Question #297: I have been married for 19 yrs and my spouse and I have grown apart. We have a 21yr old son in college out of state. My wife is on social security disability and does not work, but I think she could if she wanted to. Before I leave our house I wanted to know if there were any legal ramifications of me doing this, such as, abandonment? We are trying to work out the separation but I wanted to make sure I’m not giving up any rights once I leave the house?

You should not leave the house until you have resolved the financial division of assets and spousal support. If the house is owned by you , leaving it before there is a written agreement regarding the finances may jeopardize your ability to force a sale of the house or to have her move out in order to sell it.

Leonard Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

Question #261:Hello! My husband and i have been married for 4 1/2 years. For the most part, things were good with a flare up every 6 months. My husbands flare ups have been occurring regularly now and he rips me apart verbally. He will then ignore me for days until he is ready to speak again. I love him but cannot continue to feel uncomfortable in our home. The home we share was left to him when his father passed. He claims he added me to the deed but i have never seen it. If I move out because of his verbal assaults would this be considered abandonment? After moving can i then contact a lawyer to start divorce proceedings? Also, if I leave first, would i lose any entitlement to money? thank you!

Check with your local land recording office to see exactly how the property is held.
You can check by your name and your husband’s name or by lot and block number.
If you move out w/o an agreement in writing , you would be abandoning the marital home.
Do not leave the house until you have settled the ownership issue and have an agreement in place regarding the division of your marital property
And the divorce.

Of course, if there is physical abuse involved, you should leave and deal with the problems of ownership later.
If you are living in the NYC metro area, p lease contact me to discuss mediating your divorce.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq/Divorce Solutions

Question #203: I have been a stay at home dad for 4 and a half years. My wife and I just bought a house . My son has a medical condition that I had been taking care of for the past 3 years. He has improved and the doctors have said that if all goes well his respirtory problem will be gone or under control by the time he reaches kindergarten. I also have a 4 year old girl who will be starting kindergarten this September. We are still trying it sell our old home and as of right now we are around $600,000 in debt . We agreed since Robert’s illness that I would stay home until he reaches kindergarten, and then I would go back to work. She has now asked for a legal separation. She wishes to hire a nanny to live here and take care of Robert and that I leave the house and see the kids on the weekend. I have raised my kids since the day they were born. She has a member of her family who is a lawyer and therefore will not have to pay any legal fee. Is it legal for her to use her family member as her lawyer and can I refuse to leave?

Generally, she can use anyone she wishes to represent her, even a family member. You must find legal counsel in your area, experienced in matrimonial matters, to represent you. Do not leave the house until all matters are resolved and do not go it alone!

I strongly suggest you try to mediate your separation with an experienced, matrimonial, attorney -mediator.

If you are living in the NYC metro area, give me a call at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss the matter at greater length.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

Question #152: My husband and I have been separated for two years now, married for 7 years. I finally left after several attempts and have not gone back since. He carries the insurance on me an my child. He is not the biological father, nor was she ever adopted by him. I let her see him when he asks or when she ask. I’ve been scared to file for divorce because, I only make $10 hr. I will not be able to afford health insurance. He makes like $45,000 yr including bonus money every quarter. We had land on contract for deed, which I signed over to him after I left. We lived in a mobile home on the land which was his prior to the marriage. We purchased a 4-wheeler together which I signed for because his credit was bad. He promised to pay for the 4 wheeler if I would put it in my name. Needless to say it wasn’t long and he stopped paying the $150 month bill. It’s been in collections every since, like 6 years I suppose. When I left I had no way to take the 4-wheeler with me, I asked him to bring it to my parents’ house. He never has and continues to use it everyday. Is waiting to get a divorce hurting my chances at receiving maintenance? Can I receive it at all? I have a boyfriend now. He is convinced this is why I left him. I left because he is an alcoholic, and I didn’t want to deal with the mental, sometimes physical abuse any longer. I did not want to raise my child in that environment either, only to have her grow up thinking it was normal relationship and end up in the same predicament. What advice can you give me?

You should not have been so eager to sign over the property. You could have used that as leverage in order to have your husband assume the debt on the four wheeler and provide you with spousal maintenance.

I do not see any benefit in procrastinating the filing for divorce. If you are unable to pay for the divorce process,
the court will require your husband to pay for your attorney’s fees. If you are unable to pay for
health insurance, the court will require your husband to pay the health insurance costs
and provide you with some spousal maintenance.

Please beware however , that if you are living with another man, your husband may not be required to provide spousal maintenance to you.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./ Divorce Solutions

Question #151:I am in New York City and considering a separation from my husband. If I move out without being legally separated, am I in anyway forfeiting my right to the homes/assests we own together? Can mediation be used to draw up separation papers?

Unless there is a problem with physical abuse, in which case I would suggest you move out immediately, it is best that you remain in the home until you have some written agreement regarding how the home/assets will be divided. This should be incorporated in the Separation Agreement which will deal with all of the issues necessary in the separation process and will be eventually incorporated in the divorce papers.

As an attorney-mediator, I will draft the Separation Agreement and the Divorce Papers after we have discussed all of the issues and matters pertaining to the separation and divorce and incorporate those understandings in the agreement and papers.

Please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter at greater length and to arrange for an appointment.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

Question #147:Hello. This is the first time I am contacting a mediator after years of thinking about legal separation/divorce. The first question I have is…Is it ok for me to leave my apt that I share with my husband before we sign a legal separation agreement? I have not told my husband that I am seriously considering separating although we talk about it frequently. He is opposed, but would not hold me back. I would like to move out of the house first so I do not have to face uncomfortable feelings…but dont want to do anything that will hinder this process. Do I need a consultation?

Unless this is a case involving physical abuse, in which case I strongly recommend that move out of immediately, it would be most prudent that you remain in the house, especially if you intend to claim an interest in the house either by personal contribution or as a result of it being marital property. Before you make any decisions you should consult with an experienced matrimony attorney.
If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, I strongly suggest you call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for an appointment to discuss the matter at greater length.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions