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 #334:
Hello. Sadly I learned too late that I married a liar and manipulator who after the reveal this past August of egregious financial abuse, a three year affair in a five year marriage and a personal physical assault against me making it unsafe for me to remain in our home, is now using the Michigan family court system to continue his manipulations with repeated subpoenas and motions that my lawyer is calling harassment and the judge will hear in the settlement conference soon (failed mediation because my husband and his lawyer refused to negotiate).

With no one to stop my husband who is using a game of blame, moving goal posts every few weeks to keep the motions coming, I am preparing for a very long drawn out battle knowing that our case will go to trial- adding 1-2 years to this nightmare. Because he tied my hands financially in the marriage, withholding cash from me, I have NO savings, NO hidden cash. My only option is to leave with nothing because he has clearly stated in his answer that he prays the court will make me leave with only what I came into our marriage with... personal items only.

He was a high wage earner in our marriage, worth 2m in assets. I am asking only for equitable distribution of our marital assets and a reasonable spousal support to bridge the changes I am forced to make in my life.

At age 58 and because my current employer cannot offer FT work (working only 24 hrs/wk for four of our five year marriage) I would like to continue my education seeking a masters in nutrition of science- I can bump up my annual income with an additional $15-20,000 a year. I would like to begin soon and will need to take out student loan debt and potentially use credit cards to fund out of pocket expenses.

At my age and in the dyer financial position I am in my QUESTION is: Can my husband in any way hinder me from pursuing this goal? Do I have to ask him for permission to apply for student loans in my name and to place out of pocket costs my new degree on my credit cards? Can he deny me?

I am prepared to assume responsibility for my own loans. In fact, I carried the current student loan debt when I entered the marriage. I paid the monthly payments from my income. Can he use ANY LAW to deny me from adding to my student loan debt and adding books and other out of pocket fees to MY credit cards for what I consider an essential masters degree, providing a solution to my new financial challenges, caused entirely by him and his lies and manipulations?

What are my rights in creating a healthy, financially sound life beyond him while waiting for the court to settle our divorce?

I truly appreciate any guidance you can offer.

Answer:


You do not indicate in which State jurisdiction you are presently under. In NY, the judge can decide whether the concept of "Marital Property" of the parties
Begins on the date the Summons and Complaint is filed or upon the date of the Court Order of divorce is filed. After such date all of the newly acquired property of each party would be considered "Separate Property"
And you could spend it as you wish. In any case, I do not believe the Court would penalize you in any way for trying to advance your education to provide for yourself in the future.

Leonard Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions
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