Divorce Solutions

Question #185

My husband and I have been married 12 years. I have a 19-year-old daughter and a 15-year-old son from a prior marriage. We have an 11-year-old together. My husband has never contributed monetarily or emotionally to the raising of my two older children. He has also not financially to the expenses of our 11-year-old. The only items he’s contributed to are $800.00 for summer camp and 1/2 of his football tuition (for the first time this year), I alone pay for my daughter’s full-time college tuition/board and expenses. I buy all of the children’s clothing, shoes, spending money, car, etc.
• My husband pays most of the household bills, and I pay approximately $ 2000 per month toward the mortgage (he pays about $400). I also buy all the food for the house. I desperately want a divorce and have instituted proceedings 2x’s. We start counseling, and nothing changes. My husband will NOT leave the house, and I am having a tough time handling living w/ him. Can I leave the house with my two children (the oldest is away at school)? I would stay in the same town, so I am not attempting to keep him from his child, I merely cannot live w/ him anymore. Also, I make substantially more than my husband, approximately $136,000 (inc. bonus) to his $70,000. This is the reason he gives for the total disparity in the amount of money he contributes. However, due to the difference in our expenses, he has more disposable income than I do. Also, I have made all repairs to the house. He will not pay for anything, and my house is falling into disrepair. Please advise.

You did not indicate what state you are living in. You also did not state when and how you acquired the home. Did you purchase it before the marriage with your own money, or did you buy it during the course of the marriage with money earned during the marriage? Also, how is the title to the home held, in your name, in both names?

Assuming, for argument sake, that the home is marital property, I strongly suggest that you work out some kind of agreement regarding how the proceeds of the sale of the home or the ownership of the home will be divided upon divorce before you leave the house. Unless there are problems with physical abuse, in which case I would say you should move out immediately. It is more important to protect yourself and your children and deal with the financial division of the home from a safe location.

If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss the matter at greater length.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions