Question #65: I live in NYC; I met my wife in February of 2002. She is a citizen of an Asian country and was here on a student visa. Within two months, she moved in with me. When she graduated in June, she had only 30 days to find an “approved” job to fulfill the requirements for a work visa. Unfortunately, the bad economic environment did provide an acceptable position. So, in love and sympathetic to her plight (and considerable prodding from her), I married her in July 2002. Since that time, it has been mostly miserable for us. Profound differences between us and her habit of secretly destroying my belongings has created an intolerable environment for me. Desiring quick and simple, I initiated an uncontestable divorce under the grounds of “Cruel or inhuman treatment”. She, at first, said she would sign; alas, but now changed her mind. I have, to this point, only filed for an index number and could continue without her signature, but her parents (back in her home country) are urging her to either hire a lawyer to fight my grounds or make me agree to a one year separation in order to keep her in the US. She hasn’t even received her conditional green card, so her status in this country is in jeopardy. She received her temporary working permit in February 2003; so, prior to that time I was paying all the bills. She hasn’t yet decided on a course of response and I’ve delayed further action until this is clear. To compound matters more, she attempted suicide last night (she even wrote a note) and is now in the hospital awaiting psychiatric approval/release. I know I did the right thing in calling 911 and caring for her, but now I need to escape from this nightmare before she either hurts either herself again or me. I want to reclaim my once-peaceful life. . .quickly. Please advise.

This is a case which I believe should be mediated and not litigated. I strongly suggest that you discuss mediating your divorce with your wife as opposed to each one hiring an attorney and battling it out in court. You’ll simply spend all of your hard earned money on attorney’s fees, and will ultimately be forced to settle anyway for lack of funds to continue the litigation. Please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss arranging a meeting with the three of us. You’ll save time and money and a lot of aggravation by doing so.

Leonard M.Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions