FINANCIAL ISSUES - MARITAL PROPERTY V. SEPARATE PROPERTY
My wife of 11 years and I have 2 7-year old daughters and we live in NY. She makes considerably more than I do. I lost my restaurant job in Oct. and she gave me an ultimatum since my career in the arts and the fact that I can't land a steady writing job has not taken off. She gave me six-months to find a job that pays at least $45,000/year or I have to leave. The six month mark is next month and I haven't found anything yet. I'm sure if I move out the next step would be divorce. We are putting our co-op on the market next month. Would I be entitled to a percentage of that sale? If I don't get a job and my unemployment runs out, ironically I would have to rely on that for child support payments. And how much child support would I have to pay? Forgive my naiveté and please keep this anonymous. Thanks so much.Answer:
Any property you or your wife own regardless of in whose name the property is held, if it was acquired in the course of the marriage with funds earned during the marriage, the property will be considered marital property, and generally the courts will divided it in half. If the funds which you used to purchase the property were an inheritance or separate funds earned prior to the marriage, and the property was kept in your individual name, that property would be separate property and not marital property.
I suggest you do not leave the coop until you have some form of written agreement regarding how the proceeds of the sale will be divided.
Child support will be determined based on a statutory formula, (for two children , approximately 25% of your gross income minus certain FICA deductions), and the courts will generally review the last three years of tax returns to estimate what your income is or should be. You of course can try to explain to the court that you are unemployed and have been diligently seeking employment but to no avail.
If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, I strongly suggest that you call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss mediating your separation and eventual divorce. It will save you time and money and lots of aggravation.
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./ Divorce Solutions