FINANCIAL ISSUES - MARITAL PROPERTY V. SEPARATE PROPERTY
My wife and I have been married for over 40 years. Last year, out of the blue, she first asked for a legal separation and soon after mentioned a divorce. I have no idea what may have precipitated this; I am guessing that an affair may have been involved based on her and the suspected party's actions and comments. A comment like
" I didn't think you would care" almost sounds like an admission, but she has steadfastly denied this. She has been reading Stephanie Marston's book, "
If Not Now, When?" which never leaves her side. (I question some of the advice given in this book.) She wants to sell our home and property and split all our retirement savings. My question is can she legally get a divorce and walk away with half of our retirement funds that we worked so hard to get? My wife never had an income producing job.
You did not indicate what state you live in so it is
difficult for me to give you a definitive answer. In New York,
for instance, which is an "equitable distribution" state, each spouse
is entitled to approximately one half of all marital property which is defined
as property of any kind acquired during the course of the marriage by
either spouse other than property acquired by gift or inheritance.
If the house and retirement funds meet the definition of marital property,
she would be entitled to half, despite the fact that she never worked.
New York, however, requires "grounds" for divorce and unlike
California , irreconcilble differences are not sufficient grounds.
If you are living in New York and she has no grounds for divorce
she will not be able to get a divorce.
If you are living in the greater NYC area, please call me to discuss
in greater length.
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq.Divorce Solutions