Question #45: I got married on the 14th of February year 2000 in New York City to a Singaporean citizen. I carry an Indian passport but am on an H1 visa and am working in a prestigious non-profit institution in Manhattan. My husband and I agreed for me to move to Singapore since he felt that life there would be easier since he has established himself quite comfortably there. He also felt that raising a family would be easier what with the presence of the extended family, domestic help and the leisurely life in Singapore. I moved to Singapore in August 2000 only to be told by him that he had changed his mind about raising a family. Since he had two children already from his first marriage, is 53 years old, he is unwilling to be a father again and pursue that kind of lifestyle. Thinking -hoping that he was just having cold feet, we went for counseling and it was revealed that he vehemently does not want to be a father again. I begged him to change his mind because I have always wanted and want so much to be a mother and raise even one child. I had given up my life, friends and contacts in NYC to pursue family life with him. Plus I am 41 years old with my biological clock ticking like a time bomb!!!! As if the child issue was not enough to bear, he had treated me as if I was merely his companion/date rather than his wife. Being his second marriage, he has told me that his priorities are towards his problematic 24 year old son who lived with him, his own health, and that in fact, his money is his to do as he pleased. Thus, he gave me an allowance which I had to live within despite me being less affording and jobless and him having promised that he would take care of me and treat me like a queen, etc. Given the unfair conditions of this marriage, the feudalistic chauvinism that I was being subjected to, and the heartbreak, I have come back to NYC. We have agreed to live separately to get some clarity. I would like to know what can I hope as settlement in the event of a divorce? How will mediation help? Since I am of a very limited income, can I even afford to mediate, litigate? Does my immigration status affect what I can do? There are oceans between us (metaphorically, too), how can I go about securing a lifestyle that will not further humiliate me? Can broken promises be a basis for divorce? Your attention and help in this matter is greatly appreciated. Please forgive the panic and lack of cohesion of this missive. I am distressed and very sad about all this.

In order for NY to have jurisdiction, you must be living in NY for at least one year. Once you are here for a year you can file for divorce. Mediation can help speed up the process and provide you with what you will need to get on with your life. The costs of the mediation or litigation wil be covered by your husband, if you do not have the financial resources to pay. The mediation process will address your needs and lifestyle and try to meet those needs to the best extent possible. Broken promises are not grounds for divorce in NY, but fraud in the inducement to marry is grounds for an annulment. Please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss the many matters you are concerned about.
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq / Divorce Solutions