Question #284

My wife and I are a lesbian couple who were married legally in Massachusetts four years ago (11 years ago we had a ceremony for family and friends in California.) I have always remained an NYC resident. She is currently a MA resident but planning a move to CA in a couple of months. She left me for another woman a year ago then came back to me sixth months ago, and she has now decided we should divorce. I had three times as large income for eight years of our relationship and then went onto disability and was covered by her medical insurance. We both moved to NYC then I got Medicare. We split our mutual fund in half when we first separated even though I had invested an extra $20,000 into the house and paid the full mortgage because she was in graduate school in MA and paying rent there. I had a more substantial salary in NJ, still a NYC resident, though. We sold the house, I invested the deposit, and what we made off of the house $65,000 in a mutual fund, which then had a substantial loss, we sold the shares and got out 35,000. So when she first cheated, we each took $17,250 out which we each felt was generous to the other. I have had my name only on a rent-stabilized apartment in NYC for 27 years. We both lived here from 2010 until she again decided to divorce. She has very wealthy parents who just gave her a $30,000 gift, and she has a job, and next year will be awarded a fellowship about $20,000.
I live on disability $1,100 a month, and my Medicare premium, $110, is deducted each month I also have to legally have another insurance Sterling $300 a month and Cigna prescription drug $100 a month. My rent is $750. She used to pay half the rent, and cable, telephone, utilities, and food bills. The generosity of my friends now helps me. I am a person with a disability, MS, who lives in poverty. So my question: Can I contest this divorce for infidelity and get any money from her. How much would that cost? Should we file in MA where she now lives, CA, where she is moving or in NYC where I have always lived? How much would it cost uncontested, and how much would it cost contested? She is insisting I pay half. Can she legally do that? Can I legally insist she pays for the whole divorce? Can we divorce in NY? We are both nowhere more often. Do we need to appear in court together ever? Is gay marriage any different than straight marriage in these states? Thank you so much for your help. Seriously distraught and stress can make my illness much worse. I have incurred new health costs since this has all begun.

Ps. We shared a dog who she has left me paying for veterinary, boarding, and food costs.

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