Primarily servicing the greater New York City metropolitan area



LEONARD M.WEINER, ESQ, Ph.D.
DIVORCE SOLUTIONS
206 East 38th Street
New York, N.Y. 10016
(212) 370-1660

FINANCIAL ISSUES - MARITAL PROPERTY V. SEPARATE PROPERTY

Question #257:
My question concerns spousal support and division of property. My husband and I have been married for 26 years, live in an affluent community in Westchester county NY, and we have 2 children in college. He has had over 20 affairs during this time (I stopped counting), and has been a self-employed attorney & adjunct business law college professor for 15 years, making approximately 20k annually. He brought student loans with him to the marriage. I brought a farm that I had inherited through the death of both of my parents. For the past 4 years, I am a 50% partner in a successful business, and am about to open a new corporation shortly, and have worked our entire marriage. 5 years ago I learned of $250k of credit card debt that he had accumulated in cards with my name on the account, had not paid income taxes (though he told me it had been done), and had many delinquent bills (he insisted that I just sign over my paychecks, and he would take care of the bills), and so I had to refinance our mortgage, increasing the loan to pay off the cc debt, and the mortgage had to be put in my name only, though he is still on the deed. At that time, I made him close all the cc accounts, and opened my own separate bank account. Since then I pay all the household expenses, including all the childrens’ expenses & spending money, college tuitions, mortgage, insurances, utilities, food, travel, etc….also I have started filing “married filing separate” tax return this year.
I have reached the end, and think I would be much happier if I was not in this marriage (this is not because of anyone else, I have never committed adultery), and my children are at an age that they can understand this splitting. But, how likely is it that I will be sucked dry of all that I have worked so hard for (I am 52 yrs old)? Will I have to give up my house, my company, pay him spousal support, etc… because he prefers not to work to his ability, prefers to stay home, sleep late, etc? Am I better off just continuing to pay for everything now, and hope that I will outlive him?

Answer:
No one should be forced to remain in a marriage that he or she can no longer tolerate simply for financial reasons alone. Because you are holding your home as joint tenants on the deed, your husband has an equitable interest in such property despite the fact that you are the sole party on the mortgage. You will not have to give up the house or your company, although you may be required to provide your spouse with some form of payment for his portion of the marital assets in your home or business.
The question of spousal support will depend on his ability to earn a living and be self supporting. The court will look very carefully at your past history, your spouse’s efforts to seek employment comparable to his professional ability, and the capital contributions that you have made to provide for your family and continue to provide.

I strongly suggest you contact me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss mediating your divorce .
It is by far the more civilized way of dealing with the issues at hand.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions
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