My husband and I are planning on divorcing within the next year. He has been the primary breadwinner for our 28-year marriage. In the housing crash, he lost his practice (he’s a real estate attorney) & for the past seven years has been working out of the house (not sure of the amount he claims to earn, but I know it’s very little). I recently graduated from nursing school (which I put myself through) & stand to make over 80,000 being an RN on Long Island. He also stopped paying the mortgage over five years ago (my name is not on the mortgage & hasn’t affected my credit) & the house is in pre-foreclosure. I have a small inheritance that I will use for a down payment on a home, which will be home base for my daughters ages 22 & 17. He just told me he is planning on moving to Belize when my 17-year-old goes to college. He also told me he would be handing me the tuition bill as soon as I get an RN position. Does moving out of the country remove his parental obligation to his children? Also, since my salary is obviously on the books & his is not, does that give him any right to it? Thank you in advance for answering the question.
Your husband cannot absolve himself of his parental responsibility to support his family by just moving away, and you could get a judgement against him. However, I do not know what the likelihood of being able to enforce that judgment in Belize, as long as he does not return to the US.
Begin the divorce process before he leaves.
All money earned by either party during the marriage is considered “Marital Property” and thus he would have a claim to approximately half of your money earned during the marriage, although the Court would most likely use that amount to cover his share of his child support obligation.
Be sure when you acquire the new home to keep it in your name only, using only funds from the inheritance kept in an individual account, and not funds from money you earned during the marriage.
If you are living in the NYC metro area, call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange an appointment to discuss mediating your divorce.
Leonard Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions