Question #70: My husband of 22 years has asked for a divorce. We have a 13 year old daughter. He does not want to go through lawyers because he thinks it will cost too much. I don’t think I can afford not to have a lawyer. He is a corporate pilot for an international insurance company. He has been cheating for the last 10 years with flight attendants, hookers and women he picks up in bars while away. He stays in touch with them on a regular basis through text and email and has bought gifts, flown them places and given them money when asked for. I found this out about 2 years ago, but tried to work it out. I work, but he is the breadwinner in the family making about 110k more than me. This ye It may seem like a lot, but it doesn’t go very far in Hudson County when you consider rent. I was the bread winner for about the first 10 years of our relationship and marriage. I put my career on hold for 5 years to stay home with my daughter when she turned 2. I went back to work when she was 6 weeks old. I am a freelancer in the fashion industry. After coming back full time 5 1/2 years ago, I’ve had to work my way back up in the industry. It’s still a work in progress. He is normally flying to Europe and Asia for a week to 3 weeks at a time. He thinks we should have joint physical custody. I think I should have primary physical custody and he can have generous visitation. His schedule is very erratic. Sometimes he works for a month straight with a couple of days off, sometimes he is off for 2-3 weeks. Is it possible that he will be granted joint physical custody? I’d like to mediate, but this is a sticking point for me. Also, as the spouse making less money, I cannot afford to pay for a 2 bedroom apt. based on my salary and 1/2 child support alone. I will need alimony as well. What can I expect in this situation?

With regard to the issue of custody, since your spouse is away for long periods of time, it seems reasonable to assume that a judge would award you residential custody, assuming there are no other issues involved.
And if you two are able to continue to communicate, the Court would allow for joint custody ( meaning you would both have to consult each other on major decisions affecting your child like schooling,
Medical issues, religion, etc.)
If you are awarded residential custody, your spouse would have to pay child support to you.
With regard to spousal support, the Court would look at the incomes of both of you and your style of life during the marriage,
Ask you both to prepare a Statement of Net Worth and decide how much and for how long you should receive such support.

This could all be done by mediation, rather than litigation at a much less expensive cost, with less tension and grief.
If you are located in the NYC metro area, call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for an appointment to discuss the matter further.

Leonard Weiner, Esq.
Divorce Solutions
206 East 38th Street
3rd Floor
New York, NY 10016