Question #93: Question: My husband and I live in NY. We were married in NY in 1994. He recently said he wants to separate because he no longer feels comfortable being married to me because he has changed as a person. He said that after a year he plans to divorce me. We also have only one child who will turn 8 this year. We have been dealing with some hardships in our marriage the past two years. I feel we can overcome them, but he is refusing to try. I don’t believe a separation is necessary and certainly not divorce. If I don’t agree to separate, can he still go ahead and force one? Also, if we do separate, I’m self employed and make just a little less income then he does. A difference of about $6000./yr. If I were to be the custodial parent of our daughter, would he have to pay any child support or alimony?

Because you have a child you owe it to your child to tryfamily counseling before divorce. However, if family counseling does not help or your husband refuses to go he will be able sue for divorce without your consent. It will be a contested divorce and he will have to prove “grounds”. See my web site, “” under the topic of “Grounds”, to see what qualifies as sufficient grounds in the state of New York.

With regard to child support, your spouse will be required to contribute approximately 17 percent of his gross income for child support and will be required to pay it to you if you are the custodial parent.

I strongly suggest that you consider divorce mediation as opposed to divorce litigation in the event the divorce is necessary. If you’re living in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1680 to arrange for a meeting with both you and your husband to mediate this divorce. It will be cheaper, less aggravating, and much quicker , with no court appearances necessary and no need to pay double legal fees for two attorneys.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions