Hi. I’m married 15 years with two young boys, one of whom has special needs. We’ve resided in our marital home since 1996; the deed is in both our names. I’m torn between filing for legal separation here in NYS or divorce based on the grounds of cruel and inhumane treatment. My spouse has abused and “wastefully dissipated” our marital assets on sporting goods and hobbies. He has hidden cash from me and lied about it as well as hidden our income tax return in his safe at work last year. He charges credit cards (which are in his name); the debt in his name is now 12k. He has verbally threatened me and demeans me, shows me little affection. He can’t accept our son has special needs. He gets angry and says he wishes he could run away and murmurs to himself, “shoot me” out of frustration. He calls our special needs son a “baby” and threatens to punch him etc. when our son has meltdowns. My concern is for the children. I want them to have both parents on hand, so to speak, especially since my special needs son has a severe mood disorder and high functioning autism. Can I initiate a legal separation with both of us still residing in the marital residence(we have spoken about my husband living in the finished basement downstairs, with me upstairs, creating separate entrances, etc.) so the children are spared. Is this even possible to do legally? Or must the parties live at separate addresses? He has threatened to have me out of the house in a month and that I had better get a good lawyer etc. that I’ll need it. I’m scared of his reaction if I do sue for divorce, but I’ve been unhappy for years, and it’s affecting my self-esteem and my health. A stomach condition has resurfaced in me, and I’ve lost weight. He tells me he’ll never pay me alimony and tells me he knows four lawyers. By the way, I’ve gone to counseling for a year. He refuses any counseling, individual or marital. He says I could be his shrink. He tells me he’s too tired and “who has time for therapy?” He says he isn’t a “talker” and “knows what he’s got to do.” He has control, anger, and compulsive spending issues that aren’t going away. Please, any advice in this ongoing dilemma would be appreciated.
It is possible through mediation to arrange for a Separation in which each party remains in the house.
Do not listen to his threats regarding throwing you out or not supporting you. If he has been supporting
you and the children for the past 15 years, the court will make him continue to do so.
If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will make him pay for your attorney also.
If you are living in the NYC metro area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss the matter in greater length.
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions