to be marital property.

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