I have questions concerning spousal support and division of property. We have been married for 26 years and live in an upper-classcommunity in Westchester County, NY. We have two children attending college. My husband has had over 20 affairs during this time (I stopped counting). He is a self-employed attorney and adjunct business law teacher, with an annual income of approximately $20,000. I am a 50% partner in a thrivingcompany and am about to open a new business.My husband incurred over $250k in credit card debt with my name on the account, consistently failed to pay our income taxes, and household bills.As a result,I was forced to refinance our mortgage to pay off the credit card debt. I became solely responsible for the mortgage,even thoughhe remains on the deed. I made him close all the credit card accounts and opened a separate bank account in my name only. I now pay all the household expenses, including all the children’s’ expenses.I now file “married filing separate” tax returns. I want out of this marriage. My children are at an age that they can understand this splitting. But will I be forced to give up half of all that I have worked so hard for for the last 52 yrs? Are my house and my company subject to his spousal claim for support? Will I have to pay him spousal support? Should I just continue to pay for everything now, and hope that I will outlive him?
The court will look very carefully at your past history, your spouse’s lack of effort to seek employment comparable to his professional ability, and the financial support that you have made for your family, and continue to provide.
Because you are holding your home as joint tenants on the deed, your husband has an equitable interest in such property despite the fact that you are solely responsible for the mortgage payments. You will not have to give up ownership of the house or your company. You may be required to provide your spouse with some form of payment for his portion of the marital assets in your home or business.
Regarding the spousal support issue, spousal support for your husband will depend on his ability to earn a living and be self-supporting.
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions