Divorce Solutions

Question #24

My brother and his wife live in New York State on Long Island and have been married a little over a year. They are expecting their first child in several months. Unfortunately, things have not been working out. She says she wants a divorce. She has been abusive towards my brother physically by throwing stuff at him and hitting him, as well as threatening to call the police if he does not leave their home. Reconciling does not seem possible. My brother has financially invested a lot into this marriage, i.e., their home, furnishings, etc. If they get divorced, will my brother be likely to pay alimony and child support in this situation? Also, she has threatened to move out of state so he cannot see the child, what if anything can he do to prevent this?

If there is a significant discrepancy between the incomes of your brother and his wife, your brother will most likely be required to provide her with some form of spousal support for a short period until she can get back on her feet and develop the skills necessary to provide for her own support. In this case, however, spousal support, because of the shortness of the marriage, will be limited. He will also be responsible for his portion of child support until the child becomes an adult, which amount is determined by statute unless the parties agree in mediation to a different number. Any marital assets acquired during the marriage will generally be divided 50-50. If the home was purchased with money which your brother had before the marriage, he may claim it as separate property, certainly if the property is held in his name alone.

I strongly suggest that your brother contact me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating the divorce, which will be less emotionally straining and financially less costly and offer both sides an opportunity to resolve their issues and to divide their property as they wish and not as some judge may decide.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions