I paid for my spouse's education. He has filed for divorce.
Can I recover these expenses?

Too often spouses sacrifice their own education and career opportunities to further the education of the other. When the marriage ends in divorce, few assets may have been acquired and the only real asset is the earning power of the other spouse.

Unfortunately, Pennsylvania Law does not recognize the professional degree as marital property. Contributions to education and earning capacity however are factors the Court will consider in dividing assets. Lycoming County Courts have divided marital property in disproportionate shares to spouses who have sacrificed for educational and professional opportunities of the other and lack the earning capacity of their spouses at the time of divorce. A lawyer's wife received 70% of the marital assets; a doctor's wife received 90%. In other cases, long time alimony and reimbursement alimony have also been awarded.

Spouses can protect themselves by insisting on a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement that provides reimbursement or alimony in the event of divorce if they sacrifice their own careers or education for the advancement of the other.

Disclaimer: - These opinions represent a generalization based upon Pennsylvania law as of Nov. 1, 2014. You should consult an attorney and discuss your specific circumstances before taking any action.

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