I live in NYC. My wife of 14 and a half years served me with the divorce papers two weeks ago, and I responded to the summons with a notice of appearance and affidavit of support to avoid default. I have no job, no home to live. I am staying with a friend since she asked me to move out and she took my keys. I did not argue with her about that. Now she wants equitable distribution of marital assets, which is a condo that we bought in full with her money that she gave me as a gift. And of course, now she denies it. Both our names are on the deed. We have no kids, and she helped me pay tuition after she inherited a sizeable amount of money from her parent. Before starting my four years of a professional degree, I told her that I could be content just with my bachelor’s degree to start work and be productive, but she said I should not worry about money.
• I can afford to put you through school. Before starting school, I was working and contributing to the household expenses. When I met her lawyer last year he was threatening me with the O’brian vs O’brian case. This year I heard that this case was reversed. She says that she has no claim on my license. I’m licensed now to practice in Cali but I don’t have any job offer and even if I have an offer I need at least $10 thousand to relocate because I will need a car, a place to rent and shipment of my belongings. Would I ask the judge for alimony, and payment of an attorney to represent me. This has been very stressful. I told her that we don’t have to divorce but she wants out. What shall I do? Please advise.
If you are unemployed and your spouse is working, you should be able to receive spousal support for a short duration of time to get on your feet. You do not indicate what type of “professional license” you have and the treason why you are unemployed. The answer to these questions will be relevant to the judge if you end up in court. Since the condo is titled in both names, you have a legitimate claim to half as marital property, especially if you have contributed to the mortgage, insurance, and upkeep of the condo.
I strongly recommend you consider divorce mediation, and I would be glad to meet with you and your wife to discuss the matter at greater length.
Please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange an appointment.
Leonard Weiner, Esq.