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Divorce

LEONARD M.WEINER, ESQ, Ph.D.

Divorcesolutions.com

LEONARD M.WEINER, ESQ, Ph.D.

(212) 370-1660

Divorce Solutions

Divorce Solutions

(212) 370-1660

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  • FINANCIAL ISSUES - MARITAL PROPERTY V. SEPARATE PROPERTY
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    • RIGHT TO STAY IN MARITAL HOME
      • Question #237: Me and my husband have been married only a year. We are talking divorce. We have a nine month old son. Everything we have is in his name. He never would put my name on anything after I asked him to. Do i have to leave with my son and find a new home or am I allowed to stay here and raise my son? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You do not indicate what state you’re located in, but in the State of New York, which is an “Equitable Distribution” state, all funds or property acquired during the course of the marriage regardless of and whose name such property is held is considered marital property and is generally divided in half. Thus, if the property you are living in was acquired during the course of the marriage with funds acquired during the course of the marriage you will have an interest in that property. If the property was acquired prior to the marriage, and is held in your spouse’s name, the property is separate property and belongs exclusively to him.
          Even if the property is his, however, since you have a young child at home, a judge may decide that you can remain in the home until the child reaches majority.
          I strongly suggest that you consult with an Atty. experienced in matrimonial matters in your jurisdiction who can assist you.

          If you living in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me to arrange for an appointment to discuss mediating your divorce.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq. /Divorce Solutions

      • Question #234:I have only been married for two years. I have two children and he has two and we all live Together in my husband’s house that he shared with his previous wife. We are having major issues and I don’t know what to do. We live out in the country around his family. All my family live out of state so I don’t really have a place to go. I left the house this weekend because my husband and I got into a heated argument and he had disabled the van I had been driving so I couldn’t go anywhere. I called the police and they came out to the house but by that time he fixed the van. Both of our young kids were crying, it was awful. He told me that I couldn’t come back to the house. My belonging are there. Does he have the right to change the locks on me? Can I call the police again before I go back? We have been staying in a hotel but money is running low. What are my rights as his wife although my name isn’t on his house. Can he just put my kids and me out? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          He has no right to lock you out of the house. You should call the police and insist that you be allowed back in to the house and ask for an order of protection to keep your husband away from you and the kids until you can work things out or decide to get divorced. The fact that you do not own the house
          Does not mean you as a wife do not have a right to live there.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #228:I live in Long Island and have been married for 20 years. My marriage hasn’t been easy through the whole marriage. I have two children who lives with us, one is underage and the other one is 19. I have questions in how to start this process. I can say that I’m nervous about it because I might be left with nothing. He has kicked me out of the house every time we argue but many of my friends tell me he can’t do that. He makes good money, the house is under his name, and he pays the mortgage. He has mentioned that the house is under the kids, including my step son. I am on Social Security Disability for about 5 months. Can he throw me out of the house? Will my younger child receive any money? He said I will not see a penny, meaning no alimony. I just want to leave this house and find an apartment for my kids and I but I don’t have the money for it. If he sells the house, will I get anything. I have no money saved because he has told me I have to pay the gas, light, car insurance and the phone bill which hardly leaves me with anything. What are my rights? How can I start in finding out in starting a divorce process. I am afraid because he has told me i will not receive a penny from him. Please tell me what can I do? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Let me start from the beginning. First, your husband has no right to kick you out of the house. In the event that happens again call the police. If he becomes violent you can ask for an order of protection and he will be forced to leave the house, not you. Under no circumstances should you suffer or allow yourself to be physically abused. If he has been supporting the family, the court will force him to provide you with child support and spousal support in order for you to pay your bills. Do not listen to what he’s telling you regarding his not paying any alimony. If the house is marital property, which means it was purchased in the course of the marriage with funds earned during the course of the marriage, and not a gift or inheritance, purchase would money he had prior to the marriage, you should have approximately a 50% share in such property, regardless of in whose name the property is legally held.
          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area please call me at 212-370-1660 about mediating your divorce.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq. /Divorce Solutions

      • Question #128:I live in NY,married 7yrs,children 6 & 3-stay at home mom for 3 years. I will have custody of children,we are all living in our current home. My husband wants the divorce & does not want to move out,he wants to buy me out of home. Do I legally have the right to stay in our home with children and have him move out .Alot of people tell me that I can stay in home with children. Will he have to pay mortgage &taxes ?? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Since the children are so young, if you were selected by the court as the residential parent, the court would allow you to remain in the marital home until the youngest child reaches majority, which is 18 years of age. Whether your husband would be required to pay for the mortgage and taxes would depend on your relative incomes. If he has been and continues to be the sole provider then he will be required to provide not only child support but some form of spousal support to you as well until you are able to get on your feet and acquire the professional skills to become self-supporting.

          If you’re living in the New York City metropolitan area, I strongly suggest you call me to discuss mediating your divorce. My number is 212-370-1660. In mediation and you’ll be able to resolve these issues together with your spouse and the quiet of my office instead of having to spend hours a sitting in the courtroom corridors and having a judge impose a settlement upon you .court.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solution

      • Question #83: My husband and I have been married for 2.5 years and we have a 4 month old daughter. My husband has not worked in a year and I have been paying his child support for another daughter he has as well as the mortgage and all of the bills for some time now. He can work, he just isn’t right now, and if the child support isn’t paid his license will be suspended. We live in NYS, is he obligated to continue to pay child support even though he doesn’t have a job right now? Also, his name is not on the deed or mortgage, can I make him leave the house if we are not divorced yet? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          He is obligated to pay the child support until he receives an Order from the Court changing the terms of the the original Order. If he has been trying to find work and has not been able to do so, he can make a motion to the Court to lower his payments.
          If he just quit his job and is not trying to find work, he will have a hard time convincing the Judge to lower the payments.
          With regard to your second question, although his name is not on the deed, he may still have an equity interest in the house if it was purchased with money earned during the marriage, even if you were the one who earned it. If it was purchased with money you had prior to the marriage, or received as an inheritance or gift, and kept the property in your name, he would not have an equity interest in the property. Nonetheless, until you receive an Order of divorce from the Court, he remains your husband and you cannot simply throw him out on the street, unless there is physical abuse which endangers you or the child, in which case you should get an order of protection and have him removed by the police.
          Consider mediating your divorce. If you are in the NYC metro area call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq.Divorce Solutions

      DIVISION OF MARITAL ASSETS
      • Question #328:Hello, Not sure if you can offer any solution. Me and my husband got married in India. it was an arranged marriage. At the time he was a resident of NY and I lived in India. Now both of us are US citizens. We have two children together one is 23 years and the other is 11 years. His parents lived with us. I underwent a lot of mental torture at the hands of my husband and his mother. It was only after the birth of my second child and some counseling that I realized I was being abused. I was a well-travelled socially active person but over time became into a person with inferiority complex. I used to be scared of going back home after work every evening dreading who would pick a fight that day the husband or the mother. Even though I worked full time and made the maximum income in the house the parents controlled both our incomes. They forced me to deposit the money in a joint account which had his father as the primary account holder. The husband never backed me up and insisted that I follow their rule. In fact any monetary gift, material gift that was given to me by any friends or family his and mine were taken away by his mother and he was ok with that. He was a heavy gambler and I have been under burden of his gambling debts. He has even been caught stealing at places of work and constantly lost his job. Due to this the parents made me feel that I would never be able to make it in this country as a single parent and constantly refused to let me leave. The family took money from me for their business but until today I have not seen a penny returned ,mother kept on saying I should not worry and she would support me and my children and was taking my salary so she could save for our future. Of course till today I have not seen any of that monetary support, even when she knew I had no job for almost a year and was struggling to put one child through college. I have been supporting my two children all their life. In fact when my children were born neither the husband nor the parents were present. during my 1st child I was alone and during the 2nd child my 1st born was with me in the hospital. My OB/GYN doc did not see the father even once when I was pregnant the 2nd time round. However my children are both very happy children after I have moved out. There is a property that was bought during the period when we lived together but his parents forced me to put their name on the property as co-owners. His name is not on the property. He and his parents still live there We both still reside in NYC. My two children live with me. There is a property that was bought during the period when we lived together but his parents forced me to put their name on the property as co-owners. His name is not on the property. He and his parents still live there and I want to ensure that me and my children get their rightful share of the property. When we were together we had nothing together. Not even a bank account. If I wanted to file for a divorce in the country of marriage can I do that and will that divorce be valid in NY state. If it would get accepted will I be able to get at least 50% of the property if I file a case against them in NY state after the divorce. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You appear to have significant property rights in the properties on which you are named as co-owner. You also must file for divorce where you are living, not where you got married.
          If you are living in the NYC metro area, please contact me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to review your situation in detail.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq.
          Divorce Solutions
          212-370-1660

      • Question #301:We live in NJ. I have been with my boyfriend for 3 years now and he has been separated, not legally separated, from his wife for about 8 years living separate lives but stayed in the same home so they could both raise their 3 children who are now 9 in school, 15 in school, 19 not in school but works fulltime. He finally moved out a year ago but still has not gone to get thing legally processed because he feels bad for her and she keeps telling him she has no money for a lawyer and that she is going to get more money as alimony, since they are married 20years, if he divorces her so to just keep living separately and just keep paying her $600 a month child support and that I the girlfriend should be understanding and not force him to divorce her. She texts and calls him throughout every day and not about the children it’s about personal info and wanting to know where he is and what he’s doing and how his day is, as if they are still together and it drives me crazy and our relationship is taking the heat for it because we constantly fight about her needing/wanting to stay so involved in his life. He only makes 46k a year and I think he is paying way too much child support. And now he wanted me to co-sign on a bike loan because his “wife” destroyed his credit and I agreed as long as he signed a Contract Agreement with me so I don’t get screwed should something happen to our relationship, or to him, or to me, and to write it out that the bike can NOT be used as a dividable martial asset when he finally gets divorced. I was trying to protect myself and us, but he became furious with me. His “wife” claims she will not go after the bike in the divorce. But those are just words and she already stole and cashed the tax check that they filed joint taxes in 2013 and lied that the check never came until he finally tricked her into confessing it to him last week. I don’t know what to do. I don’t think I was wrong to ask for the Contract Agreement and I don’t know if that would ever hold up in the divorce or if she can still get 1/2 of it. Also just asking if his child support is too much he is paying out because between that and rent and his own bills he doesn’t even have enough to go grocery shopping for himself every month and its falling on me to support him while he’s still supporting his “EX” wife. Any advice would greatly help me PLEASE!!!! Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Have him transfer title to the “bike” to you. Or in the alternative, file a lien w/ the Motor Vehicle Dep’t on the bike. Do not rely on any “ Contract Agreement”.

          Sounds like you need to make him decide whom he wants to share his life with.

          Good Luck!

          Leonard Weiner, Esq.

      • Question #291:My husband and I were married in California in May 2010. We bought a house in NY state, and currently reside there together, but are separating. He is moving back to California, and I will remain in our home in New York State. We may decide to get a divorce. Where should we file for that once we’re ready? I’ve noticed that New York State requires a separation agreement first. What legal steps should I be thinking about right now? Thank you! Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If you have lived in NYS for over a year you can file I n NYS. You should start removing yourself from all joint accounts and credit cards in which you are liable. Loans etc. as well as collecting all your marital financial documents , bank statements, brokerage statements, 401-k’s etc.

          Give me a call at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss the matter in greater detail.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

           

      • Question #238:My ex husband and I divorced in 2004. Everything was very simple, and nothing was mentioned as far as future marital assets. I continued to live in the apartment we shared after he left (he left in 2003) and just moved in September of 2009. The problem is this- the property manager in the former apartment changed 3 times since my husband left, and they failed to change the name under which the bank account was created, which held the original security deposit. My ex said time and time again he anted nothing. Now 5 years later, I tell my newest property manager I am moving, and I am told the security check will be in my ex husbands name. I speak with him regarding this, explain the errors, and he states “that’s fine, just let me know what and where I have to sign” now3 weeks later, the check has arrived in his name, he and his new wife just bought a town house, and he is claiming he never said that and is entitled to half, plus interest. Mind you- he has not paid child support or alimony, yet believes he is entitled. I know I should have had him sign something, but hadn’t. Is he entitled to half? Should this have been spelled out in the divorce agreement? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Obviously, this matter should have been addressed in the Separation Agreement when you got divorced. In order to know for certain whether it was in fact addressed in a general way one would have to review the terms of the Separation Agreement carefully. There may be a provision regarding marital funds or property, of which this deposit is one. This is not money that was acquired after the separation and divorce but in fact was money that existed during the marriage.
          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, please contact me to arrange for a meeting to review the Separation Agreement and discuss the matter at greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #222: My question is what are marital assets? I have no issue with physical possessions and those can be divided equally. My problem is that my wife refuses to engage in sexual relations with me and I am very tired with this issue. If she no longer loves me then I can live with that. Can I divorce her on that issue in the state of new york? I live in Upstate area and would like to know. We have two children together who are 7 and 9. We both earn equal amount but seem to no longer love each other and that issue is spilling over into our relationship with our children. Thanks. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Generally, marital assets are any assets or money earned or acquired by either party during the marriage
          regardless of in whose name title is held except for gifts, or inheritances which are kept in separate accounts and not commingled with marital assets.

          If one party refuses to have sexual relations with the other party for a year or more prior to filing for divorce
          one can file for divorce based on what is called “Constructive Abandonment”.

          If you are in the NYC metro area, I strongly suggest you call me to discuss mediating your divorce.
          It will be less expensive , faster and most important, less traumatic on you and your kids.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #207: I live in NJ with my two sons, ages 8 and 5. My husband moved out of our house nearly two years ago and rents a cheap apartment in NYC. Neither of us has filed for divorce yet nor do we have a separation agreement, though divorce is imminent. We will be married 10 years in October. He continues to support us, paying for the mortgage, bills, etc. He earns $130,000/yr, I earn $30,000/yr working part-time so I can care for the children. All of our property and bank accounts, etc. are still in both names and we pool all of our money to pay all bills, including his apt. These are my questions: 1. Neither of us had any assets when we married, however he entered the marriage with approx $80,000 in student loan debts from his undergrad and masters degrees. We paid off the debt together from our joint income (at the time I was earning more than he was). When our assets are divided at divorce, will that $80K be considered separate debt for which he’ll have to reimburse me my half? 2. Also, in terms of gaining a more favorable settlement, should I try to stay married up to the 10 year anniversary? Will this affect alimony? I’ve heard that 10 years is the least amount of time to consider permanent alimony. But I’m starting to feel anxious for closure. 3. Assuming we file in NJ (we were married in NY and lived there for five years, then five years in NJ), is it in my best interest to file based on adultery (which he committed) or desertion (I opposed the divorce and his moving out) or does it not make any difference in the settlement if he just files a no-fault? We do plan to mediate, but I’d like to know what the likely results would be in a courtroom. Thank you for any advice. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          With regard to your question relating to the student loan, the answer will depend on whether the studies for which this loan was borrowed resulted in a degree and whether that degree provided your spouse with the ability to get a license to practice his profession. Thus the answer will require more in-depth analysis of the particular facts involved. With regard to your second question about extending the marriage for 10 years, 10 years has a certain ring to it which may subconsciously influence the judge’s decision regarding spousal support. However, courts today generally do not grant permanent spousal support unless there are serious health problems or other intervening factors. With regard to your third question about the grounds, adultery, or abandonment, generally the grounds do not influence the court’s decision regarding the division of marital assets but may be relevant with regard to determining child custody.

          Since your spouse is living in New York and the marriage took place in New York, you may file in New York , and I strongly recommend that you call me at 212-370-160 to arrange for a meeting for us to discuss mediating your divorce. This is not something that should be left to self-help and requires experienced, legal counsel to make sure that is done properly and you can get on with your lives without worrying that it will come back someday to haunt you.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #206:In 1995 my parents split and my mom filed for a legal separation. She was not in love with my dad any longer and told him. She served him papers for a divorce but he never signed them. He was still in love. He works for Verizon and for years gave her 300 dollars a week, i am 1 of 3 children. He also split his stocks with her, but for at least 7 years he was giving her 1200 a month. Heres the Million dollar question.: 1- My father has worked hard all these years and at 66 is going to retire has to sign the divorce papers now. Techincally he is still married to her. Is she still entitled to 1/2 of what he has? I kinda think it is unfair. I love them both, but there is a house worth atleast 800k which he does not mind splitting, but there is a pension also. 2. My mom is being a bit greedy and mean, saying she is gonna get what she is entitled to. Now, I know that since she wanted a divorce she has had a boyfreind and she might have had one before, I do not know. But what I do know is she has one and definately has had one since the separation. Can having a boyfriend when separated lean better towards my father not giving her as much. Like I said, I love them both, but during these years, my mom has torn this family and try to blame it on my dad. I appreciate any knowledge you can give me in helping me make my mom not as greedy. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You say that your mother filed for a legal separation. Was that separation ever completed? Did you parents enter into a Separation Agreement which both of them executed? Or, was there an order of the court confirming the Separation?
          If in fact there was a legal separation, the separation most likely addressed the issue of future income of the parties, in which case the incomes of each of the individuals would be considered separate and not marital property, starting from the date the summons and complaint was filed or the date the separation was approved by the court.

          If in fact, however, there was no actual legal separation, but the parties simply physically separated, then they are still considered under the law as continuing to be married , and your mother has a claim to 50 percent of all of your father’s assets and income during the course of the marriage.

          The issue of having a boyfriend or not, it is not really relevant to the question regarding the division of the marital assets.

          If your father is living in the New York City metropolitan area and a legal separation did take place, please have him call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter at greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #145: My husband and I have been married for 25 years and I had known him 4 years prior to that. I am 45. We have been separated for nearly 2 years. I left the home in TX and reside in our joint home in IL. I left for emotional abuse issues as he wanted an open marriage and I did not. We are on very good terms and have substantial assets. Neither of us want to disrupt our marital assets but due to my religious beliefs, I think divorce is necessary. What options are available to keep the real estate, stock, stock options, bonds and investment accounts uninterrupted while still attaining a divorce? I appreciate your time greatly! Answer
         
        • Ans :

          What you must do is enter into a written Separation Agreement in which all of the property will be delineated and divided as you both agree upon. This can be done through mediation in which we would first make an accounting of all of the marital property ,the value of each item, and then discuss together how we’ll divide them and who will get what. The division of these assets will be incorporated expressly in the Separation Agreement among other issues that must be determined before a divorce can be filed, and thus all of the assets which you both own as marital property will be protected with the minimum amounts of interruption. You must also discussed and agree upon which property is separate property and not subject to the division.

          There are also many other issues besides financial which must be addressed in the divorce process and that can also be taken care of through mediation.

          Please contact me at 212-370-1660 to discuss this matter and greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #131:OK, complicated question. First background: 1) Married for 4.5 years. 2) Own apartment in manhattan in wife’s name. 3) She has been mostly there since 2000. 4) I rent in California. 5) She hasn’t worked for a year and a half, but made a lot of money before the market crashed. She’s been living from that. 6) She has admitted to cheating on me several times since married, and has promised each time to stop. 7) I have some of her emails that support this. 8) I have some proof and believe that she has had an ongoing intimate relationship for the last several months with a person that I know the identity of. 9) I have her admitting to cheating on me within the last “couple of months”. 10)We were married in Nevada, but had residence in Califronia together from 1998 until 2000 and were married in 1999. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You can file either in California where you have been living for over a year or in New York, where your spouse has been living for over one year. Since the apartment is located in Manhattan, it makes more sense to file in New York where the decision of the court will be able to be implemented immediately.
          I strongly suggest that you mediate your divorce . You and your spouse can together with the help of the mediator settle all the outstanding matters including division of marital property, including the apartment , if it were acquired during the course of the marriage, and the extinguishment of any outstanding common liabilities of the marriage, and all other matters which have to be addressed in order to separate and get on with your lives. This can be done more efficiently, with less aggravation in the quiet of my office, instead of in the courtroom corridors after expending thousands and thousands of dollars on litigation and attorneys fees. You can keep her from changing your mind by addressing the issue and taking care of the matter without further delay.

          Please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter a greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #102:my wife and i are have been separated for a year—-we have three children–17–14–12—–we have been married for 19 years—she resides in ny with my 17 year old—my 14 and 12 year old live with me—-i live with my two children in pa—-i lived in pa the last year —we want a divorce —-what state would be better to divorce in—she never worked—i paid for everything—what will she be entitled to—i am a school teacher for 24 years–i will be teaching in pa this year—pension–retirement–percent of salary——please advise thank you—- Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Since your wife is living in New York State for a number of years with one of your minor children and you are living in Pennsylvania for approximately one year , it would seem best to file in New York. She will be entitled to approximately one-half of all of the marital assets, which include all monies and possessions including real property acquired or earned during the course of the marriage unless acquired by inheritance or gift and kept separate . She will also be entitled to a portion of your pension and any other retirement accounts that you may have which you contributed to during the course of your marriage. I strongly suggest that you mediate this divorce rather than litigate it. Please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting between you and your life and me to discuss the matter at greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner , Esq ./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #95:I want to apply for divorce, but i have a question if I can do it right now. My husband currently does not work for W2 from, but he receive money as self-employed(1099 Form). I don’t know the amount. My income is $40,000 and I have about $7,000 on my saving. He owes the coop-apartment( he bought it before we got married) and i know that he has a lot of money in stocks, i am not sure if he has saving account. My question is in case if I’ll apply for divorce, can he apply for alimony for him? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Theoretically, you are correct in being concerned about your husband’s requesting that you provide him with spousal support. But in reality, if he is in fact earning cash, the court will investigate and determine approximately how much he is in effect earning and therefore this alone should not prevent you from proceeding with a divorce.If we were to mediate this divorce, we would determine the approximate amount that your husband is earning and work from there.
          Any assets, including money, earned during the course the marriage are considered marital property and are generally divided 50-50. Therefore any savings or any stocks which your husband purchased during the course of the marriage , regardless of in whose names those assets are being held, would be considered marital property and divisible 50-50. The co-op, if purchased prior to the marriage, is his separate property and not marital property.

          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter in more detail.

          Leonard M.Weiner, Esq.\ Divorce Solutions

      • Question #64: My husband and I have been married (NY) for 8 1/2 years. Due to his problems, we have not had sexual relations for at least 8 years. My husband has supported me for the entire marriage while I pursued an independent (and not self supporting) career interest. His present retirement assets (he is retired for the past 3 years) are nearly $1,000,000. For the first five years of our marriage (before he retired) he was still contributing to that account. Am I entitled to part of that account? I don’t want to break him, I just want a fresh start. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You are entitled to approximately half of all the assets acquired by your husband during the course of your marriage (i.e. 8.5 years). He is also obligated to provide you with some form of spousal maintenance until you can reasonably acquire the skills to become self supporting. You should seriously consider mediating your divorce with an experienced attorney- divorce mediator who can help you both. Good Luck!Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      SPOUSAL SUPPORT
      • Question #327:I live in NYC. My wife of 14 and an 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 asset, which is a condo that we bought in full with her money that she gave me as 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 good amount of money from her parent. Before starting my 4 years of professional degree, I told her that I could be content just with my bachelor degree to start work and be productive but she said don’t worry about money. I can afford putting you through school. Prior to 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. Thank you. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          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 important 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 .

          Divorce Solutions
          Leonard Weiner, Esq.

      • Question #322:My husband and I are planning on divorcing within the next year. He has been the main 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 nursing school(which I put myself through) & stand to earn over 80,000 being a RN on Long Island. He also stopped paying the mortgage over 5 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 using 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 a 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. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          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

      • Question #321:My wife of 13 years left my house almost 4 years ago on her own accord. I have continued to pay her medical and auto insurance during this time period. What am I legally obligated to compensate her in a divorce might you think? We have no children and she lives with her adult children from a previous marriage. She was married previously for 25 years and now works babysitting her grandchildren. Might I have to pay part of my pension that I accumulated during our marriage? Does her abandonment have any bearing? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Without more info re: your wife’s income and assets , I cannot give you an accurate
          Opinion about what spousal support she is entitled to. Your portion of your pension that was
          earned during the marriage is marital property and she will have a claim to approximately half of it.

          Her abandonment should be taken into consideration by the judge, but it will not be determinative
          As to how much she is entitled to.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq.
          Divorce Solutions
          212-370-1660

      • Question #320:If I get married in ny state and me and my wife get a divorce and I’m ordered to pay alimony and she gets remarried..do I still pay? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          It will depend on the specific language of your separation agreement.
          Generally, there is a provision in the Separation Agreement that provides that spousal support will terminate when the supported spouse remarries.
          If this is a concern of your, make sure it is expressly stated in any agreement or Stipulation you sign.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq/ Divorce Solutions
          212-370-1660

      • Question #313:I live in long island NY. I’ve been currently married for almost two years and we have been talking about getting a divorce. We have a beautiful 1 year old baby boy. I am the only one that works, we rent an apartment/ shared with my mother. She does not work and does not have legal papers(undocumented). If we start the divorce would I have to give half of my income to her? I don’t mind giving child support, but besides that is she entitled to anything else? I am 22 at this moment and my wife is 26. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You would have to provide her with some form of Spousal support at least for a short period until she can get a job. The amount of Child support will depend on how much you earn.
          The exact amount of Spousal Support will depend on your present marital life style, how much you earn, what it will cost for her to rent an apartment with the child, etc. If you go to court, the final amount will be decided by a judge .
          You can avoid going to court by both agreeing to mediate the Divorce with me in which case you will
          Be able to decide with your wife all of the issues .

          Pease call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss the matter
          At greater length,

          Leonard Weiner, Esq.
          Divorce Solutions

      • Question #293:I looked on your website and could not find my exact situation: My husband and I have been married for 4 years 7 months and we have (2) children together 11 and 4. He has decided to move out of the home where we currently reside in he owns the condo. The condo we reside in as been put on the market as a short sale and is in the process of being sold as it has already been approved. He is now moving to a new apartment alone in 2 weeks and states I can reside in the condo until the short sale comes through. Under my definition isn’t this abandonment? I work FT, and he is a NYPD and retires next year. also works PT as a professor. Our 11 year old attends private school, and the younger one is in a private FT daycare, which I currently pay for. I cannot afford to pay their schooling and other bills in the home and also leave to find a new place. He is not talking about payments and seems to feel that as long as we are still living at the condo that is his contribution. We are all under his medical insurance as well. We do not have any property or assets together the home is under his name and was purchased before we got married. I would like to know what are the steps I need to take to once he moves out in 2 weeks. Thank you. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If your husband has been supporting the family during the course of the marriage and his income is greater than yours, he will be required to provide support for both you and the children. He cannot simply leave you in the apartment and have no further financial obligation to you or the children. He will also be responsible to provide financial assistance for their health, education, and general welfare, including school tuition, clothing, summer activities, etc.
          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter at greater length.
          The
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq / Divorce Solutions

      • Question #282:Hello. I have been married to my 2nd husband since 2006, he is from new Jersey but moved here to Buffalo to Marry me and move into my home with my 4 kids. In 2009 we had a baby girl. I am pretty sure this marriage is heading for divorce, early in the marriage he cheated on me and I found out 2yrs into the marriage. My question is that would I be forced to let him take baby to new Jersey to have visitation with him there, or would he have to visit her here in Buffalo. Also what is he required to pay in addition to child support, does he have to pay maintenance, I’m a stay at home mom, and only baby sit a few days a week. We have a vehicle that has him as a Cosignor and has both our names on the bank papers for it… Please could guide me as what to do? :(:( stressed in Buffalo. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If the court were to award residential custody to you, then your spouse’s visitation would somehow have to be made in Buffalo or some other arrangement would have to be provided so that your daughter could visit with him back in New Jersey during vacations and summers.
          If your spouse has been supporting you during the course of your marriage, and you have no income, he will be forced to provide you with some level of spousal maintenance as well (the actual amount will depend on your financial needs and his ability to pay based on his income), at least until such time as the child can go to day care and you are able to develop some kind of professional skills to support herself. The division of all marital assets and debts, including the lien on the automobile, will have to be determined by you both as part of the separation and divorce settlement.
          I strongly suggest you seek an Atty. experienced in divorce mediation in your jurisdiction who can assist you in this matter. Divorce is something too important to leave to self help.
          Good luck!

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./ Divorce Solutions

      • Question #281:Hi, I am a 30-yr old mother of two, my kids dad and I have been married for almost 10 yrs come march, I do not have a job per the agreement we made while we were in the same household together, because he didn’t want me to work, only to see about the kids and house, that was cool up until about 4 yrs ago when his mistress, with whom he lives with now, came on the scene. All I want to know is what i am entitled to or is there any type of financial help I can get. I do receive child support and one of my kids get SSI but it’s still not enough to move into my own place and get a vehicle to carry my child back and to her doctor’s appointments which I do by myself. I just need to know what I am rightfully entitled to now that we are getting a divorce. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If your husband has been supporting you during the course of your marriage while you were taking care of the children and maintaining the house, the court should require him to continue to provide you with spousal support until you have an opportunity to develop working skills and become self supporting. You should also get statutory child support for your two children and if you have a special needs child additional support seems in place.
          Also any assets or monies that were acquired during the course of the marriage , no matter in whose name the assets our money are held, are considered marital property and generally are divided equally.
          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting for the three of us to discuss mediating your divorce.
          It will be much cheaper, faster and less expensive than an adversarial divorce .

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq /Divorce Solutions

      • Question #273:Hi….I am a stay at home mom of 14 years with several children..some still young. My husband is very controlling and has all the bank information, debit cards and bank information. He just last night told me he will not give me a penny . I have been living like this for months and feel like there is no way out. He has let the health insurance lapse on my children all the way down to no longer putting gas in the car. I contacted legal aid..they said they can’t help. Do you have any advice or can you refer me to someone? I feel completely trapped..like there is no way out. I contacted crisis services and they told me he is a domestic abuser..all except physical according to an abuser wheel. I am in NC..do you know of anyone who could help me? I am desperate to get away from this situation. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Go to Family Court in your area and speak to a family assistant or other professional
          There about your situation and ask that they help you file a demand for spousal and child support from your husband.

          You can also try contacting your local Bar Association and as for the pro bono family law
          Or matrimonial department and see if someone there can assist you.

          Your husband cannot simply abandon you and the children without any means of financial support.
          It is against the law and he will be forced by the court to provide you and the children with support.

          Good Luck!

          Leonard Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #270:I live in upstate NY. My husband and I have been married for 17 years and are currently having problems, but not planning on Legally Separating or Divorcing yet. This is due to the fact he is going on temporary assignment for one year to Hong Kong. Part of our problems is that he is having an affair. Amazingly enough I feel that is not the biggest issue. The biggest issue is the 19 yr. old he has decided to financially support without my knowing it for 3-4 months and eventually discovering he had been doing it since May of this year 2011, and that he is still doing it. Since May he has given and spent at least $15,000.00 to $20,000.00 on the 19 yr. old. Most of it from a line of credit and the rest in cash. He had a joint checking account with her and most recently has co-signed on a car loan with her. Under two occasions recently the Credit Union we bank at has taken money out of our joint account because she did not make the payments. My husband has done all of this behind my back. We are extremely financially strapped. And because of this he has put us more in debt. I have had to sell jewelry and scrounge for soda cans to sometimes buy groceries for us and that includes our 12 yr. old daughter. My husband makes a good salary – $120,00.00 a year, but we are in deep trouble. He says he is going to continue to financially help the 19 yr. old even when he is in Hong Kong. He will be in Hong Kong from December 2011 – December 2012. His paycheck has always been deposited into our joint account. For 17 years I have always had access to it (deposited money, transferred money, withdrawn money, kept track of bills being paid etc…). I learned about him financially supporting the 19 yr. old by checking our accounts. Now because I do that and question him on what he is doing he has decided to shut me out. So here is my question, questions. What are my rights? Can he cut me off from seeing, knowing how much money is there every two weeks and accessing it? Right now I have to trust him and wait for him to give me money. I hope you can help me with this. The answer I seem to get is to start either Legal Separation or Divorce Proceedings. Because he is leaving in two weeks there isn’t time and we were waiting till he came back. You ask why – I have a lot of medical problems, one of which is Parkinson’s. We need to make sure we do the right thing to make sure I have GOOD medical coverage. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If your husband has been supporting you and your child during the marriage the court will force him to continue.
          He has a legal obligation to do so and you should discuss this matter with him before he leaves and see if you can work out a suitable arrangement that will satisfy both of you. If you cannot, you should make a motion in family court for spousal and child support and do so before he leaves the country.
          Contact an experienced matrimonial attorney in your area to represent you. Do not Wait!

          Leonard Weiner, Esq./ Divorce Solutions

      • Question #257:My question concerns spousal support and division of property. My husband and I have been married for 26 years, live in an affluent community in Westchester county NY, and we have 2 children in college. He has had over 20 affairs during this time (I stopped counting), and has been a self-employed attorney & adjunct business law college professor for 15 years, making approximately 20k annually. He brought student loans with him to the marriage. I brought a farm that I had inherited through the death of both of my parents. For the past 4 years, I am a 50% partner in a successful business, and am about to open a new corporation shortly, and have worked our entire marriage. 5 years ago I learned of $250k of credit card debt that he had accumulated in cards with my name on the account, had not paid income taxes (though he told me it had been done), and had many delinquent bills (he insisted that I just sign over my paychecks, and he would take care of the bills), and so I had to refinance our mortgage, increasing the loan to pay off the cc debt, and the mortgage had to be put in my name only, though he is still on the deed. At that time, I made him close all the cc accounts, and opened my own separate bank account. Since then I pay all the household expenses, including all the childrens’ expenses & spending money, college tuitions, mortgage, insurances, utilities, food, travel, etc….also I have started filing “married filing separate” tax return this year. I have reached the end, and think I would be much happier if I was not in this marriage (this is not because of anyone else, I have never committed adultery), and my children are at an age that they can understand this splitting. But, how likely is it that I will be sucked dry of all that I have worked so hard for (I am 52 yrs old)? Will I have to give up my house, my company, pay him spousal support, etc… because he prefers not to work to his ability, prefers to stay home, sleep late, etc? Am I better off just continuing to pay for everything now, and hope that I will outlive him? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          No one should be forced to remain in a marriage that he or she can no longer tolerate simply for financial reasons alone. Because you are holding your home as joint tenants on the deed, your husband has an equitable interest in such property despite the fact that you are the sole party on the mortgage. You will not have to give up the house or your company, although you may be required to provide your spouse with some form of payment for his portion of the marital assets in your home or business.
          The question of spousal support will depend on his ability to earn a living and be self supporting. The court will look very carefully at your past history, your spouse’s efforts to seek employment comparable to his professional ability, and the capital contributions that you have made to provide for your family and continue to provide.

          I strongly suggest you contact me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss mediating your divorce .
          It is by far the more civilized way of dealing with the issues at hand.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #241:My husband I live in New York State, Rochester area, we got married on 2003. He left me and moved in with someone else in 2007. We had talked about reconciliation since about 2 months after he left. Our sexual relationship has never stopped and I’m not sure if that changes anything? We have not been legally separated and claimed joint taxes for 2007 and separate for 2008, we have not decided how to file for this year yet. I love him and don’t want to divorce but he says now that reconciliation is not possible, and I want him to be happy so I have no choice for the divorce, Do I??. He recently told me that he filed for divorce citing cruel treatment (or something like that). My question is how do I have the reason for divorce changed? He was having an affair and abandoned me and then he files that I was cruel!!! He said that was the best choice out of what they gave him. I am currently unemployed and have no money too file my own papers. I have tried to find the free forms he says that he used, but he says he doesn’t know where he got them from. The girl he left me for is a paralegal and I think she is the one helping him, though he says they hardly talk any more. He got his own apartment last year and is working full time. He helps me when I need it and I help him with what I can. He says that he will always be there for me if I need anything but how do I protect myself? We have no children and no property. We do have life insurance for him in which I am the beneficiary for and I pay the monthly bill for it, he has told me to keep it. He does help me pay bills on occasion if I tell him I haven’t been able to pay something. I’m not sure what to do and what the filing terms he used means for me in the future. Should I ask for alimony in the event he’s not planning to continue to help me like he says? How do I do this so that we can continue to be friends like we want? We both say that we love each other and will always be there, but if he gets back together with the girl I know that she’ll make him stop helping me and talking to me, that’s why the broke up because of his continued contact with me, at least that’s what he says. I am not sure what to believe any more and don’t want to end up worse than I am now. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Answer
         
        • Ans :

          In order for your husband to get a divorce in the State of New York he is going to have to have grounds. The grounds he chose was apparently cruel and inhuman treatment. He will have to provide some form of testimony or evidence to support his contention that in fact there was cruel and inhuman treatment. This will generally require some kind of physical threat and fear for his life.
          You can deny the grounds and testify to such effect in the event that he insists on trying this matter.
          With regard to the financial help that he is providing, you should not rely on his goodwill, better must enter into a formal Separation Agreement prepared by an attorney with experience in matrimonial matters who can assist you in securing your financial position in the event of a divorce and help to protect your interests.
          I strongly suggest you seek out an Attorney.-mediator experienced in matrimonial matters in your jurisdiction who can assist you. If you cannot afford to pay for his services the Court will force your husband to pay for them.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq. /Divorce Solutions

      • Question #229:I am disabled woman, my husband abandoned me over two years ago. He is living with another woman. He does not give me any financial support in two years. What are my legal rights? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If he was supporting you during the course of the marriage, you can sue him for spousal support.
          If you wish to get a divorce you can sue him based on abandonment and for spousal support.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq. / Divorce Solutions

      • Question #228:I live in Long Island and have been married for 20 years. My marriage hasn’t been easy through the whole marriage. I have two children who lives with us, one is underage and the other one is 19. I have questions in how to start this process. I can say that I’m nervous about it because I might be left with nothing. He has kicked me out of the house every time we argue but many of my friends tell me he can’t do that. He makes good money, the house is under his name, and he pays the mortgage. He has mentioned that the house is under the kids, including my step son. I am on Social Security Disability for about 5 months. Can he throw me out of the house? Will my younger child receive any money? He said I will not see a penny, meaning no alimony. I just want to leave this house and find an apartment for my kids and I but I don’t have the money for it. If he sells the house, will I get anything. I have no money saved because he has told me I have to pay the gas, light, car insurance and the phone bill which hardly leaves me with anything. What are my rights? How can I start in finding out in starting a divorce process. I am afraid because he has told me i will not receive a penny from him. Please tell me what can I do? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Let me start from the beginning. First, your husband has no right to kick you out of the house. In the event that happens again call the police. If he becomes violent you can ask for an order of protection and he will be forced to leave the house, not you. Under no circumstances should you suffer or allow yourself to be physically abused. If he has been supporting the family, the court will force him to provide you with child support and spousal support in order for you to pay your bills. Do not listen to what he’s telling you regarding his not paying any alimony. If the house is marital property, which means it was purchased in the course of the marriage with funds earned during the course of the marriage, and not a gift or inheritance, purchase would money he had prior to the marriage, you should have approximately a 50% share in such property, regardless of in whose name the property is legally held.
          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area please call me at 212-370-1660 about mediating your divorce.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq. /Divorce Solutions

      • Question #223:We both got married in new york and now he has moved to Florida. We have been married for 11years and separated for 8yrs (not legally) I would like to file for a divorce but the only thing he has suggested is uncontested divorce but at this time I know he is hiding a lot and does’nt want me to know anything,as he keeps on pressuring me to sign papers but dont want me to read anything which I have refused. He is a lawyer but at this time I dont know if he is practicing in Florida My question I would also like to file for alimony support,but how do I go about doing that as at this time I need some finincial help in order to support myself and be able to go back to school to help me better. I don’t have any money only bills and can barely keep my head afloat. Is this something I can do myself, but how does he get served since he lives in florida and how do I find out about what he is doing as the man is very secretive and has mentioned that he will not give me anything. Please Advise Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You can sue him for divorce in NY and he will be required to complete a sworn affidavit
          outlining all of his assets and liabilities.
          If you cannot afford to pay for an attorney, the court will make him pay for your attorney
          as well.
          In a marriage of 11 years, you should be entitiled to some spousal support to allow you to get
          on your feet.

          I strongly suggest you consider mediation. If you are living in the NYC metro area, please call me
          to arrange for an appointment to discuss the matter in greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #221:I live in upstate New York. We have been married 8 yrs, we have a prenuptial I think is invalid. I had no attorney and was presented the papers 10 days before our marriage and never even saw any attorney. There has been documented domestic violence. My husband bought the land with an old house on it before we married. We knocked down the old house after we were married and built a new house which we have not mortgage for. I have paid all the househould maintenance bills and contributed to the raw material of the new house. I have recently been put out of work on social securtihy disability to never go back to work, he made 138,000 last years, but says I am entitled to nothing. We have no children together. Please advise. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          There are two basic issues here.

          1. The division of marital assets and whether the house is considered a marital asset.

          2. Whether you are entitled to spousal support.

          In order to properly answer these questions I would have to examine the prenuptial agreement that you signed , and to find out more details about the circumstances around which you were asked to sign this prenuptial agreement. It is also important to ascertain how title to the property is held and whether you can document the actual contributions you made to the house and the mortgage.

          With regard to the second question of spousal support, if there is a major discrepancy between your income and his, and the standard of living that you have maintained as a family cannot be supported on your income, you will most likely be granted some spousal support for a period of time.

          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area , I strongly suggest that you call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter at greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #219:My friend was married in Florida in 2003. She left her husband (cruel & inhuman treatment; verbal & mental abuse) and came back to NYC in 2005, he still resides in Florida. She now wants to file for divorce, can she do so from NYC?? And will there be a problem since she technically abandoned him? Is he entitled to alimony? Is she entitled to alimony?She does not work and receives a government check for disability. We would appreciate any help….thanks!! Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If your friend is living in New York for two years or more she can file in New York. The fact that she left him to go back to New York , will not affect the cruel and human treatment grounds. With regard to who is entitled to alimony , a more detailed understanding of the incomes and lifestyle of the parties will be necessary to make a determination regarding how the court may rule.

          If she is living in the New York City metropolitan area , please have her call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss mediating the divorce. It is possible to mediate the divorce even if her spouse is not present in New York, as long as he is cooperative in the process. By mediating the divorce, they will not have to make any court appearances , or spend hours sitting around the courtroom corridors waiting for their 10 minutes before the judge.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #218:My husband had an affair in 2005 a month after my dad passed away. He lived with me, but continued to be with this girl he works with, until Sept 4, 2005 and then left me and moved in with “the girlfriend”. We are not legally separated and he only pays me 502.00 every paycheck (per his lawyer) for child support. He has not paid anything for the mortgage or a loan that is in both of our names. I am falling farther and farther behind in these payments. Is he responsible to pay for them since he abandoned me and our 2 sons? If so, how do I go about it? I feel my lawyer is not working for me and am in pursuit of another. My husband is a big control freak and for doing what he did, I feel everything is going his way. HELP! Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Your attorney should have filed in Family Court for maintenance and support , which would provide support for you and your child. In order to determine how much your spouse should provide, he will have to produce a sworn net worth statement and past tax returns. You will also have to provide a sworn net worth statement indicating your income and your expenses, after which the judge will decide the appropriate amount of maintenance and support.

          You should not be leaving this to the discretion of your spouse’s attorney. Perhaps you are right and you should seek more experienced, matrimonial counsel to represent you. If your spouse is named on the title of the property and you are paying the mortgage, you are in fact , providing him with a gift of 50 percent of everything you are paying.

          Do not sit idly by and allow yourself to go into bankruptcy and forfeit your property. You must act now , and have your attorney file the necessary motion for maintenance and support immediately.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #215:I was hoping you could help me out with a serious problem I’m having. I live in NY State and I am engaged to a man that has been separated from his ex for about 5 years. When he decided it was time to start divorce proceedings, he hired a lawyer. His lawyer went to the court house to get a copy of the separation agreement only to find out that it had never actually been filed with the court although both my fiance and his ex had lawyers at the time. So, our lawyer decided he would base the divorce on abandonment, which was fine for both parties. So, here’s the kicker..myfiance (Jim) and his ex have 2 children together. Jim pays $126.32/wk in child support out of a $300/wk income as so ordered by the family court judge, so obviously money is tight in our home. Anyway, when Jim’s lawyer contacted his ex about the divorce, she wrote him an e-mail stating that she would only sign the papers if he agreed to the following terms.. 1) He must take out at least a $100,000 per kid life insurance policy on himself making his kids sole beneficiaries. 2) He must pay for half of the medical care, dental care, etc. until they are 21 or have completed college. 3) He must pay for half of all the kids extracurricular activities. Including books, sports equipment, tennis lessons, piano lessons, swimming lessons, summer camp, dance lessons, etc. 4) He must pay for half of the kids’ college tuition and any bills they may incur for college. Right now the kids are covered by CDPHP for their doctors bills and such and will obviously be covered by Jim’s employment’s insurance should he have that available in the future. Jim pays for the kids to play little league and soccer and the things kids do around here. We live in a small town in upstate NY and make modest incomes, but Jim’s ex is living a dream. She complains about money problems, but puts the kids in piano and karate lessons, which they don’t even like, just to keep up with the Jones’. We could only imagine, if Jim is forced to pay half of these things, she would be enrolling the kids in everything she could find. As far as paying the college goes.. there is no doubt that Jim will help his kids in any way he can to put them through college if he has the resources to do it, but it sounds unreasonable to ask him to pay half the expenses. With all the legal aid and such out there, he doesn’t feel he should be written into something like that. And there is no way that on Jim’s salary he can afford 2 life insurance policies. Jim is an only child who takes care of his wheelchair-bound father for $300 a week and $126.32 comes out of that every week. He just can’t afford any of this. So, it seems that neither Jim nor is ex is willing to budge on this matter. She is a very spiteful woman and there is no way she will change her mind about this. We are about ready to cut our loses and see if we can get back any of our money from the lawyer. But what I really want to know is how long this can go on for. Can she just hold out on these demands and never sign the divorce papers? Will Jim have to give in and let her have what she wants just to get this divorce finalized? Is there ever going to be a point where a judge says “enough is enough” and grants my fiance a reasonable divorce? I’m sorry this letter turned out to be so long, but I just don’t know where else to turn. Jim’s lawyer doesn’t specialize in divorce and he isn’t much help on this matter. I would really appreciate it if you could please give me some advise. Thank you so much. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You need to change lawyers! You need an attorney experienced in matrimonial matters who can assist you.
          What his spouse is asking for does not sound unreasonable, but I do not have all the relevant facts to offer a serious opinion.
          Life style, disparity in incomes, needs of the child, etc. are all relevant issues. Also, it is important that the agreement between the parties is written by an experienced attorney to limit your friend’s exposure, like specifying that the child only attend a State run university where the tuition is more reasonable, or setting a maximum amount for all items such as tuition, housing, extracurricilar activities per year,etc. to make sure he is not overwhelmed with bills.

          I can help if they need an attorney to work out the deal and draft the agreement.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #213:We have been married for eight years, and are going for a divorce, and live in Rochester NY. Am I entitled to alimony? Someone told me I would have to be married at least ten years. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          DO not listen to such people! Your getting spousal support will depend on you and your spouse’s income status,
          whether you are capable of earning on your own (i.e. work experience and training, etc.), standard of living while you were married,
          etc.

          Leonaed Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #211:First – My husband and I have been married (in NY)almost 21 yrs- both NY residents , and I have for the most part been a stay at home mom during our marriage (we have a 19 yr old college student living at home which her college funds are paid for out of our account. – Husband is a Lt. in the FDNY -(he is 54 yrs old ) and WE own our home-mortgage free -worth approx $250,000-$300,000. He earns anywhere from $78,000-$95,000 a yr. -Over the years – my husband has been mentally abusive to me more each year- but I have been too scared to voice it to anyone as it is he who is the one that “puts the bread and butter on the table”. The mental abuse has mounted to the point- that I am at wits end . A few years ago- i had 3 heart attacks in one yr -leading to a triple bypass – finality of it all- I am disabled – with oxygen, and have cardiac heart failure , COPD(emphysema) and Hypertension-which he is the major contributing factor. -He has always handled all the finances , and i have no idea of what stocks, bonds etc are being deducted out of his paycheck, and I have no income and qualify for absolutely nothing – ie: Disabiltiy. I am unable to work as well. -Even though this has been going on for years- for the past year – I live/sleep in a separate room in our home. I have talked to him about getting a divorce – and he offered me pocket change if it is uncontested. I did some reading on my own – and gave no reply. -He said he talked to some friends at the firehouse – and they told him that I HAVE NO GROUNDS … -Since i have no income- i can’t afford an attorney … and don’t know what to do. I’m at the point that if i can’t get a divorce from his that will comfortably support me for the few years i have left — i hope the next heart will be my last so i don’t have to deal with him. Please guide me… By the way- many years back when i was in better health and went to various FDNY functions with him – i used to overhear all kinds of stories of tricks some of these guys use to hold onto as much as they can during a divorce….. Many thanks Answer
         
        • Ans :

          New York State now has a so called “No-Fault “ provision in which irreconciable differences are sufficient grounds to file for divorce.
          If you do not have any income of your own the court will make your husband pay for your attorney .
          Since you are ill and have a marriage of long duration, the court would most likely grant you significant spousal support.

          If you are living in the NYC metro area, I strongly suggest you call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating your divorce which will be cheaper , faster and less expensive.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #210:I am married for 5 years in NY with no children but suffer from chronic illness making me unable to work. I don’t know my rights and need to get out of this marriage. What am I legally able to fight for? Alimony/maintenance? Healthcare? I am too sick for to stay in this and too sick to leave. Thank you Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If you are unable to work , your spouse will be responsible for your support. He will also be responsible for your health care needs , and any other needs he has been providing during the course of your five year marriage. The amount of such support , and the duration of such report will depend on additional information not provided in your question.

          If you do not have the funds to pay for your attorney, the court will require your spouse to pay for your attorney as well.

          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area,. I strongly suggest that you call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss the matter at greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #204:I am looking to go ahead with getting a divorce from my Husband of 20 yrs who left me to move from TX(where I live, to NY(Queens). I want to know can I file for divorce in NY & demand spousal support. During our seperation he caused me to have a nervous breakdown, lost my job of 18yrs with Nordstorm. Having to be under a doctors care for shaking spells, etc. I look forward to your response. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If your husband is living in NY for more than two years, or even one year under certain circumstances, you can file in NY and you would be able to file for spousal support if he was supporting you during your marriage.

          Please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter at greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #134:Married 28 years,became disabled 1995 permant. 13 year old daughter for both need to leave home per doctors, emotionally. what kind of support can i expect for both of us. long beach, n.y. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          The amount of support will depend on your spouse’s income. The statutory requirement for child support for one child is approximately 17 percent of the total income of both parents up to $80,000, after which the court has discretion.
          Spousal support or maintenance will depend exclusively on your ability to earn income, your spouse’s income, the lifestyle which you led while you were married, and other factors which the court may take into consideration in determining what support you should receive.
          Please contact me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating your divorce which will be cheaper, faster, and less emotionally draining.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #133:One of my friends was married in february 2003 and has now decided to separate from his spouse but is trying to be understanding about her situation. Her situation is that she is awaiting citizenship papers. Now I am worried for him because when the time comes she may want to take spousal support from him because she works off the books. He says she is a good person just that he is not in love so he doesn’t believe she will do something like that. However I am a woman and I know better. They don’t have any children from one another, however she did give birth to a stillborn last month; october. They both live in NYC. What are the laws of alimony in this case? Thank You. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          The longer your friend remains married, the stronger his spouse’s claim to spousal support, especially since she is not working and he is the sole support for both of them presently. He should also think twice about whether he wishes to continue to remain as her immigration sponsor in the United States since he may be held liable for her support even after the divorce is settled.

          If your friend is located in the New York City metropolitan area , I strongly suggest that he call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating his divorce. This should not be left to self-help. It’s too important for his future, and if not done properly will expose him to financial claims in years to come.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #129:My husband filed for divorce after 21 yrs. of marriage after meeting someone a month before. We live in NY. At this time my 3 boys were 21, 18,16. I never worked.There were 4 properties to be divided, laundromats, contracting businesses, my x hadn’t filed taxes since 96, and much more. My lawyer was horrible. I wrote her letters numerous times. I had consults with other lawyers to see if they would take over my case. They wanted a lot of money because of the mess and I didn’t have the money to give them. I had no cash. On the day of the inquest, we were in the halls of the courts trying to split properties based on a “draft” settelement. My lawyer never went over it with me or discused with me my life style and that of my boys or the cost of living for me and my boys. My boys were the biggest concern to me and she repeatedly told me the two oldest are not my problem. It was very unprofesssional. To make a long and complicated story short, I went befor a judge for an inquest – I did not know what this was. I was tired and disgusted. Never thinking or knowing this was my final contract. My x was in contempt for all other pende- lite motions – never returned furniture, didn’t have art work appraised that he stole out of the house (over $100,000), didn’t give me maintenance and child support for two months, didn’t do repairs on the home, etc. My lawyer did nothing even though I was angry – she told me to stop worrying about the little things. and since all the court orders that were ordered in the previous months were ignored I thought initialing the papers was just temporary – my divorce settlement is only 7 pages, a lot of cross outs – a disgrace. Medical was never mentioned but in the papers sent to the judge to be filed my sweetheart of a lawyer added that I would be fully responsible for medical for myself and my youngest son. Regarding my youngest son’s education – she wrote that we would go to court if we could not agree. Since we don’t speak – we didn’t agree. I could not afford it, I can not get loans. My father helped out the first semester. The judge did not sign the papers until last month so now I can go to court and have the judge decide who has to pay. My x can afford it. My x is also suing me because I have not transferred deed. After the inquest, I asked my lawyer to do a title seach on the two properties I was awarded, she did it on the matriamonal property. With the transfer of deed papers she sent me a judgment or lien. There is a $200,000 lien on my property so I refused to transfer the deeds because no one can tell me if the lien will come off with his name. Another property I received has a satisfaction. At the day of the inquest I was told I would have to pay a man $2300 a month cash, because my x said he used the builiding for collataral but didn’t explain for what. I wanted to see the note – still haven’t. So next week I am going to court. My x is suing me for legal fees,want’s to get sherriffs to take baseball cards out of the house, force me to transfer deeds and to pay a loan shark. I am going to court alone – can’t afford a lawyer. Like I said this divorce was a disgrace and handled very unprofessional. Any advice for me would be appreciated? Do you think I have grounds to sue my lawyer and if you do can you recommend anyone? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          I cannot overemphasize the need to find experienced, competent, matrimonial counsel
          when searching for legal representation in a divorce situation. From your description it is apparent
          that your lawyer neglected to inform you of the terms of the proposed settlement as they were being discussed and deliberated and to properly investigate the property that was being offered to you in settlement, to see if there were any claims or liens against such property.
          At this stage, you must employ experienced, legal counsel to review all of the documents you have signed and to advise you how to proceed. Do not, under any circumstances, sign any more papers until you have read them and have reviewed them with legal counsel.
          These matters are too important to proceed without proper legal advice and you must do whatever you must to get the money necessary to hire an attorney who can represent you, especially in such a situation. Failure to do so will impact you and your children for the rest of your lives.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #127:My husband and I have been married for 20 years. We live in New York. He left the house. We have 2 children together. I make more money than him. Do I have to pay him alimony? Does he get half of my pension? Do I have to be legally separated for him to only get 1/2 pension for the time we were married? Thanks! Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You indicate that you have two children but do not mention their ages. If they are under 18 years of age, there is a question of custody and child support which must be determined in the course of the separation and divorce process. With regard to alimony,, which is now referred to as spousal maintenance or spousal support, and with regard to the pension questions, the answers depend on a number of particular factors in your case, such as who was the main provider for the family during the course of the 20 years of marriage, how much did each one contribute to the support of the family, whether the individual remaining spouse is capable of supporting himself/herself, etc.

          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area ,please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss these and other matters which must be resolved in order to proceed with the separation and divorce.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #126:I have been married to this man for 8 years …he has spinal injury and is confined to a wheelchair…When we first got married he was walking with canes and he told me that it was temporary that he would walk again. However shortly after we got married he sustained a fracture and refused to continue therapy so he could walk with canes again but instead requested a wheelchair. Our relationship has deteriorated sexually and otherwise. He is now impotent…we haven’t had sex in over 5 years and I have never cheated on him…He does not want me to work..so I can serve him hand and feet…He refuses to go on disability because this is his way of controlling me…he brings in the money and I serve him hand and feet and remain his prisoner…I am now 51 years old and I just can’t take this anymore..It is driving me crazy…I want a divorce but the house is on his name and I have nothing….no job no money…every time I get a job he manipulates me into quitting….please help me….I am not a greedy person I just want to be compensated for all the time I gave to him…I have had no life since the day I married him…he managed to alienate me from all my friends and family…I would really appreciate your advice on how I can go about getting a divorce from this man and be able to get something to start a new life with….I am a medical transcriptionist by trade so I can still get back in the job market and be able to take care of myself but right now I have no money of my own…my mother left me $13,000.00 when she died but he put it on both our names and we don’t have even that much in the bank anymore….thanks again . Answer
         
        • Ans :

          From the facts which you present, it sounds like family counseling should be your first choice and not divorce mediation. Severe sickness or disability of one spouse places a tremendous emotional and physical burden on the healthy spouse and it is not unusual for you to react in the way you are. I strongly suggest you seek out and experienced, family counselor to help both of you. Get home care assistance to take part of the burden off of you and to provide you with some free time to go out and to enjoy yourself with your friends and family.
          If, after family counseling, you still believe that divorce is the only solution, I would be happy to discuss the matter with you at greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #124:hello. i am 36 yrs old and have been married for 6 yrs. my wife and i have come to an agreement that we need a separation. we have 2 children. the car the condo, all of our possessions we attained during the marriage. i am working but my wife is currently unemployed. she is about to get a job that will potentially pay her six figures(double what i make). i am willing to pay child support but what happens when she gets the job? ami still responsible to pay her funds even though she makes double what i do? we have agreed on terms for the separation but just need to have it finalized. can you help me with the name of someone in bklyn or manhattan that can help? thank you for your help in this matter. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If your wife becomes financially self-sufficient, you will not be required to pay
          spousal support for her. You will be responsible to pay your share of the child support.
          There are, however, many more issues to be resolved and to be incorporated in a written Separation Agreement, (e.g. child custody, child support division of marital assets etc.) which must be done to satisfy the statutory requirements of such agreements and requires the assistance of an experienced matrimonial attorney.

          Please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss arranging for employment with you and your spouse to mediate your separation and divorce.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Double as Solutions

      • Question #112:i have been married almost 10 years-4/20/04 if i get a legal seperation can i also stay on the medical insurance- he is a suffolk county police officer- the insurance for the me and the two kids is free no out of pockets expenses for him. Also he is an extreme drinker and has some police reports filed on him for abuse to me only -the abuse (all of them has been since a month after we married- i have always kept a diary and can list all dates which is quite often he has involved in his behavior and to top this he has many girlfriends and one after two years of coming here breaking in , ramming garage doors and getting my husband loaded work gun and holding james& I hostage and etc. his job finally kept coming here and finally talked me into order of protection -in which she violates here and there- but its much better-my husband still meets her goes to all her courts dates and has a tattoo on his arm of her name about 2 years now. i live in fear from him everydayi do not any acess to money and well its pretty horrid-he does not hurt the kids just ingores them alaways did- their ages are 5 ,7 they do not like him and are telling me not to let him in the home and want a new nice dad, well he does make $102,000 a year but he fails to give us money and i mention he goes missing for days, sometim weeks etc with no way to contact him -my mom lives downstairs and thank god for her she doesnt make much with social security but can help sometimes. i have recently had to go to a church for food it was embrassing he keeps his paycheck cash in his wallet there is no money anywhere in accounts and he pays bills sometimes but the house went into foreclosure twice and my friend gave me the money to save my youngest child will be going to school soon he forbids me to work all thses years, and have to produce receipts when he gives me food money to check to make sure i never get change back and to see and critize what food i bought. my friends help to get me hand me downs for me and kids and even bought them new jackets for the winter when they came here (which is only allowable when james is working) and he does not know we are not allowed to have anyone over to visit- anyway i cried when i got the jackets- our home is falling apart it was a foreclosure when we got it and needs lots of work which he does not want to or have any repairs so its not worth much. but he always on vacations himself, out at bars all of the time, sporting events , rock concerts etc.. and the cable shut off again and phone disconnected again because he so late paying or for lack of not paying them etc.. what would be the best thing to do –also he does want a divorce or seperation -that he is handling everything etc-but he does not. i need help-also he has a son who is 12 from a previous girlfriend he never sees him last time maybe 3 years ago me and my kids would get and see him 100x more than james-the child support is 700.00 a month which is garnished from his paycheck. i sure this would have some bearing on me and kids. i live in New York State. Could you tell me how much i would receive in child support thank you- sorry its so long, but i guess you would need to know basic of components thank you please write back. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          As part of any court settlement, if you cannot afford health insurance for your children and for yourself, the court will require your husband to provide it, either through his employer if it possible, or through some independent means. If you are unable to work or must tend to the children because they are infants, the court will require your husband to provide you with spousal support. In addition he will be required to provide you with child support for the children and for you to remain with the children in the family residence. The exact amount of support both spousal, and child, will depend on book on a number of factors including your income if any, his income and what your total assets are (Statement of Net Worth).

          If you feel that you with and or the children are in danger, you should call the police and get an order of protection.

          Leonard M.Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #108:My mother-in-law was awarded alimony after a divorce in New York over 25 years ago. About 15 years ago her ex stopped gradually stopped making payments. Because she was scared my mother-in-law did nothing about it. She is now about to be laid off from her job. Is she entitled to back alimony and future alimony? Or, was there a limit on the time she could fight for the money she was/is owed? She has never remarried. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          I do not believe there is a time limit in which one can demand past alimony. However she should be prepared to give a good reason why she has not made such demand for 15 years. At some time there is a concept of “latches” in which one loses one’s right to demand payment.

          Good luck!

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #100:I have been married for a year and a half. I believe there is infidelity on the part on my husband. I constantly find phone numbers, condoms (we don’t use them), receipts for gifts bought for other women(I know for a fact they were for women), disappearing acts, etc. I tried to talk with my husband to get to the root of the problem which only further aggravated the situation. He decided that since I don’t trust him, he was leaving and has been gone for about two months. In the meantime, I have been left without financial support and have gotten behind in my bills. We both worked, but my salary almost doubles his. This does not make handling the bills on my own any easier since without his income I am living above my means. What recourse do I have financially if I pursue separation financially? I would hate to be supporting him financially because I make more money. We have no children together, but I have three from a previous relationship. I want to separate, but I surely don’t want to pay him for leaving me. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Although you make approximately twice as much as your husband, since the duration of the marriage is only one year and a half, the amount and length of spousal support should not be that great. On the other hand, if you were both contributing your incomes to be able to live a certain lifestyle, he may in fact look to you for some sort of support, at least for a short term, until he can adjust to the new situation. It will all depend on the opinion of the judge who hears the case. For this reason, among others, I strongly suggest that you consider mediating your separation and ultimately the divorce which provides a forum for you and your spouse to work out the support issue without the interference of a third party judge. If you’re living in the Greater New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter at greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #86: hi: just wanted to find out what the ny state laws towards alimony is and does it also relate to someone who is on a foreign work permit. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Today alimony is referred to as “spousal support” and whether the court would grant spousal support depends on the circumstances of each individual case such as duration of the marriage, is the spouse seeking support employed, is s\he earning enough to support herself, the lifestyle of the
          couple during the marriage, etc.

          Under most cases, the court would have jurisdiction if you or your spouse have been living in NY
          for over 1 year. Immigration status is not a relevant factor in determining jurisdiction.
          If you are living in the NYC metro area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating your divorce.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq.\Divorce Solutions

      • Question #84: My husband and I have been married for 4 years. We have a 2 year old son. He is military and I was until our child was born. We both agreed for me to get out of the service to take care of the child and go back to college. Everything we own is in his name even though we bought it after marriage. He has not been a very good husband and i am tired of being miserable. I want out after two years of trying to work it out. I have no job, no car and no income. He has agreed to let me keep the car and he will pay for it. We lived in TX and I decided to move back to VA with my family. I want him to be able to have a good relationship with our son but it seems almost impossible. I don’t want this to be ugly and I still want to be on good terms with him. I really don’t have the money to fight him in court over property. How much support is he required to give me until the divorce is final. The only bills we have is house, car insurance, etc. There is no credit cards or lines of credit. He has almost $1000 left over a month after all bills are paid. He says that if I decided for sure to divorce then I am cut off to any financial support besides child support and he is just paying the car payment. He wants to keep the house and I do not contest that even though there is over $10,000 in equity in it. How can I do this peacefully? I can not afford daycare so I can go to school. I will get my G.I. Bill in Oct. but that is not helping me now. Jobs in my area (southwestern VA) are scarce and most people want full time and will not hire for a few weeks only. I would appreciate it if you can help any at all. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          I cannot tell which state has jurisdiction over your case ,but in an”Equitable distribution state ‘ or a “Community property state”you would be entitled to approximately half of all marital assets (i.e.
          all assets acquired during the marriage with funds earned during the marriage regardless of in whose name the assets are registered).
          In addition, since you are not working, your husband would have to provide you with some form of spousal support and even child care to give you an opportunity to go back to school to learn a profession or time to find a job which would allow you to be self supporting.
          Do not be so quick to give up your right to half the equity in the house.
          It may be one of the few assets you have and if you are not thinking of yourself think of your child.
          Discuss these matters with your husband and see if he would agree to mediate the issues with an experienced attorney-mediator in your area.
          The alternative is costly litigation. If he refuses you should contact an experienced matrimonial attorney in your area to discuss the matter further. If you do not have funds to pay for the lawyer the court will make your husband pay for your lawyer also.
          BE STRONG!

      • Question #67: I have been married 26 years. I served my husband with divorce papers last Sept. He moved out last Dec. We are at the stage of either a trial or settle. He offered to settle 50/50 everything with child support til our last child is emancipated and no maintenance. He earned $112K last year and I earned $35K. He claims I am self supporting and I cant afford to live in the home the way I am use to. Should I be entitled to alimony? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          In order to answer your question properly I would need more information. Assuming, however, that for the 26 years of marriage your husband supported you and the family and that you lived a lifestyle commensurate with his income, you would be entitled to some form of spousal support for a number of years to allow you to seek professional training and to provide you with a level of lifestyle closer to the one which you had during the marriage. Consider mediating your divorce. If you are located in the greater NYC area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss. I can help without your having to go to court and battle it out before a judge.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #56: I’ve been married for 8 yrs and now I want to file for divorce and move out of state. I haven’t really worked much in the years we have been married; there are no kids involved and we rent our home. He makes over 100 thousand a year but tells me I will leave with what I came in to the marriage with, is this a true statement? I’m very much alone in this and I know I will need some sort of support for a short period of time. Also can he cut me out of his medical insurance once there is a legal separation? Help!! I’m really lost. Thank you. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You are entitled to approximately one half of everything you both have acquired during the course of the marriage, no matter in whose name the money, shares, accounts, or real property is in. If you do not have medical insurance, he will have to cover you and provide you with spousal support until you can begin supporting yourself. If you are located in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter in greater length.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq. / Divorce Solutions

      PRE-MARRIAGE SPOUSAL GIFTS
      • Question #68: A friend of mine has been married for 8 months. she is getting a divorce. Is her engagement ring considered marital property? her grandfather gave her and her husband $25,000 when they got married. This is marital property, correct? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          The engagement ring is a tricky question. If it is an asset acquired by the Bride- Wife prior to marriage and not during marriage as some courts have said, it is individual property and not Marital property. Other courts have said, however, it was given in anticipation of marriage and its transfer is understood to be conditioned upon the completion of the marriage and therefore only becomes hers after the marriage is completed, and thus marital property. Best thing is to split the value if there is an argument about it. The gift of the $25,000 depends on whether it was given to both of them or only to one, whether the funds were kept in a separate account in one name or co-mingled with marital money. Your friend should seriously consider mediating the divorce. It will save money, time and anguish. If she lives in the greater NYC area, have her call me at 212-370-1660.I can help.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      POST-MARRIAGE ACQUIRED PROPERTY
      • Question #286:My Ex husband wants me to move out of the house and sell it, he wants 50/50 of the money, I don’t want to leave my home. I have a 17 and 12 year old, what are my chances of the courts granting me the rights to keep my home and him sign over a quick deed. Also, because I can’t afford to pay the monthly payments and my ex is not giving me any support, I am having my boyfriend move in with me to help me with things. Is this okay? My kids love him and he is a great guy, my divorce will be final on 6/11/12, I am just waiting my court date right now to discuss assets. I am asking for only child support the house and my car, he can have anything else he wants. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If the house was acquired during the marriage with funds earned during the marriage, the house is marital property and each one should have approximately and 50% interest. Depending on whether other assets and monies are available as marital properly, it’s possible that you could be granted the house and your spouse receives some other comparable assets and or items that compensate him for his half share the house. If there are no other assets that are of comparable value, the court, because you have children still living at home, may require your spouse to provide you with funds to pay the mortgage until they are old enough to go off to school and become emancipated. The court may also order the sale of the house but allow you to find other suitable accommodations, and have your spouse provide you with some spousal support to cover the rental payments. The determination will depend on at broader picture of what all the marital assets are, what your husband’s income is, and what your income is .
          Having your boyfriend move into the house before all of the issues are settled and the court issues its judgment is not a good idea . It will affect the issue of child custody, your need to insist that your spouse provide you with spousal support to pay for the mortgage or rent, and it will add a new, negative, dimension to the court’s decision regarding your need for spousal support to maintain your home or new residence, and its decision regarding custody of the children.

          if you are living in New York City metropolitan area I strongly urge you to call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting for the three of us to discuss mediating in a divorce and resolving these issues in the quiet of my of office instead of the court and carter’s.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #274:I am thinking of getting a divorce after 6 years. When I got married I did not have any money. My mother passed away and left me money and a house that I have to split with my brother. I was and still am the main bread winner in the family and my husband has not worked in over 3 years. I paid for medical all the bills and now that I am unemployed am still paying all the bills and he has not paid anything. I bought a home and both of our names are on the deed. Is he entitled to half of what I have or get when I sell the house my mother left to me and my brother. Thank you for your time. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If you would have used the inheritance money exclusively to purchase the new house, and kept the deed in your name only, the house would have been separate property, not marital property.
          By adding your spouse to the deed you gave him a gift of 50% of the house and he now can claim a 50% interest.
          You can try to convince the Court that it was not a gift but needed him to qualify for the mortgage, but it will be an uphill battle.
          If the money you receive from the inheritance is kept in a separate account in your name only,
          it will be separate property, not marital property and your spouse will not have any interest in it.
          Good luck!

          Leonard Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #262:My husband and I have just separated. We live in Massachusetts. My question is I own 2 homes before we were married, does he have any legal right to them if we get divorced? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If the homes were acquired prior to the marriage with your separate funds and title kept in your name only, the property would be separate property and not marital property and your spouse would not have any proprietary interest in them. If there were mortgage payments made on the houses during the marriage with funds earned by you or him during the marriage he may have a claim for half of such funds contributed to pay the mortgages.

          Leonard m. Weiner, Esq/Divorce Solutions

      • Question #209:I am buying a house by myself. The loan is only under my name. If I get divorced, can my husband force me to sell the house or is he automatically an owner because he is married to me ? Thanks Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If you purchase the house in your name only with funds you had prior to the marriage or funds received as an inheritance and which were kept in an account in your name, the house would be considered separate property, not marital property, and your spouse would have no claim to it.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq. /Divorce Solutions

      DEPENDENT DEDUCTION
      UNDUE INFLUENCE
      • Question #202: A few days ago I requested annulment info with regards to a marriage which took place in the nursing home where my invalid brother resides. I am going to see my brother 2 weeks from today to try to be named his proxy, guardian and power of attorney. I without a doubt believe the “spouse” accomplished this union through coercion, lies & duress. It is documented that he is afraid of her, that she is VERY controlling, & speaks for him. I further believe her intentions were to fraudulently acquire all his possesions (which were his not only before the Dec 6, 2006 union but before July 1, 2006 when he moved in with her. She was aware his inheritance was in perpituity – She would gain at the very least $50,000. She also planned to receive his Social Security. In addition he was an independent cab driver – the medallion worth approx $100,000 but also his before July 1, 2006. Mom’s will now does not include him. If papers are filed for annulment/divorce and he passes away before the decree is granted will she collect his social security? Can anything be documented to “disinherit ” her? Can a restraining order be filed to keep her away from him? He has suffered too much and too long at her hands. I will do anything and everything to protect him. My problem is logistics – I’m in AZ ,he is in NY. Thanks in advance for your guidance Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Depending on how much time your brother still has, the Annulment -Divorce route may be too slow. You should have him legally transfer his major assets to you or to a trust in which he names the beneficiaries. That transfer will be immediate and not require court approval, as long as he is of sound mind and understands what he is doing and a doctor in the nursing home will testify to that fact, it will be legal.
          You can also try the divorce route, as a back up, but that will rerquire court approval and take some time.

          If you will be in the NYC metro area, please call me to arrange for a meeting to help you to legally effectuate these recommendations.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      DISABILITY INCOME
      • Question #208:My husband and I are divorcing. I have a question regarding alimony. I am currently on disability for diabetes and anxiety, my husband says that since I am on disability I am not entitled to alimony. Is that true. Please let me know. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          The income you receive from disability will be considered in the final determination about the appropriate amount of spousal support that you should receive., if any, depending on the difference between your husband’s income and your disability income, the lifestyle that you have been living while married, and the number of years that you have been married.

          Simply because your are receiving disability is not in itself a reason for the judge not to award spousal support.

          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, I strongly suggest that you call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating your divorce . There are many other important issues that should be discussed and decided and incorporated into a legal separation agreement , and it should be prepared by an experienced,matrimonial attorney. This is a matter of importance and should not be left to self-help.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #91:I have been separated since February 1, 2001. We have been married for 5 years. My husband just received a disability/early retirement package from his job. I’m not sure of all of the terms and conditions, but am I entitled to any of this compensation? Am I entitled to half of his pension? Also, I have bankbooks in my name prior to marriage with a lot of money in them. I also purchased our apartment with that money and the apartment is in my name only. Can I deem this apartment separate property? He seems to think he contributed to that bankbook, but he was always on disability or workers compensation, so whatever he made went to our rent at the time and the expenses that came along with that. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Disability- If this payment is a result of some injury or accident

          and is in lieu of insurance , it is most likely not marital property and

          you do not have any claim to it.

          Early retirement – Pension – You do have a claim to approximately one half

          of the pension earned during the course of your marriage.

          Bankbooks and apartment – If the money and property were acquired by

          you prior to marriage and kept in your name , they are separate property

          and not marital property and belong exclusively to you.

          You mentioned being separated from your husband, was this

          a legal separation and was there a Separation Agreement?

          It is essential to take care of these matters properly!

          If you are living in the NYC metro area please call me to

          discuss mediating your divorce and preparing the needed legal papers.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq. /Divorce Solutions

      PRE-NUPTIAL AGREEMENT
      • Question #110:My fiance and I reside in NYS. My name is NOT currently on the deed…he bought the home before we met (though I am paying a portion of the mortgage). We’re getting married next year, for some reason we get a divorce, do I automatically get 1/2 the house because we were married or does my name HAVE to be on the deed? He and I recently had this discussion and I thought according to NYS law that as a married couple 1/2 is yours when it came to divorce…please let me know. He is however planning on adding my name to the deed. We also aren’t planning on divorce but it’s good to know the details prior to walking down the aisle! Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You are absolutely right! It’s important for you to know the details prior to walking down the aisle. It’s also important for you both to consider entering into a prenuptial agreement where you would spell out your exact relationship since you are concerned about the financial ramifications in the event of separation or divorce. Since your husband purchased the property prior to your marriage and his name is presently the only name on the deed, it would not be considered marital property in the event of divorce, and you would have no interest in it. If you wish to have an interest in such property, you should have your name added to the deed. Only if the property had been purchased during the course of the marriage with funds that were earned by one or both of the parties would it become a marital asset and thus be divided generally 50-50.

          If you are located in the New York City metropolitan area, I strongly suggest that you contact me to discuss preparing a prenuptial agreement where you would spell out all of the different issues and ramifications in the event of separation or divorce. It’s like having an insurance policy-no one expects to die when they take out life insurance, but in a country were approximately 50 percent of all marriages and in divorce, it’s prudent to know that you have provided for such an event and you will not be left penniless.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #106:My husband has walked out on our marriage after two months and has refused any attempt at reconciliation. I was forced to sign a pre-nuptial two days before the wedding or he threatened to call off the ceremony. This pre-nuptial denied me any spousal support and cut me off from any marital property rights. Looking back it now appears that he had no intention of working at the marriage and used the pre-nup as a way to guarantee that he could leave as he chose. This pre-nuptial leaves me destitute as I gave up my home, all furniture and most possessions when my children and I moved in with him. What are my rights since I signed this prenuptial? Could this prenuptial be thrown out on grounds of duress, unconscionability or even fraud? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          I cannot overemphasize the need to consult with legal counsel before you sign any legal document. Your marriage of two months is of very short duration in any case and as such the amount of spousal support would be limited . You do have a right, however, to receive the your share of marital property and you should pursue that avenue in the event of divorce. You suggest duress or “unconscionability” or perhaps even fraud, but these allegations must be supported by evidence and it will be up to the judge to decide where justice lies.

          If you’re living in the New York City metropolitan area, I strongly suggest you call me to see if we can mediate your divorce and resolve the issues out-of-court which will save you both money, time and aggravation.

          In the future, consult legal counsel before entering into any legal arrangement.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #75: I’m getting divorced from my husband. We are in the middle of negotiations right now regarding division of property. My soon to be EX-husband is rich and I am not. We have been married for 12 years. He owns a company and I work with him for 11 years and I was underpaid. Before we got married, he slapped me with the pre-nup the day before the wedding. I was not properly represented by an attorney who my husband called to represent me. I met this lawyer the day of the signing. Now my EX- just wanted to give me a lump sum of $350,000 , $350,000 share for the house, $1500 alimony for 2 years, $1500 child support. My lawyer thinks that I should fight because what he is giving me is not enough. But my bills are building up,and my husband will not pay for my lawyer’s fee. I tried to avoid going to court because it’s emotionally draining and I don’t want my son to be affected psychologically. My question is there a possibility that the pre-nup agreement will be thrown out by the judge because I was not properly represented and the pre-nup are all in favor of my EX? How long do you think would this divorce end if I have to go to court? Do you think that I should just accept what he is giving me and go on with my life? In the back of my mind I wanted to fight him in court and let the judge decide what is fair for me and for my son but emotionally I think I cannot handle it and also I am afraid that it might turn out against my favor. Do you think that what he is offering me child support, lump sum and alimony is fair? By the way he makes 100,000 a year.Please, please help, I need your respond a soon as possible, they said this was there last final offer, if we don’t accept it, they will proceed the court. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          It is impossible for me to accurately assess the total value of your marital property from the few items you mention in your letter. To properly ascertain the true net worth of your husband and to determine the full extent of the marital assets, we would need to get a sworn net worth statement from your husband and investigate whether he has truely disclosed all of his assets and income. Until you do that you cannot know whether the offer is good or bad. With regard to the pre-nuptial agreement, again I must review it in detail to see how egregious it really is and its recognition or not would depend on the judge. From what you say, it sounds like you would have a good chance of challenging the agreement. If you do not have your own funds to pay your attorney the court will make your husband pay . If you feel you are really being unjustly treated you should refuse his offer. Have the courage to protect your interests;your future financial well being and that of your son depends on it! There is an alternative to protracted and lengthy litigation in court. I strongly suggest you consider mediating your divorce. It will be less costly and emotionally draining on all parties, including your son and is conducted in the quiet of my office instead in the courtroom or its corridors. If you are located in the NYC metro area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter further. GOOD LUCK!
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq / Divorce Solutions

      POST DIVORCE ACQUIRED PROPERTY
      • Question #311:My brother filed for divorce in NY from his wife and since then my Dad passed away and myself and my siblings have inherited my Dad’s home. My brother wants to buy us out and live in the house. Can his wife make a claim on the house once it’s in my brother’s name? Should us siblings wait till his divorce is final and then sell him the house? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Your brother’s portion of the inheritance, including his share of the house, if kept in his name only andseparate and apart from his commingled funds, are NOT “Marital Property” and his wife would have no claim to them.
          However, as you rightly are concerned, if he uses money he earned during the marriage, or commingled funds to buy you and the remaining siblings out, that portion of the purchase price IS Marital Property and the wife would have a claim to that portion.

          Best thing, as you suggest, is to wait until the divorce is final, there is an Order of divorce signed by the judge and the Order is filed with the County Clerk.

          Good Luck!

          Leonard Weiner, Esq.
          Divorce Solutions
          212-370-1660

      • Question #122:My Husband was married for ten years prior to meeting me. He got the divorce and we got married. My husband is 17 years older than I am. We have a 10 month old child together. I am worried if we buy a house and God forbid my husband dies before I do, does his ex-wife have any legal rights to the property that we acquire? We live in NYC. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Assuming that the divorce which your husband received 10 years ago was valid, any asset which he acquired after that time should be separate property and not marital property (of the first marriage). There should also have been a separation agreement in which one of the provisions spells out the division of all property and the right of each individual to maintain separate property from that point on.
          If you have any further questions, please call may at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter at greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      LAWSUIT RECOVERY PROCEEDS
      • Question #144:My husband and I are heading to Divorce after 9 years of marriage. Domestic Violence, alcoholism and affairs (his) have been a constant. I am due to receive a significant settlement for an employee discrimination lawsuit I filed. I have been advised to file for Divorce PRIOR to completing the actions necessary for me to receive the settlement. A few months ago, my husband ‘found’ an attorney to handle the settlement process for me, this attorney drafted a retainer that listed my husband and I as clients, yet specified therein that both the lawsuit and settlement check is/will (be) in my name (only). Advice? We are in New York State. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          I would strongly recommend that you follow the advice you received and file for divorce prior to concluding the settlement.
          If the award or settlement is still questionable at the time when you file the summons and complaint, you may maintain that the recovery was not assured and therefore did not exist prior to the date of the filing of the summons and complaint ,which is the cutoff point for determining marital property.
          If you receive the settlement payment before you file the summons and complaint, it will most likely become marital property and be subject to equitable distribution.

          If you are located in the New York City area, I strongly suggest you call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating this matter and your divorce and resolving them out of court.

          Good luck!

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      MEDIATING SUPPORT OBLIGATIONS
      • Question #154:Here is the situation. We live in the Syracuse NY area. Married for 12 yrs Since May of 2005 my wife and I have been in marriage counseling. Regardless of the history of the sessions things haven’t changed much. There was some ominous presence hanging over us. One month ago it finally came out that she had an affair from July 2004-April 2005. I have never abused, embarrassed her etc. She lacks for nothing including attention. I am a very involved father. Always changed diapers, taken both boys with me everywhere. In fact I estimate that I spend more time alone with them than her. (I have begun a journal with times etc) I do not want to use them as pawns. However, I grossed130 K last year and she 60 K. I am afraid, should we divorce, I will have to pay 25% of gross ($2200) add that to her take home it is almost $5000/month. I would be left to live on about 2200 myself. Doesn’t seem fair for me to pay for her to live high on the hog like this when I didn’t do anything to deserve this. I am willing to share custody and pay for 63% of all child expenses. I can’t afford to live on $2200 minus rent, power, gas, food, daycare, saving for kids college etc. How can I do anything with them or for them. I am a victim of having a goodliving. I have offered 63% of all expenses etc. I even was willing to give up the home I rebuilt w / my sweat and bonus cks and the equity up to 100k after that it would be split. My kids will not lack but I don’t want to pay for her to live on my dime. My wife is a great mother but I don’t want to live like a pauper. Can I go for primary custody? What type of chances does a father have who is very involved? 80% of the time I got them ready for school and picked them up. Other times when wife did they got off bus at sitters. I have a flexible schedule and travel usually one nite per week. I took a loan against my 401K for the down payment on the home and she has never touched hers. I did the remodeling and saved us tens of thousands of dollars. What can I do? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You should mediate rather than litigate your divorce. It will save you, time, money and lots of aggravation.
          At such mediation you can work out a fair division of the assets and decide the custody questions as well as the fair amount of child and spousal support you should pay.
          You have a good chance of getting custody of the children based on the limited information you have provided and should not give up your fight for custody.
          Try to find an experienced matrimonial, attorney-mediator in your area who is familiar with your local courts.

          Good Luck!

          Leonard Weiner, Esq./ Divorce Solutions

      CHILDRENS’ EDUCATION/EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
      • Question #216: I’m not married but I have been with my fiance now 14yrs! I have a 4yr old daughter, and we just purchased a home 1yr ago in NJ. Things have not been going well in our relationship..we’ve tried counseling, but it didn’t work. We both talked about separating, but he says he has to have custody of our daughter. Both of us are good parents, we both work, and both do our share of things around the house. He works more hours than I do, and of course I do most of the spending time with my daughter..I do all the things a Mother has to do for there child. I’m not saying he’s a bad father..but I feel that I can take better care of her than he would. He say’s he’ll fight to the end, to have custody of her. Is there any way a judge can turn and give custody to a Dad instead of the Mother? and why? also, what would happen with our home, our belongings etc? since were not married? Please Help. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Based on the information that you provided, it seems unlikely that the judge would award your spouse custody of the child. In all likelihood , you would remain the residential parent , and perhaps both parties share custody.
          With regard to your financial matters, it would be necessary to see exactly how title to the home is held and who paid for the furniture and household items you referred to.

          Your situation is ideal for mediation, which would remove the entire matter from the court system and allow you and your spouse to sit down together with the mediator and resolve these issues.

          Please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting for the three of us to discuss mediating your separation .

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./ Divorce Solutions

      • Question #173:I have been married to an abusive husband for 24 years and we have two children 19 who is a college sophomore and a 15 year old high school freshman…. I write a column once a week on the computer digital edition for a small town paper which has earned me 3400 /year my husband makes 68,000. I filed for divorce in the beginning of April of this year he buys what groceries he chooses, does not pay for my car being maintained told me to get used to paying things by myself….makes the kids beg for money if they need it ..there have been no allowances since April 1st for the kids. whati need to know is: since he says he’s not paying for college and that my son lives at school which he doesn’t he is home 5 months out of the year. he says he is not paying child support for him because he will not be living with me…my son doesn’t live at the school so i know my soon to be x has to pay for him till he is 23 how does college work or is that arranged thru the court if we cant figure it out with arbitration then the judge decides? my husband wants joint custody with my daughter who he cant get along with to save his soul it is another ploy to not pay so much in child support i know he is legally obligated to pay 25% of his paycheck to child support….. since we have been married for 24 years and i am not working ,i have a high school education and did not graduate i quit working when i had my son and became a stay at home and still do not really work only the col that brings in 30-60 a week depending on the length of it and what the editor uses. i am 48 years of age…..can you give me a rough idea as to what alimony or maintenance might be percentage wise? and how long? i have had no money and had to run my credit card up to 3,000 paying for things the kids have needed thru the months does he have to pay the credit card or is that up to a judge? what usually happens the first meeting what can i hope to get accomplished and what are my rights ……i would receive retirement or social security which was put in during the marriage or till i remarry? i mainly need to know now what percentage maintenance or alimony would be in my situation.. we live in new york Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You raise many important issues, which unfortunately, I am unable to deal with in this short reply. However, with regard to spousal support open (alimony), unlike child-support, there is no statutory percentage of income, which is relegated to spousal support. It depends on many factors including net worth of each of the parties, the ability of the nonworking spouse to return to the workplace, the age of the children at home, the health and age of each of the parties, etc.

          Please consider mediating your divorce instead of litigating it in court. It will be faster, cheaper and a lot less traumatic.
          If you were living in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss this and all the other matters at greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #165:My divorce horror story goes like this. I was married to a New York City Police Lieutenant. He punched me in the face, and a week later my daughter and myself moved into our own place. I signed a stipulation that allowed me to have full access to the marital residence for purpose of childcare and visitation thereat. The first time I tried to enter the family residence, my ex called 911. A little while after I left him, I found out that the police department requested his resignation. This was due to the fact that he had sexually harassed a female officer for 4 1/2 years. I left my two sons in the marital residence, since he made 90 thousand dollars. I had my own apartment and three jobs. I soon found out that my ex had forged my name on Janus funds accounts and stole 18,000. I got copies of the checks, went to the DA. in Nassau county and was told to file a civil action. In our stipulation, it required my ex to make the mortgage payments on the house. 10 months after 911 he failed to make the payments, while my name was on the house. During this time he started stalking me. I was doing a book for Great Neck and he followed me and sexually abused me by asking for sexual favors for money. He tried his best to mirco-manage my life. He made constant demands of me, even though it says clearly in my stipulation that nothing shall be construed as a duty or obligation on the part of the wife. He harassed me constantly and was always calling and the sexual advances turned into a sexual assault. At this time in my life I didn’t understand things the way I do now. Currently, I have custody of the17 year old. I had to go to court to get a restraining order to stop the harassment and the next day, he punched my son in the face twice with a clinched fist and was found guilty of maltreatment and abuse. I had documented my visitation for 4 and 1/2 years and I have my boys more than 3/4 of the time. It is my belief, since I was trying to not make his financial life a living hell, that he knew exactly what he was trying to do to me. I had been conned. Instead of him paying me child support, I paid him for many years until I went to court and sued him for unpaid spousal support and also custody of my children. He settled the case, under the advise of his attorney and gave me my son back in lieu of 10 thousand dollars unpaid to me. It says in the last court order that he failed to obey the order of the court and this failure was unwillful. Otherwise he would have gone to jail for 6 months. Also, my ex did violate the restraining order, called me 12 times in 2 hours and banged on my door while I was in the shower. He left me a threatening message and was arrested, although the detective did not believe me because my ex told them he was a retired police officer. I got him on tape and showed evidence to the court and the judge told me to record everything. I am now remarried and my ex wants me to pay half of the college expenses for my son. I am currently applying for SSI, since I have neurofibromatosis, nerve damage and fibromyalgia. My question to you is do the courts order the ex non-custodial parent to pay half or is this based on a pro-rated share of income. He has done his best to try and ruin me, but I am a former U.S. Marine and I will not let him. Please advise. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Generally, the issue of college expenses for children is addressed in the Separation Agreement. If you entered into a Separation Agreement with your spouse, I would have to review the provisions to see exactly what you agreed to. If there is no Separation Agreement, there may be some reference to higher education in the judgment of divorce or in an additional order from the court dealing with the matter.
          If the matter has not been addressed in some legal document, then it will be up to the court to decide on the relative responsibilities of each parent. I strongly suggest that you mediate this matter, rather than going to court. It will be less expensive and will allow you to reach an agreement that you will both be able to live with.
          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss this matter at greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      DIVISION OF RETIREMENT FUNDS
      • Question #330:This is a question for my partner, who I have a son (5) from and who I have been with for 6 years. He was married for 21 years and has been legally separated for about 7 years. He did not complete the Divorce because his EX wife walked away and refused to sign the papers. They had a house in Westchester that went to Foreclosure. Today, he is retired and has his IRA, pension and 401.. My question is, if he is not divorced and just legally separated, is she entitled to any money? And if he takes money out of his IRA, or pension, does he need her signature. We are trying to start the process of just the paperwork for the Divorce, but we don’t know where to turn to, we need guidance on so many levels. Thanks Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You indicate that your partner is “legally separated”. Was that separation done by an attorney and was it filed with the county clerk in Westchester ?
          If it was properly drawn , executed and filed, the cutoff date for his spouse’s interest in his retirement account and pension is most likely the date the separation was
          Filed with the county clerk. The spouse is entitled to approximately half of whatever was contributed to the retirement and pension accounts during the time they weremarried until the filing date of the separation.
          Please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss the other matters and the filing of the divorce.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq/ Divorce Solutions

      • Question #325:Hi, I am hoping you can answer a question for me. First a brief history…. My husband and I had 4 children and then separated after being together for 19 years (married for 17). We have been separated for 18 years and are finally getting a divorce. I see in the papers (he sent over for me to sign) it mentions his retirement fund being his separate asset and that maintenance was not ordered. Before I sign these papers I am curious and would like to find out if I am entitled to anything considering how long we’ve been separated (not legally separated). By the way, I live in Washington state. I would like to know if I would be entitled to spousal maintenance, part of my husband’s retirement fund, or inheritance he just received due to his mother passing away. Any advice you can give me is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time and have a wonderful day. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Do Not Sign the Papers! Unless you had a legal separation 18 years ago, you are still legally married and any property or asset, including your spouse’s retirement account is a marital asset, to which you would be entitled to a share. Any inheritance he received ,if kept in his name only, is separate property, not marital.

          Consult an experienced matrimonial lawyer in your jurisdiction and seek his advice .,

          Leonard Weiner, Esq./ Divorce Solutions

      • Question #295:I have been married for 27 years but my husband and I have been separated for about 18 years. My husband lives in the state of NY, retired military and now works for the department of defense. I live in Georgia where my husband and I decided we would settle down after he retired. He went overseas and when he returned he made one excuse after another why he was not able to come home to stay. It was always something with the job. When he retired he got a job on the installation where he worked as a soldier. Then his excuse was he couldn’t find a job in Georgia. I have always worked part time as I raised out daughters who are now 22 and 25 years old and in college. We are now in the process of getting a divorce and we both have attorneys. This is not something I wanted but my husband has made it clear now that he is not committed to this marriage even though he had been helping financially every since he has been gone. He has admitted to being in a relationship and having a 15 year old son. He has offered me $1,600.00 a month for ten years and a life insurance policy. My attorney feels that’s a good offer in that we have been separated for a long time. I don’t think this is a fair offer and I know what the entitlements are in that we have been married for over 10 yrs while he was in the military. What are the laws in NY with marriage and separation? We are not legally separated. Does the time we have been separation affect what I am entitled to through the military? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You should be entitled to approximately half of your husband’s pension earned during the course of the marriage and any assets which were acquired during the marriage, regardless of in whose name the assets are held.
          The marriage , unless legally separated or divorced, continues regardless of whether you are living together or have been apart for a number of years.

          If your husband is living in the New York City metro are, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter further.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #121:My father resides in and works for NY state. My mother had an affair and has not been in the home for 2.5yrs. What laws, if any, protect my father and his retirement fund after the divorce? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          There are no laws that protect your father’s retirement fund. Your parents must enter into a legal separation in order to protect the assets which they acquire during the course of the marriage from the claims of the other spouse. Until that is done, they are still continued to be deemed legally married and have an interest in the assets acquired by the other party.

          If they are living in the New York City metropolitan area , I strongly suggest they call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating their separation and divorce. It will save them time, money, and aggravation. It is time they properly dealt with their separation so that they may legally get on with their lives without the fear of interference by the other party.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #87: In the state of New York, what is the laws concerning retirement related issues. My husband and I have been married for 30 years…..how much am I entitled to? Advise please! Thanks Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Each party is entitled to approximately one half of the benefits that accrued to the other spouse during the course of the marriage.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq.Divorce Solutions

      VIABILITY OF SEPARATION AGREEMENT
      • Question #101: We have a legal separation which is 5 years old. At the time, my husband wanted his complete retirement fund and I wanted 2 houses. He agreed at the time that he house equity off set his cash and that is how we did the agreement. His cash has now been seriously depleted by stock market down turn and he wants to change our agreement. Is he going to be allowed to change our agreement to do this? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          In order to properly answer your question authoritatively, I would have to examine the written Separation Agreement you refer to. Assuming that the information you stated is absolutely correct, your husband should have no recourse to now claim an interest in the houses.

          If you are considering completing the process of filing for divorce (it is time you completed the process and get on with your life -being separated and not divorced is the worst of both worlds). Please call may at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating the divorce which will save you time, money, and a lot of aggravation.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      SPOUSAL ABUSE
      • Question #113:Married 1971,children now 24,28.I started divorce 1993,husband unstable, Children and self left house for safety in 1994, Trial by jury in 1996 contested by husband. I lost. So I am married to someone who would hurt me if he could find me. I have been in hiding since trial. Children now grown, on their own. Husband bought another house upstate ny about 3 years ago, he had been living in our house that we bought in 1976 which is now paid for up until this summer, visiting the other house on weekends. He now lives upstate and plans on renting our house. Questions:does he have the right to rent with out my permission? I was in a very bad accident in March of 2003, I’ve had 7 operations since, the last was a spinal fusion leaving me out of work. I do collect social security disability. I haven’t asked him for any support or help of any kind, however if he is not going to live in the house, i might. Should I get a restraining order to prevent him from renting? Should I break into my house (he changed the locks in 1996) and change the locks myself and start living there? I need to know what to do because once someone else is in the house it will be imposible. help me please. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          In order to properly answer your question I must know whether you are named on the deeds as a joint tenant or tenant in common with your husband. If you are named on the deeds you are an owner of the property and as such have a right to determine whether the property shall be rented are not. Because you have not entered into a legal separation agreement or divorce, you are still entitled to approximately one-half of all of the assets acquired by husband during the course of your marriage, including this new house upstate. However, as long as you have not been legally separated, or divorced, it is the ownership of the property as reflected in the deeds which will determine the rights of the named owners to rent or dispose of the property as they see fit.

          If you’re located in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to make an appointment to discuss the matter and greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solution

      • Question #112:i have been married almost 10 years-4/20/04 if i get a legal seperation can i also stay on the medical insurance- he is a suffolk county police officer- the insurance for the me and the two kids is free no out of pockets expenses for him. Also he is an extreme drinker and has some police reports filed on him for abuse to me only -the abuse (all of them has been since a month after we married- i have always kept a diary and can list all dates which is quite often he has involved in his behavior and to top this he has many girlfriends and one after two years of coming here breaking in , ramming garage doors and getting my husband loaded work gun and holding james& I hostage and etc. his job finally kept coming here and finally talked me into order of protection -in which she violates here and there- but its much better-my husband still meets her goes to all her courts dates and has a tattoo on his arm of her name about 2 years now. i live in fear from him everydayi do not any acess to money and well its pretty horrid-he does not hurt the kids just ingores them alaways did- their ages are 5 ,7 they do not like him and are telling me not to let him in the home and want a new nice dad, well he does make $102,000 a year but he fails to give us money and i mention he goes missing for days, sometim weeks etc with no way to contact him -my mom lives downstairs and thank god for her she doesnt make much with social security but can help sometimes. i have recently had to go to a church for food it was embrassing he keeps his paycheck cash in his wallet there is no money anywhere in accounts and he pays bills sometimes but the house went into foreclosure twice and my friend gave me the money to save my youngest child will be going to school soon he forbids me to work all thses years, and have to produce receipts when he gives me food money to check to make sure i never get change back and to see and critize what food i bought. my friends help to get me hand me downs for me and kids and even bought them new jackets for the winter when they came here (which is only allowable when james is working) and he does not know we are not allowed to have anyone over to visit- anyway i cried when i got the jackets- our home is falling apart it was a foreclosure when we got it and needs lots of work which he does not want to or have any repairs so its not worth much. but he always on vacations himself, out at bars all of the time, sporting events , rock concerts etc.. and the cable shut off again and phone disconnected again because he so late paying or for lack of not paying them etc.. what would be the best thing to do –also he does want a divorce or seperation -that he is handling everything etc-but he does not. i need help-also he has a son who is 12 from a previous girlfriend he never sees him last time maybe 3 years ago me and my kids would get and see him 100x more than james-the child support is 700.00 a month which is garnished from his paycheck. i sure this would have some bearing on me and kids. i live in New York State. Could you tell me how much i would receive in child support thank you- sorry its so long, but i guess you would need to know basic of components thank you please write back. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          As part of any court settlement, if you cannot afford health insurance for your children and for yourself, the court will require your husband to provide it, either through his employer if it possible, or through some independent means. If you are unable to work or must tend to the children because they are infants, the court will require your husband to provide you with spousal support. In addition he will be required to provide you with child support for the children and for you to remain with the children in the family residence. The exact amount of support both spousal, and child, will depend on book on a number of factors including your income if any, his income and what your total assets are (Statement of Net Worth).

          If you feel that you with and or the children are in danger, you should call the police and get an order of protection.

          Leonard M.Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      POST MARIAGE SPOUSAL GIFTS
      • Question #272:I live in New York, been married 10 years, and wife is considering separation / divorce. In regards to only the gifts given to each other during the marriage, and not from others outside of it, ( only since my gifts were mostly very expensive jewelry I bought for her, from which the question arises) is this considered separate property or community/marital property in the state of New York? Thank you. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Gifts given prior to the marriage, such as an engagement ring, in anticipation of marriage, become separate property of the receiver upon the marriage. Gifts ,such as jewelry, given during the marriage, such as bracelets, broaches, necklaces, etc., are marital property and are generally divided equally.

          If you decide to separate and or divorce, I strongly urge you to consider divorce mediation. If you are living in the NYC metro area, call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss the matter in greater length.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      LIFE INSURANCE
      • Question #149:My father passed away Oct 28 2005, he had not lived with his second wife for almost 12 years, before he passed he was sick and gave me power of attorney and told me what he wanted done with the money from his life insurance policy (which was to evenly distribute it amongst myself and my 3 other siblings.) After his death I found out that I was not on the life insurance policy as a beneficiary, but he never removed his second wife from the policy. After that much time apart are they considered divorced due to abandonment? If they are divorced what do I have to do to stop her from getting the money? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Unfortunately for you, if your father never legally divorced his 2nd wife,
          she is still considered his wife .Secondly, if he told you that he wanted you and your siblings to be
          the beneficiaries of his estate, you should have asked for a copy of the insurance policy and
          made sure that it reflected his wishes.

          This is why it is so important to review and update all documents with a qualified attorney to make sure the legal papers reflect the wishes of the testator.

          Check with the insurance company to see if your father amended his beneficiaries at a later date or if a Pre- or Post- nuptial Agreement or Separation Agreement was executed between them in which she agreed not to claim any interest in his estate or insurance policy.

          Good luck!

          Leonard Weiner, Esq. Divorce Solutions

      FINANCIAL OBLIGATION OF NEW SPOUSE
      • Question #62: After my fiancee and I get married, can his ex-wife come back and ask for more money since our incomes will be combined? Also, what if he looses his job? Are we then obligated to pay the alimony out of my income? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Generally, the courts will not look to the income of the non-related, spouse of a remarried spouse in determining spousal or child support.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      SPOUSE’S CHILD SUPPORT
      • Oustion#83:My husband and I have been married for 2.5 years and we have a 4 month old daughter. My husband has not worked in a year and I have been paying his child support for another daughter he has as well as the mortgage and all of the bills for some time now. He can work, he just isn’t right now, and if the child support isn’t paid his license will be suspended. We live in NYS, is he obligated to continue to pay child support even though he doesn’t have a job right now? Also, his name is not on the deed or mortgage, can I make him leave the house if we are not divorced yet? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          He is obligated to pay the child support until he receives an Order from the Court changing the terms of the the original Order. If he has been trying to find work and has not been able to do so, he can make a motion to the Court to lower his payments.
          If he just quit his job and is not trying to find work, he will have a hard time convincing the Judge to lower the payments.
          With regard to your second question, although his name is not on the deed, he may still have an equity interest in the house if it was purchased with money earned during the marriage, even if you were the one who earned it. If it was purchased with money you had prior to the marriage, or received as an inheritance or gift, and kept the property in your name, he would not have an equity interest in the property. Nonetheless, until you receive an Order of divorce from the Court, he remains your husband and you cannot simply throw him out on the street, unless there is physical abuse which endangers you or the child, in which case you should get an order of protection and have him removed by the police.
          Consider mediating your divorce. If you are in the NYC metro area call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq.Divorce Solutions

      COMMUNITY PROPERTY
      • Question #55: Question: Re: California Community property laws. I purchased two homes prior to marriage. & also owned one business approx 15 years prior to marriage. All titles have remained in my name & during the past six years of marriage. NO mortgage payments, taxes, repairs, or even utilities have been made by my spouse. If divorce were to take place would these properties be considered my separate properties? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Under the facts you present the property is clearly separate property and not Community Property but your wife may have a claim to be reimbursed for half of your earnings that went into paying the mortgage, etc. on the homes and half of the increase in the value of the business since the date of the marriage.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq / Divorce Solutions

      SALE OF MARITAL HOME/RESIDENCE
      • Question #317:My daughter lives in Staten Island NY. She is getting divorced and would like me to buy her husband’s interest in the house. I live in NJ. What is the proper procedure to follow? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          In order to properly answer your question I must see the Deed to see how the property is held, investigate if there is an existing mortgage or liens on the property, and Discuss with you the status of the divorce proceedings.

          Please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss this matter in greater detail.

          Leonard Weiner. Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #288:My ex-wife and I divorced in Louisiana in Dec 2011. She remained in the home we jointly mortgaged. We still live in Louisiana and in the divorce decree we were granted an equal and undivided one-half interest in all community property. (blanket statement…non specific) I recently attempted to seek financing for another home but was denied as I am still liable for the previous home. So I asked my ex-wife to refinance the home in her name and I would not seek my interest in the home until she sells it otherwise. Now at the closing bell, she has presented me with a Quitclaim deed which reads: “(me the seller ) who declared that for and in consideration of the price of One And 00/100 Dollars ($1.00), cash in hand paid, receipt of which is hereby acknowledged by Seller, and full acquittance and discharge therefore given, Seller does hereby sell, transfer, assign, quitclaim, remise, release and relinquish unto Purchasers, all of the rights, title and interest which said Seller has or may have in and to the following described property.” If I sign this quitclaim deed, do I relinquish my rights to the divorce decreed equal and undivided one-half interest in all community property, namely my interest in the home? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Do not sign the Deed! You will be giving up your rights to receive any proceeds from the sale of the property.
          If you wish you may agree upon an amount that you believe you should get from the sale of the house and have your spouse sign a promissory note for that amount plus interest until paid ( all due at the time the house is sold –set some outside date by which the house must be sold) and sign a mortgage which you will file With the County recorder’s office. Then you may transfer title to her.

          Good luck!

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./ Divorce Solutions

      • Question #243:My wife of 11 years and I have a 27-year old daughters and we live in NY. She makes considerably more than I do. I lost my restaurant job in Oct. and she gave me an ultimatum since my career in the arts and the fact that I can’t land a steady writing job has not taken off. She gave me six-months to find a job that pays at least $45,000/year or I have to leave. The six month mark is next month and I haven’t found anything yet. I’m sure if I move out the next step would be divorce. We are putting our co-op on the market next month. Would I be entitled to a percentage of that sale? If I don’t get a job and my unemployment runs out, ironically I would have to rely on that for child support payments. And how much child support would I have to pay? Forgive my naiveté and please keep this anonymous. Thanks so much. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Any property you or your wife own regardless of in whose name the property is held, if it was acquired in the course of the marriage with funds earned during the marriage, the property will be considered marital property, and generally the courts will divided it in half. If the funds which you used to purchase the property were an inheritance or separate funds earned prior to the marriage, and the property was kept in your individual name, that property would be separate property and not marital property.
          I suggest you do not leave the coop until you have some form of written agreement regarding how the proceeds of the sale will be divided.
          Child support will be determined based on a statutory formula, (for two children , approximately 25% of your gross income minus certain FICA deductions), and the courts will generally review the last three years of tax returns to estimate what your income is or should be. You of course can try to explain to the court that you are unemployed and have been diligently seeking employment but to no avail.

          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, I strongly suggest that you call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss mediating your separation and eventual divorce. It will save you time and money and lots of aggravation.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./ Divorce Solutions

      • Question #242:My wife and I have been separated for 15 months and we met with a court referee this week. She suggested to my ex that the house be put on the market as soon as possible so we get the maximum value of the asset. What can I do if she does not put the house on the market ? Do I have any recourse ? She is going to wait till the last minute for she does not want her life to change at all (except for me)….Can any penalties be imposed upon her like less distribution ?? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          In order to properly respond I will have to see your Separation Agreement and get more details.
          Please call me at 212-370-1660 on Monday to arrange for a meeting to discuss the issues and review the documents you entered into.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq./ Divorce Solutions

      • Question #240:My mother passed away in 1999 and my father remarried about 3 years ago..we all live in NYC. My father has a mitchell lama Co-op apartment that has had since 1986. Its in his name as are all the bills. He put his wifes name on the affidavit just in case something were to happen to him. I think you see where imgoin with this..if they were to divorce, and i hope they do, would she have claim to the apartment.. they are both retired and he makes slightly more than she does.. if she had to she would not be able to afford the expenses of that apartment on her own. he would be able to and was doing so prior to her coming into the picture. please help .. thank you Answer
         
        • Ans :

          I do not understand exactly what you mean by saying “his wife’s name is on the affidavit”. Is she registered with the co-op board as an owner of the co-op shares? Title to the co-op will depend on whose name is recorded as the owner. If she has been added as a co- owner of the apartment, then it depends on how title is held. It may be held as joint tenants, or in the entirety, in which case the survivor will get the entire ownership of the co op, or it may be held as tenants in common, in which case she has a ½ ownership interest, and your father has ½ interest ownership interest, and when he passes away his interest will be inherited either according to his will or by the laws of intestacy.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./ Divorce Solutions

      • Question #235:We been married for 24 years in Wisconsin, things aren’t going so well anymore in our marriage. I want to get a Legal Separation to see if we can work through our marriage. He came to me saying he wants to sell our home, that we have resided in for 19 years and move to Georgia, cause cost of living is cheaper. He knows I’m going for separation and I think he wants to get a hold of the house money first. What should I do? and can he sell the house during a Legal Separation? Thank You Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Do not sign anything until you have a clear idea of what you wish to do.
          If you are named on the Deed he will need your signature to sell the property.
          If you decide to sell because you think it is a good idea, have the net proceeds divided in half and your portion paid directly to you at the closing.
          Do not allow the payment to be made to him or even to both of you but in one check.
          He could sell the house during a legal separation if you are on the deed and sign over the property to him.
          If the property is only in his name but was acquired during the marriage, you must file for separation and divorce immediately to stop the sale.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #221:I live in upstate New York. We have been married 8 yrs, we have a prenuptial I think is invalid. I had no attorney and was presented the papers 10 days before our marriage and never even saw any attorney. There has been documented domestic violence. My husband bought the land with an old house on it before we married. We knocked down the old house after we were married and built a new house which we have not mortgage for. I have paid all the househould maintenance bills and contributed to the raw material of the new house. I have recently been put out of work on social securtihy disability to never go back to work, he made 138,000 last years, but says I am entitled to nothing. We have no children together. Please advise. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          There are two basic issues here.

          1. The division of marital assets and whether the house is considered a marital asset.

          2. Whether you are entitled to spousal support.

          In order to properly answer these questions I would have to examine the prenuptial agreement that you signed , and to find out more details about the circumstances around which you were asked to sign this prenuptial agreement. It is also important to ascertain how title to the property is held and whether you can document the actual contributions you made to the house and the mortgage.

          With regard to the second question of spousal support, if there is a major discrepancy between your income and his, and the standard of living that you have maintained as a family cannot be supported on your income, you will most likely be granted some spousal support for a period of time.

          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area , I strongly suggest that you call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter at greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #200:I live in NY and have two children in the 20’s. My husband was having financial difficulties with his businesses in 2002 and instead of listening to the advice of his corporate lawyers he left me a note that hinted at suicide and stated that he was leaving and he just didnt leave he became a missing person. The police found him 4 months later 300 miles from our house cooking at a restaurant and hanging out in the bars at night with a group of 20 year olds ( we are in our 40’s). He left me with no income and a 18 year old son in college. I had to get a job and the banks forclosed on his businesses because none of the businesses were in my name and was never involved with them. This forced bankruptcy beyond my control. I was a fool and took him back but never could trust him and when I told him how I felt he said get over it and he never should have come back. After 3 years of trying to save the marriage I realized I would never trust him and I told him I wanted to seperate and he told me to get out I refused to leave and one night when iwasent home he locked me out. He would not let me in to get anything. I called the police many times and they said get a lawyer and tell the judge there was nothing they could do. So I started staying with a friend and we both hired lawyers. My lawyer requested that I be allowed to get my things and he responded by saying I took everything and nothing was at the house that was mine. A month later we had a flood at the house that flooded the unfinished basement. He now says he sold my things, gave them away, and what was left was ruined by the flood. When we went to court this information was given to the judge but he didnt do anything except order an appraisal on the house and let my husband stay in the house at this time. Meanwhile I have nothing except what I had the night he locked me out and a few things I have bought. Before I retained my attorney he had his lawyer send me a seperation agreement that he wanted me to sign and attached to it was a list of my personal property that he was willing to give to me if I signed it. I didnt feel it was fair and I wanted my lawyer to look at it and when he found out I had a lawyer he said sign it now or you will never get anything. He would keep saying if you sign the car over to me I will give you your things. I signed the car over to him and never got anything. Then he said if you give me the dog I will give you your things I gave him the dog and never got anything. I was also paying all of the bills at the house for 3 months after he locked me out. I cannot keep staying with this friend, I have no furniture, I want the house and I want to be allowed back in my own house now. Please help me he has taken everything I own and I lived in that house for 23 years raised my two sons while he was married to his job and never home and I have emotional attachment to it. That house is all I have left of what I did have he has taken everything from me and no one will help me all my lawyer is saying is the judge will address it. The appraisal also came in and he is claiming the flood caused damage to the house so now it has no equity but 6 months ago he said it had 50 thousand in equity. Only the unfinished basement was flooded and I think he put in a claim in fema. No one will let me into my own house that I have owned and still own for the last 23 years to even see what damage there is and if my personal belongings are there. I heard that he is seeing another women, can he let her move into our house now. Please help me I feel like I have no rights. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Sounds like you picked the wrong lawyer!
          You should find a lawyer in your area who is an experienced, matrimonial
          attorney who also does civil litigation and is not afraid to sue your husband.
          If title to your house is in your name as well as that of your husband, you own
          part of the property and should have every right to its use and occupancy.

          Good luck!

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./ Divorce Solutions

      • Question #198:My wife and moved to Florida from NY State and shortly after being here I found that my wife was having an affair with her boss. He ownes the real estate office and she works for him. Now before moving to Florida we listed the house thru him. Well needless to say Im not on the deed which is not a problem but the problem comes in is that once he found a buyer he convinced her to quick deed the property to him so he can sell it 4 weeks later for alot more money so that when we go to divorce court it shows that she made no money on the house. Now my question here also as a licensed broker and having the affair with my wife using his business to help her dispose of a marital asset could he lose his license for that. All allegations can be proven. She quick deed the property to him for 252,000 and he sold it 5 weeks later for 289,900. He is holdng on the the monies till our divorce go thru. Do I have a criminal case here? PLease help me Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You need a litigation attorney in the state where the property was sold,
          not a matrimonial attorney.

          Good luck!

          Leonard Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #186:My divorces become final in August of 2006. In my divorce decree it states that my ex husband has to transfer the house into my name and to remove his name from the house. It also states that he has to transfer the deed into my name within 30 days. As you can see, it is well past 30 days. What can I do to get the house in my name? Also can I sell the house even if he hasn’t signed the papers to transfer (my name was never on the house) and only use the divorce decree to sell the house? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You should first try to contact your ex husband or his attorney and see if you can resolve the matter without having to go to court. In the event that it is impossible to get any response from him or his attorney, you should contact your attorney to file at Order to Show Cause demanding that the Order of the judge be enforced and that your ex sign the deed over to you in court immediately.

          Without your ex husband’s signing the property over to you, I doubt whether any reputable title company will insure the transfer of the property by you alone, even based on your divorce decree.

          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter at greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #185:My husband and I have been married 12 years. I have a 19-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son from a prior marriage. We have a 11 year old together. My husband has never contributed monetarily or emotionally to the raising of my 2 older children. He has also not financially to the expenses of our 11 year old. The only items he’s contributed to are $800.00 for summer camp and 1/2 of his football tuition (for the first time this year) I alone pay for my daughter’s full time college tuition/board and expenses. I buy all of the children’s clothing, shoes, spending money, car, etc. My husband pays most of the household bills and I pay approx. $2000 per month toward the mortgage (he pays about $400). I also buy all the food for the house. I desperately want a divorce and have instituted proceedings 2x’s. We start counseling and nothing changes. My husband will NOT leave the house and I am having an extremely hard time handling living w/ him. Can I leave the house, with my two children (the oldest is away at school). I would stay in the same town so I am not attempting to keep him from his child, I merely cannot live w/ him anymore. Also, I make substantially more than my husband, approximately $136,000 (inc. bonus) to his $70,000. This is the reason he gives for the total disparity in the amount of money he contributes. However, due to the difference in our expenses, he actually has more disposable income than I do. Also, I have made all repairs to the house. He will not pay for anything and my house is falling into disrepair. Please advise. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You did not indicate what state you are living in. You also did not indicate when and how you acquired the home. Did you acquire it prior to the marriage with your own money, or did you acquire it during the course of the marriage with money earned during the marriage. Also, how is the title to the home held, in your name, in both names?
          Assuming, for argument sake, that the home is marital property, I strongly suggest that you work out some kind of agreement regarding how the proceeds of the sale of the home or the ownership of the home will be divided upon divorce prior to your leaving the house, unless there are problems with physical abuse, in which case I would say you should move out immediately. It is more important to protect yourself and your children and deal with the financial division of the home from a safe location.
          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss the matter at greater length.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #184:Hi. I live in NY, have been with my husband for 16 years and married for 14. The house that we live in was my grandmother’s house, which was passed to my parents. I bought the house for $1 from my parents 1 month after my marriage, as it was a stipulation in their divorce. I have lived in the house my entire life. The deed and the mortgage are both in my name alone. He worked throughout the marriage, but jumped from job to job and hardly contributed any money toward the bills. He literally spent everything he made on himself and his toys. My question is: What chance do I have to keep the house and not have to give him anything? There are 2 children and they will be staying with me. Thank you for any information you can provide. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Technically, if the “Dollar” you used to purchase the house came from funds you had prior to your marriage, and as you say, you kept the title to the property solely in your name, the property should be considered separate property and not marital property and your spouse would have no claim to it. In fact, the property was a gift to you from your parents, as recorded in their Divorce Stipulation, and as such, and if it was kept solely in your name, it is again separate property and not marital property and your spouse would have no claim to it.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #179:I have been married for 16 years to my current husband. I just recently discovered he is having an affair. This is his second (that I know) affair in the past two years. He wants a divorce. This is the complicated part. Many years back, we had decided that I would stay home to raise our children. When the time came I did just that. 16 years later,8 kids, two college degrees for him and loss opportunities for my career advancement, he decides he doesn’t want this marriage any longer (He is still continuing his affair). I am unemployed and need time to develop skills to reenter the job market. He is planning to put the house up for sale and move-on with his life. How can I protect my kids and me from having him leave us homeless and without financial resources? Can I regain some monetary value for helping him advance in his career while I was the responsible one at home? Should I file for a separation if I ask him to leave the house? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If the house was acquired during the course of the marriage with funds earned during the marriage, the house is marital property and you would have an approximate one half interest in it no matter how title is held. If you were to file for divorce, your husband would
          be ordered by the court to provide both child support and spousal support. If he has a professional practice or business he developed during the marriage, you would have an interest in it as well. Do not be intimidated by his threats.

          If you are living in the NYC metro area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter in greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #174:My ex & I divorced in Kansas about 2 yrs ago she agreed and I was awarded the house. I did not get house put in my name because I feared bank reaction. She also did not sign quitclaim deed as stated in divorce decree. She took the paperwork to house and sits on the Internet and researches divorce stuff. I’d now like to sell and move she’s holding paperwork hostage and now asking for half of sale (originally 1/2 of profit [probably a break even sale as truck she got-loan rolled into house payments about 6 months before divorce [approx $16,000]. now she just says half of sale. Neither one of us followed through, as we should have after divorce. I’m not sure I even received official divorce papers, but what if anything can I do now. One realtor said take decree to county deed office? Will they require quitclaim? And once again I’m worried about mortgage co. My credit not great after divorce although I’ve been the only one making payments before and after divorce. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Once again, I cannot overemphasize the need to use an experienced matrimonial attorney when you go to court to get divorced. All of the paperwork including the quitclaim deed should have been completed before the divorce papers were filed.
          What you have to do now is go back to court and make a motion to compel your wife to sign over the property to you under the court order. If you do not have a court order or judgment of divorce, I suggest you go to an attorney and work out the divorce. Do not worry about the mortgage. The bank will not let your wife off the mortgage even if she signs over to you all of the property. They will continue to hold are liable until the mortgage is paid off.

          Good luck!

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #171:My ex-wife and I Filed for an uncontested divorce in PA. It was finalized last year Aug 2005. We were told that property distribution did not need to be done as both of us wanted to remain in our house with our kids. Now she has had her boyfriend move in and my boys and I want to move. She says that I am not entitled to anything because the divorce is final. What rights do I have? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          I cannot properly answer your question, without reviewing the judgment of divorce and any Separation Agreement you entered into. You state, “we were told” by whom were you told? I cannot overemphasize the need to use an experienced, matrimonial attorney in all divorce proceedings. An experienced attorney would not have allowed you to divorce and leave the issue of property distribution unsettled.
          With regard to what you should do now, it depends on how title to the property reads. If it reads “as husband-and-wife” and you are now divorced, it should convert into a “tenants in common ” title in which case part of the property is yours to do with as you please.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #166:My wife and I have been separated for the last year and 6 months and we have a 8 year old son that we share taking care of him. My wife has move into her own apartment while I’m still in the house. I guess my question is I would like to retain the house or if I decided to sale it can I get a little more scene I been paying all the bills for the last 18 months and if there anything I can do to keep the house because we were not married when we first move in the house and she still has the maiden name on the deed. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          In order to properly answer your question, I would have to review your Separation Agreement and the judgment of divorce, and any other court orders that may have been issued. You may be entitled to the house. If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, I strongly suggest that you mediate this matter along with your legal separation and divorce. Please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter at greater length.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #155:Hi, I have a question regarding financial issues and would like to know if you can help me with. My husband and I have been married for over 5 years but no children. We live in NY. During our marriage we have had too many fights and I can’t take it anymore. I have been working full-time through the entire marriage, but my husband makes about 10 times more than I do. We purchased an apartment together AFTER our marriage, and it is under both of our names. BUT, my husband says that if I want a divorce, he will not give me any shares of the apt. He had an apt prior to our marriage (not in my name), and sold it in order to buy this apt. He claims that he contributed much more money to the down payment and mortgage than me, and therefore I will not be granted half of the apt. However, I do contribute to the monthly maintenance (about 1/3 of the monthly mortgage payment), as well as many of our household expenses. My question is: will I be granted half of the market value of the apt? My husband also has stocks and bonds (some purchased after the marriage), investments in restaurants as well as real estate properties (also some after the marriage), retirement, large amount of cash reserves in saving accounts/CDs… But all accounts are under his name regardless before or after the marriage. Am I entitled half of the money/profits he earned AFTER we got married (we have no prenup)? Also, although I can support myself, once we separate or have a divorce I will not be able to afford buying an apt. Will I be granted any spousal support? Many thanks! Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If you are named on the apartment, you have an equity share in it and even though your husband contributed most of the money, he in fact made a gift of it to you by putting you on the deed. You are also entitled to spousal support separate from the issue of the division of marital assets.
          If you are located in the NYC metro area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss the matter at greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #148:Right now my wife and I are still married but my wife doesn’t want to be with me. We bought a house while we were married in New York State. All the assets including the house are in my name. Is it possible to sell my house with out splitting the money of the house even though the deed is in my name? Would it also matter if there are no divorce papers yet? I am the one who pays all the bills for the house and maintains it; will my wife still get 1/2? If I can prove this will this stand up in court? Is there any other legality issues regarding the house that I should be aware of? Thank you for all your help I appreciate all the information you can provide. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If the house was purchased with monies acquired /earned during the course of the marriage, the house is marital property and subject to equitable distribution. Thus, although the house is in your name, and you could sell the house now without your wife’s consent, in the event of divorce, the court would make you give her half of the net proceeds of the sale. You are paying the bills presumably with monies earned during the marriage, which monies themselves are marital property.
          There are a number of additional legal issues you should be aware of including capital gains, Section 1031 Exchanges, etc. There are also many legal concerns you should be addressing in the divorce process other than relating to the house , such as spousal support, child custody- support, if applicable, division of marital assets, etc. Divorce is too important a process to leave to self help. You need experienced legal counsel to make sure your decisions will not come back to haunt you.
          If you are located in the NYC metro area, give me a call to discuss mediating your divorce. It will be cheaper, faster and less traumatic than an adversarial divorce and you may be able to work out a deal with your wife to save the house.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq./ Divorce Solutions

      • Question #141:My husband and I own two homes in two different states just recently he changed the locks on the second house. Can he legally do this without my knowledge? I asked him what he was doing at the house and he said he was just checking on things. Do I legally have the right to call a locksmith and enter the home? He hasn’t mentioned he wants a divorce, but all his actions tell me different. At this point I do not believe he has contacted an attorney, but I just want to make sure I go about things properly. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If title to the home which you refer to is in your name, whether title is held in your name only or jointly with your husband, you have every right to have access to such home. If title is held in his name only, then the issue becomes more complex.
          In the event of divorce, if the property was acquired during the course of the marriage from money earned during the course of the marriage, it will be considered marital property, and depending on which state you are living in, you should have a 50 percent interest (approximately) in such property whether or not your name is actually listed on the title.

          If you a living in the New York City metropolitan area, I strongly suggest that you call me to discuss the matter at greater length and to consider mediating your divorce, should that the necessary.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #140:I and my wife live in Virginia. We have two underage children and we own our own home. I have several questions. I want to pursue having a legal separation. My wife and I don’t have any rancor toward one another so we want to do this as cheaply as possible, but we do want to ensure our individual interests and our children’s interests are protected. I will be moving out of our joint home (as a residence), but we still want me to maintain joint ownership of the home (as property). Is this possible? We really don’t want to sell our home, because we want my wife and the kids to continue to live there. Also, the home is my primary investment in my future and I don’t want to give it up, and my wife is okay with this. Neither of us can afford to buy our share of the home from the other. Also, I am bisexual and will likely pursue an intimate relationship with a man after my wife and I legally separate. My wife understands and accepts this. But, if I did so, would I be violating a legal separation agreement? One of our goals for the legal separation is so that I can explore in this area of my life. If a legal separation prohibits sexual contact with another person (in my case, a male), what do I do? Finally, I am in the will of an elderly relative to receive a small inheritance. It seems greedy, but my wife has more resources than I do, and I would like to see that I receive the full small inheritance when that time comes. Would a legal separation ensure that it would come entirely to me, or would I still need to split the small inheritance with my wife? I want to do what’s right, but given my financial circumstances, I’m not in a position to do more than what’s right. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          I believe your situation is ripe for mediation. You should engage in an experienced attorney-mediator who can draw up the Separation Agreement which should provide for retaining the home as “tenants in common” instead of “as husband and wife” but which will allow your wife and children to remain in the home, and for you to continue your ownership interest in it. Provision should be made in the Separation Agreement for the children to be the beneficiaries of you Will and to receive your interest in the home in the event that you die prior to their maturity.

          The Separation Agreement should also provide that each may live separate and apart and conduct his/her life as if they were unmarried.
          With regard to the question of inheritance, inheritances are not considered “marital property” if they are kept separate and apart from the other marital property and maintained in the beneficiaries name only.

          I would be happy to discuss with you both the drafting of the Separation Agreement, and to that end please give me a call at 212-370-1660.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #139:My husband and I have been married for 10 years. We live in Manhattan, New York City, and have 2 children, ages 5 and 7. I have been the main provider for the family and make about $80,000 a year. My husband makes about $20,000 a year. During our marriage he completed a Ph.D. while I worked full time, and had promised to contribute more after finishing, but 4 years later, he has not got a better paying job. We bought a coop apartment that is worth about $400,000 more now than when we bought it. My family gave us the money for the down payment and I have made all the mortgage payments since, but both our names are on the papers. My family also gave us about $40,000 in stocks that we have had to sell. We have no money in savings. We now both want to get separated or divorced, and my husband wants to sell the apartment and divide up the profit equally. I do not want to move and would not be able to afford a similar place to move with the children, who would certainly stay with me. Renting a similar place would cost about twice as much as I am paying monthly, and would be a waste of all the profits from the house in my opinion. I would be willing to refinance the apartment and give him money to get himself started, but not $200,000 and I think he will not agree to that. Would I be forced to sell my apartment? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Since the property is registered in both names, your husband will have a claim to a share of the property, unless you can prove that the money given to you by her parents was given to you only and not to him. Since the property is held in both names, however, the presumption is that the property belongs to both.
          With regard to being forced to sell the property, since the children are small, and assuming you would be the resident parent, it is very unlikely that the court would force you to sell the property before the children reach maturity. However, some resolution should be sought by taking out an additional mortgage or loan from someone, in order to pay your husband all or a portion of his interest in the property with a promissory note and interest on the balance owed, in return for his transferring his share of the property over to you.
          Because you supported him while he was working on his Ph.D., you’ll have an interest in his degree and earning capacity which has a monetary value and perhaps may be traded for part of his interest in the property. This and other matters are issues to be explored during the course of the Divorce mediation which you both should consider seriously.
          This case seems ripe for mediation and I strongly recommend that you call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting with you and your husband to discuss mediating this divorce. It will save you time, money, and much aggravation and be less traumatic for the children.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #136: My husband and i have been married for 7 months and are already discussing divorce. Clearly we should not be married to each other. My question is His parents offered to help us by paying for the wedding or by getting us into a house. We opted for the house, and it was purchased . The mortgage is in his parents name as well as his. I was led to believe that once we were married that my name would be added to the deed, it in the has not been added. I changed my mind about having children(dont want to)and that is why we are discussing the idea. I have contributed to half of the financial responsibility, but am not on the deed. Should i stop contributing? The insurance policy however lists me as primary insured. I have been contributing half of the payments to the mortgage even though my name is not on the deed. I am wondering if i have any entitlement to the property. We have made improvements to the house during our engagement and were led to believe that the house downpayment was a “wedding gift”. Who gives a gift to just the groom? Anyway the house has increased in value, if we sell am i entitled to the money at all, only the increased value, or to all of it or none of it? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          The fact that you were not listed on the deed indicates that the property was a gift to your husband and not to you despite what you may have been told or promised. As such, you do not have an equity interest in the property. However, if you have been contributing to its upkeep and to the capital improvements made to the house ,you have may have a claim to be reimbursed for such money invested. For this reason, it is so important to have an experienced attorney in matrimonial matters prepare all documents both prior to and after marriage or divorce ;such matters should not be left to self help.
          The increase in value of the home belongs to the owner, and the deed expressly states that the owner is your husband and not you. Since it was acquired by gift, as opposed to monies earned by your husband during the course of the marriage, it is his separate property and not marital property, and thus not subject to equitable distribution.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #118: My wife and I separated and divorced about 12 years ago (uncontested). While married we purchased a co-op apartment in Brooklyn N.Y. After moving into the apartment for about two years she moved out taking our two small children with her (paying child support), She was having an affair. I remained in the apartment assuming all financial responsibilities. About a year ago I moved to Connecticut for job purposes since I lost my job in New York city. I decided to sell my apartment and found a buyer willing to pay me a good amount. My former wife never expressed any interest in the property, never paid towards the mortgage or maintenance, or any upkeep. I informed her that I would need her to approve the sale since her name is still on the documents. While I was looking for a buyer she never expressed her opinion, never said she would not sign and so on. Suddenly she gets an attorney who is demanding 50% of the net proceeds. I am about to lose the buyers because of her actions I offered her $25,000 she is demanding at least $50,000 half of the net sale price. I am hoping I can still sell the apartment and then sue her for her share of the costs which is about $55,000. In summary she lived in the apartment for about two years, after she moved out in 1990 she never made any payments for 13 years. Please any advice that you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thank You Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If your Separation Agreement were drafted properly by a competent and experienced attorney, you should have a provision in it which discusses the ownership rights to the apartment, and when and if it is sold, how the proceeds will be divided. By maintaining her name on the ownership of such apartment, she has a legal right to half of the proceeds upon the sale, unless otherwise agreed in the Separation Agreement. However, you do have a claim for all the mortgage and maintenance payments which you have made during the course of the time in which you have been divorced unless, she can show that you intended to provide her a gift of such amounts which, under the circumstances, seems quite unlikely.

          This issue may be mediated and I strongly suggest that you contact me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating this matter in a civilized and cost-effective alternative to having this matter litigated in court.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #111:My husband and I have been married for five years. He has owned the house we are living in for the past 18 years. One year ago he placed my name on the deed and we refinanced the house. I am the sole mortgage holder and money that was borrowed was put into a joint bank account. My husband now wants a divorce. Am I entitled to half the house as well as half the money in the joint account? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If you are named as one of the owners on the deed as a joint tenant or tenant in common, and you signed the mortgage, in the event of a divorce you should be entitled to one-half of the house plus one-half of the joint account.

          If you are located in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me to discuss mediating your divorce. My number is 212-370-1660.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #110:My fiance and I reside in NYS. My name is NOT currently on the deed…he bought the home before we met (though I am paying a portion of the mortgage). We’re getting married next year, for some reason we get a divorce, do I automatically get 1/2 the house because we were married or does my name HAVE to be on the deed? He and I recently had this discussion and I thought according to NYS law that as a married couple 1/2 is yours when it came to divorce…please let me know. He is however planning on adding my name to the deed. We also aren’t planning on divorce but it’s good to know the details prior to walking down the aisle! Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You are absolutely right! It’s important for you to know the details prior to walking down the aisle. It’s also important for you both to consider entering into a prenuptial agreement where you would spell out your exact relationship since you are concerned about the financial ramifications in the event of separation or divorce. Since your husband purchased the property prior to your marriage and his name is presently the only name on the deed, it would not be considered marital property in the event of divorce, and you would have no interest in it. If you wish to have an interest in such property, you should have your name added to the deed. Only if the property had been purchased during the course of the marriage with funds that were earned by one or both of the parties would it become a marital asset and thus be divided generally 50-50.

          If you are located in the New York City metropolitan area, I strongly suggest that you contact me to discuss preparing a prenuptial agreement where you would spell out all of the different issues and ramifications in the event of separation or divorce. It’s like having an insurance policy-no one expects to die when they take out life insurance, but in a country were approximately 50 percent of all marriages and in divorce, it’s prudent to know that you have provided for such an event and you will not be left penniless.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #107:MY HUSBAND AND I ARE SEPARATING AFTER 16 YEARS OF MARRIAGE. WE PURCHASED A HOME 11 YEARS AGO, BOTH NAMES ARE ON THE MORTGAGE. HE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MORTGAGE PAYMENTS AND I AM FOR ALL THE UTILITIES. I HAVE BEEN LOOKING INTO BUY A HOME FOR MYSELF SINCE HE DOES NOT WANT TO LEAVE THIS ONE. IF I PURCHASE PROPERTY WILL HE BE ENTITLED TO ANY PORTION OF IT. ALSO, IF I FILE A QUIT CLAIM DEED ON OUR JOINT HOME WILL I BE ENTITLED TO 1/2 THE EQUITY THAT IS IN IT. HE TOLD ME THAT HE WASN’T GIVING ME ANYTHING AND TO JUST GO!! THANK YOU KINDLY FOR YOUR RESPONSE. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You did not indicate which state you are located in, but in a community property state or an equitable distribution state such as New York, you would be entitled to approximately one-half the value of the house and your husband would not have a right to ask you to leave. If you purchased a house while you are still legally married, your husband will have an interest in such house.

          You should wait until you have entered into a legal separation or filed a summons and complaint for divorce before you purchase any additional property.

          I strongly suggest that you consider mediation to settle your separation and divorce, and if you are located in the New York City metropolitan area please call me add to 12-370-1660.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq/Divorce Solutions

      • Question #103:I live in New York State and have been married 15 years. My husband informed me he is leaving. We purchased a home during the marriage which has very little equity in it. We have one daughter who is 8 years old. I would like to assume the remaining mortgage and have him sign off on the deed to the house. Can he force me to sell the home? What protection do I have? What are my legal rights for keeping the house? Thank you. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If you are awarded custody of the child and are the residential parent, the courts will generally allow you to remain in the marital home with the child until the child reaches maturity (i.e. 18), at which time they may require that the house be sold and the proceeds distributed at that time. I do not believe that the court would force you to sell the house while the child is still so young.

          I strongly suggest that you consider mediating rather than litigating your divorce,which will save you much money, time and aggravation.
          If you are located in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter had greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./divorce Solutions

      • Question #90:My husband and I have been married for almost three years but we have been living apart for the past 6 months. I found out he had had numerous affairs. Although we are living apart, he is still paying the rent. I pay the childcare, cable, coned bill, child medical expenses, and any other child related expenses. He makes about eight to ten thousand dollars more than I do but I am paying more expenses than he is. He occasionally buys milk, diapers, clothes, etc…for the kids but it is mostly on me. Don’t get me wrong…I am glad he is still paying the rent because I could not afford to pay it along with all of my other expenses. I believe he may be doing it to keep an upper hand on me and the apartment. It can’t continue like this. He seems perfectly happy with this situation. We got the apartment together when we were married(it’s a rental) but his name is the only name on the lease. Can I be forced out of the apartment because my name is not on the lease? He is currently living with a friend and our 1 year old twins live with me in the apartment. My husband comes and goes as he pleases because he still has a key and I am afraid to change the locks because I do not know if I can legally do it. He does spend time with the kids and I want that to continue but he has the best of both worlds. He is able to come and go as he pleases in our apartment and when he leaves at night he can do what ever he wants. The next morning it begins again. I want a divorce but he does not. What should I do? What rights do I have to the apartment and what help can I get with child care expenses? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If you are serious about improving your “limbo” situation and getting on with your life you must decide whether you want to file for divorce or not. You have children and you owe it to them if not to yourselves to try to make the marriage work. Have you tried marriage counseling?
          If counseling is not an option or fails, you must seriously discuss divorce with your husband making it clear to him that the present system can no longer go on. I strongly suggest you opt for mediation rather than litigation and I would be happy to discuss mediation with both of you.

          In any settlement or court decision you will receive child support and have the title to the lease transferred to you ( with the landlord’s cooperation) .

          If you are located in the NYC metro area, call me at 212-370-1660.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq.Divorce Solutions

      • Question #85: I’m a 30 year old married women with 2 children. One is autistic. I do not work. I have a house with some debt and my husband has recently told me that he wants a divorce. He has said that I need to get out of our house so he can “start over”. Please help me and tell me what my rights are. I am totally involved with my children, especially my son. He is in an autistic program that requires a lot of attention which prohibits me from having any kind of decent paying job. My husband is not involved with my son at all and only sometimes spends time with our daughter. He is cheating on me and says he wants out. He now has said he will take custody of the kids too. I have so many questions, little money, and need a place to start. Help Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You did not indicate which state you are residing in but in most states you would be entitled to approximately half of all your marital assets – any assets purchased during the marriage from money

          earned during the course of the marriage (e.g. house, car, 401K’s etc.). Since you are residing in the house with your autistic child and you would most likely be awarded custody of your children,

          the court would most likely award you occupancy of the house until the youngest child is 18 or so. Do not move out!
          You will also be entitled to some form of spousal support as long as you must be home with the child and until you can get a job to support yourself.
          If your husband refuses to provide support to you, you can make a motion to the court to force him to provide interim support until the final matter is decided.

          I strongly suggest you consider mediating your divorce. If you are located in the NYC metro

          area please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter in greater length.

          GOOD LUCK!

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq.\Divorce Solutions

      • -Question #78: I live in NY with my wife and child. We have been married for almost 5 yrs. My question is if I have money in my individual account from a sale of real estate, but the money is not mine, does she have a claim to it? The other question, if that money is going towards a purchase of a business even though it’s not my money but the business would be in my name, would she have a claim to the business. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Only money earned by either party to the marriage during the course of the marriage is “marital property”. If it is money belonging to someone else , and you can substantiate that, it should not be considered marital property and is not subject to division. It would be best if you put such funds in a separate account in the owner’s name or in trust for the owner with such owner’s social security number on such account. If you use those funds to create a business in your name you are converting those funds to marital property and subjecting them to a claim by your spouse. If you received those funds as a gift or inheritance and kept them in a separate account and then used them to form a business just in your name, as separate property, you would have a good claim to assert that the business is in fact separate property and not subject to a claim by your spouse.
          If you are located in the NYC metro area and would like to discuss the matter further, give me a call at 212-370-1660.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq / Divorce Solutions

      • Question #77: I’m married for 4 years; my husband bought a condo just 2 weeks before marriage. My name was added on the title 1,5 years later. During last 4 years our condo got appreciation in about 130,000. We had the joint account opened before we got married and then all the time, all the payments were done from our joint account, including mortgage payments. I’m working and my pay checks go directly to our account. My question is: Can I claim an equity interest in the condo when it will be sold after the divorce?Thank you. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You do not indicate which state you are located in. In NY, which is an equitable distribution state, you should be entitled to approximately half of the value of the Condo. If you are located in the NYC metro area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating your divorce. The issues involved require an experienced attorney to provide guidance. This is not one of those things you should try to save money on by “doing it yourself”. Your financial future and well being depends on the decisions you are making now!
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #74: Hi, I have been married 1 year and three months. My wife is a student and does not work and make any money. After marriage I bought an apartment with substantial down payment. This was all paid for by the funds I had before marriage. I have been paying for her college education/living expenses from the last two years. If we are separated can she ask for half of what I have? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You did not mention what state you are in. In NY, and in most other states,if you used separate funds which you earned prior to the marriage and maintained the title to the apartment in your name only, the apartment would be considered separate property and not marital property and would be yours alone. The duration of the marriage is also taken into consideration when determining the division of the assets. If you were to sepatate now, assuming there are no other relevant facts that may alter the courts opinion, I doubt a court would grant her 50% of the marital assets which were entirely earned by you.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #73: NYC residents: my wife ani got married 8 months ago.i had substantial assets prior to our marriage and i make about 4 times her salary. Prior to our marriage, we entered into a contract for the purchase of a home for which i paid the down-payment. In addition, after we got married, i paid the remainder on the house with the assets i had prior to our marriage. Can my wife claim that she wants half the value of the house, even though it is me who paid for it? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You did not indicate how the title to the property is held. If it is held in your name only and was paid for with funds you had prior to the marriage, it would be considered separate property and not marital property and thus she would not have any interest in it. Even if the property is held in both names, since the duration of your marriage is so short ( 8 months), I do not believe the Court would grant her an equal share of the house which was funded entirely by you with funds you had prior to the marriage. Please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating your divorce.I can help.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #70: I have asked by husband to leave for a while until we can figure out what we both want. We have been married for 3 years. I don’t want my children to see how miserable we are together. We built a house while we were married and everything is in my husband’s name because I stayed home for three years taking care of our children. I didn’t have an income to get credit. So everything is in his name. I wanted to know if i am entitled to our home and any savings that we have. I don’t want to move my children again. He won’t leave; he said he has too much invested in this marrage but he will not go to counseling with me to try to work things out. I am from NY and I just want to know what I am entitled to even though my name isn’t on anything. I am only working part-time now and I can not afford everything on my own. Please help me understand! Answer
         
        • Ans :

          In order to properly answer your question I must know what state you are presently living in, for how long are you living there, where were you married, and where do your spouse and children live. In NY or CA ,for instance, the fact that the house or other assets acquired during the marriage are in one name or the other is irrelevent! Each one would be entitled to approximately half and if you get custody of the kids, the court will probably grant you the right to remain in the house until the children grow up.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutiuons

      • Question #65: My daughter is currently in the process of separating from her husband. She has an 18 month old child. The divorce is her idea. Must she remain in her house with her husband until a separation document is filed or can she move in with me with her child prior to filing the documents. The current way they are living is very difficult. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Unless there is physical abuse involved, your daughter should remain with the child in the house, if she intends to request that she be granted the house to raise the child in, at least until she has a written agreement regarding the disposition of the house. I strongly recommend that your daughter seek an attorney- mediator experienced in divorce matters who can assist her in the divorce process. If she is located in the NYC metropolitan area, she should call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter further.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #60: After 20 yrs of marriage and 2 children (ages 12 & 7) my husband wants a divorce. I have not worked outside the home since my 12 yr old was born. I know NYS allows 25% of my husband’s income for child support, but I would like to know if I can collect money in addition to that. Is it reasonable to expect my husband to pay the mortgage while my children and I live in the house and if so, is this usually only done until the children are 18? I also would like to receive part of his profit sharing account, stock option account and retirement account and can I receive part of the future value that will go into these accounts? Can I obtain full ownership of the house and give up my right to the retirement plan? I have no college degree and worked while he completed college and went on to get his Master Degree. Thank you. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You should receive a portion of your husband’s retirement account which was earned during the course of the marriage and some spousal support as well as child support if you will be the residential parent. The other issues regarding the house, the mortgage, and trading one interest for another will depend on either your working out a settlement with your husband or getting the judge to order such an arrangement. I strongly suggest you consider divorce mediation to resolve the outstanding issues and to make sure the agreement is legal and binding. If you are located in the NYC metropolitan area please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter in greater length.
          Leonard Weiner,Esq / Divorce Solutions

      • Question #57: MY WIFE AND I SEPARATED A YEAR AGO,HAVE 4 CHILDREN RANGING IN AGE FROM 9 TO 17,AND HAVE BOTH NAMES ON THE DEED TO OUR HOME VALUED AT $500,000.I EARN APPROXIMATELY $230,00/YEAR,MY WIFE WORKS PART TIME EARNING $15,000/YEAR AS A TEACHING ASSISTANT. SHE GAVE UP HER CAREER TO TAKE CARE OF THE CHILDREN 18 YEARS AGO. MY QUESTIONS ARE;1. HOW WILL CHILD SUPPORT BE DETERMINED,WILL HER SALARY ENTER INTO IT.2. AM I OBLIGATED TO PROVIDE SPOUSAL SUPPORT,IF SO INDEFINETLY OR UNTIL SHE CAN BECOME FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT.MOST IMPORTANTLY THE DISPOSITION OF THE HOUSE:IS THE MAINTENANCE AND SUPPORT OF THE HOUSE SEPARATE FROM CHILD OR SPOUSAL SUPPORT.CAN I FORCE HER TO SELL IT,OR AM I OBLIGATED TO MAINTAIN HER IN THE HOME AS CUSTODIAL PARENT UNTIL MY CHILDREN REACH LEGAL AGE. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You did not indicate which state you are located in. In New York, child support will be determined by a complex formula taking into consideration the income of both parents.The catch is that although both incomes are taken into consideration, the non-residential parent has to pay his/her share to the residential parent. Spousal support will be determined based on your previous life style, and will not be forever, but long enough to give your spouse the ability to become gainfully employed and self supporting. The disposition of the house and its upkeep will depend on the court. If you are living in the greater NYC metropolitan area, please call me to discuss the possibility of mediating your divorce. It will be must faster, economical and less stressful than battling it out in court in the adversarial system.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq / Divorce Solutions

      SIGNED ON MORTGAGE
      • Question #161:I live in New York State and after seven years of marriage I am now seriously contemplating divorce. I understand that I can file for a legal separation and, should things improve with my estranged spouse, we can get back together without remarrying. We currently jointly own (finance) a home and I am unclear as to my financial obligations (my name is on the mortgage) during the period of separation. If I do not make payments during the period we are not together, is that considered abandonment? Do I lose any financial rights to my home? Please advise. Many thanks. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Filing for legal separation will not impact your obligation to continue to pay on the mortgage. The bank will not let you off the mortgage simply because you are now separated. If you or your wife fail to make the payments when due, the Bank will foreclose on the property. If your wife continues to pay the mortgage without your participation in order to avoid default, and she subsequently files for divorce, she will ask the court to grant her a larger portion of the marital estate to cover the expense she extended on your behalf.
          The best thing to do is to enter into a mediated Separation Agreement in which the payment of the mortgage will be provided for between both of you and you will not be in default and lose your marital equity in the house.

          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area , please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss the matter at greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #132: I am in Wisconsin. I recently got divorced and my ex-husband is taking over the house that we purchased together at the end of last year. It is in the divorce papers that he is getting the house, however there is nothing that states he has to refinance by a certain date to have my name removed from the mortgage. It seems as though that he just keeps putting it off and will not refinance, and he has been asking me for money since my name is still on the mortgage even though I have not been living there for over 6 months now. What are my legal rights? Is there anything I can do to force him to refinance the house or any type of paperwork that can be completed stating that I am no longer financially responsible? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          This problem should have been addressed at the time when you agreed to deed over to your spouse your interest in the house. Not just marital assets must be divided at the time of separation but also the marital debts, of which the mortgage is one. Your attorney should have addressed this issue when you originally agreed to deed over your interest in the house. At this point you remain obligated on the mortgage and the only way that you can have your husband assume the entire mortgage is to go back into court and address the issue with the judge.
          I cannot overemphasize the necessity to have proper, legal counsel experienced in matrimonial matters in the jurisdiction in which you file so that such matters will not come back to haunt you after the papers have been filed. Once again, I must reiterate that divorce is too serious a matter to leave to self-help.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #130:We are divorcing after 20 years. He is unemployed but looking. We have enough money and he wants to buy me out of my portion of the house, Since he is unemployed, he won’t qualify for his own financing. I don’t want to force him on the street. He wants me to leave everything as is and to file a quit claim deed. My name is still on the mortgage. If he pays me off, and I file quit claim deed on our house, In the event that he is late on a payment and begins to ruin my credit rating can I still force him to sell or do anything legally that would get my name off the mortgage? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          As long as you remain on the mortgage you’ll be liable for the payments that are due
          even if you quitclaim your interest to your spouse. Before transferring your interest in the property you must arrange with the bank to be removed from the mortgage. He could theoretically take on a second mortgage which would encumber the property even further and drain out any equity that remains in it.
          Do not allow yourself to be exposed to this potential, financial threat which could possibly arise long after the divorce papers are filed.
          I strongly suggest that you retain an experienced, lawyer- mediator in this matter to help you both work out a solution that will protect your interests as well as provide you both with a solution to your problem.

          If you located in the New York City metropolitan area please call late at 212-370-1660 to arrange to me to discuss this matter had greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      PRE- MARRIAGE ACQUIRED PROPERTY
      • Question #285:My husband owned the home prior to our marriage, it is in his name only. I have contributed money to renovations and monthly mortgage and bills. We have been married 2 years and have a 9 month old baby and I have 2 boys from a prior marriage. Can he force me and the kids to move out or do I have the right to buy him out and keep the children in the home? Thank you. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If the house belonged to your spouse before the marriage and the title was kept in his name only, it is separate property belonging to him and you have no ownership interest in it. If you contributed to the renovations and mortgage, however, you do have a claim to be reimbursed for your expenditures. You do not have a right to buy him out, but if you are unable to find a suitable, alternative place to live with the children, the court would likely allow you to remain until you find such a place. If he has been supporting you and the children, he will have to continue to do so, including helping you pay for the rent of any new place or allow you to remain in the house until the children are emancipated (e.g.21 years old).

          If you are contemplating divorce and are located in the NYC metro area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss mediating your divorce.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #249:I am from the West Indies and I married my wife 13 years ago at City Hall in order for her to get her residency (green card) in New York City. Before we got married I had properties that belonged to me and is still in my name alone. We both tried to see if the marriage would work but it did not. After a while she refuses to have sex with me every time I would initiate having sex she would push me away. After living together for 5 years I moved out because it was getting to my head and I started feeling less of a man. There are no children involved. I tried to talk to her about a divorce on the grounds of no sex or abandonment and she refused to sign. It is now 8 years since we have separated. Please let me know if I will have to share my properties with her seeing that I had them before we were married and how hard would it before me to get my divorce. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If you owned the properties prior to the marriage and kept the properties in your name, the properties would be separate property and not marital property and your wife would not be entitled to any portion of the properties. If you contributed monies earned during the marriage to pay the mortgages on such properties or to make capital improvements, she may have a claim to ½ of the monies contributed, but not a proprietary interest in such properties.
          Under the newly enacted “no fault” statute recently approved by the New York State senate and house of representatives and signed by the governor, if you have been separated for six months or more you will not have to prove any additional grounds to warrant a divorce. You will however, have to resolve questions of spousal support and division of marital assets.
          If you’re living in the New York City metropolitan area, I urge you to call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for an appointment for the three of us to meet to discuss mediating your divorce.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./ Divorce Solutions

      • Question #146:I am getting married and I have a house that I bought being married to another man. Would my prospective husband have a right to acquire my property in case of divorce? thank you. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If you acquired the property prior to the marriage, kept the property in your name only, and did not co-mingle the property in some other way, the property remains separate property and not marital property and your prospective husband will not have a claim to it. If he contributes to the upkeep of the property and to the mortgage, however, he may have a claim for some form of reimbursement for what he contributed, but he will not have an equity interest in the property.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solution

      • Question #71: I live in Upstate NY. I am getting a divorce after 5 yrs. of marriage. We have no children together. Is my wife entitled to 1/2 of the house that we live in even though I owned it before we were married and her name is not on the mortgage ? We have agreed to some terms to legally separate but she will not sign a paper written by my lawyer unless she can be present when I meet with him. My lawyer says that it is a conflict of interest to represent both parties even if we agree on terms. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If you owned the property prior to the marriage and kept it in your name only the property is separate property, not marital property and she is not entitled to one half. If you used marital funds (i.e. funds earned during the course of the marriage) to pay the mortgage and upkeep, she may have a monetary claim to one half of suchpayments, but she does not have an equity interest in the property. Your wife is right. She should be represented by counsel before she agrees to anything. It is also in your best interest that she have counsel so that she cannot come back later to the court and claim she was unrepresented any did not know what she was doing. I strongly recommend you mediate rather than litigate your divorce.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #69: I’ve been married for 1 1/2 years. My husband wants a divorce, heisn’thappy. We bought a house before we got married. Both saved money and I put money that I received from a legal settlement. Am I legally entitled to that money? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          The house is not marital property because it was purchased prior to the marriage but would be divided according to the percent in which you each invested in the house, including upkeep and improvements. Any money earned during the course of the marriage is marital property . Money earned from a personal injury claim is generally considered separate property and not marital unless it was paid for loss of earnings or the funds were subsequently comingled with marital funds in a joint account. I strongly recommend you mediate your divorce. Give me a call at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter further.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #69: I’ve been married for 1 1/2 years. My husband wants a divorce, heisn’thappy. We bought a house before we got married. Both saved money and I put money that I received from a legal settlement. Am I legally entitled to that money? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          The house is not marital property because it was purchased prior to the marriage but would be divided according to the percent in which you each invested in the house, including upkeep and improvements. Any money earned during the course of the marriage is marital property . Money earned from a personal injury claim is generally considered separate property and not marital unless it was paid for loss of earnings or the funds were subsequently comingled with marital funds in a joint account. I strongly recommend you mediate your divorce. Give me a call at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter further.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #66: I have been married for just 3 years. My husband retained an attorney for a legal separation or whatever. He is not even sure himself. My question: We have a condo and the condo was purchased prior to our marriage and is in my name (deed and mortgage). A very minimal amount was put as a down payment and I can’t even give you a figure of his contribution to the downpayment, because it was so minimal. All costs were paid out of my personal checking account/savings. Is he entitled to any share of my home? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Property acquired prior to the marriage by one spouse and held in that spouse’s name is separate property, not marital property and your husband has no proprietary interest in it. He may have a monetary claim for part of the money he contributed to the upkeep or mortgage, or that was funded with marital property (e.g. wages you earned during the course of the marriage),but he has no equitable claim in the property itself.If you are located in the NYC metropolitan area, please call me to discuss this and many of the other questions you will have in separating.I can help!

      PROPERTY PURCHASED PRIOR TO DIVORCE
      • Question #217: I am writing on behalf of my cousin, he has been seperated for a few months(less than 4) and is now thinking of purchasing a home if he does is this still considered community propery. He is living with a friend and wants a place of his own, but is not sure if the court will take it away and give half to his ex who has custody of his 2 children and does not work, please if anything will affect him let me know, and if he should wait til everything is filed please give us your opinion as well. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Did he enter into a written Separation Agreement prepared by an experienced , matrimonial attorney?
          To properly answer your question, I would have to review the Separation Agreement .

          Until he gets a legal opinion , he should hold off taking title in his name .
          Give me a call at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter further.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #191:I live in NY state. What happens if I buy houses and I am not legally separated from my wife. I left the house over 3 years ago because we had fights and I was asked by her to leave on several occassions. I finally left and have been taking care of my two daughters financially and physically (doing things with them as I had been doing when I was living there, they live with her). She make approximately 3 times of what I make. I filed for an uncontested divorce before I bought the houses, does she have any claim to them? Also, do I have to give her 25% of my gross salary, remember she makes 3 times the amount I do and her salary alone is well over $90,000. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Generally, the court will look to the date upon which the summons and complaint was served as the cutoff date with regard to determining marital property. However, in certain circumstances , the judge has the discretion to extend the date to the date of the filing of the actual divorce judgment is well.
          With regard to your question regarding child support, the amount of child support is determined by a statutory formula depending on the number of children and the total income of both parents under $80,000 and over $80,000, regardless of the disparity in the incomes of either parent.

          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area . I suggest you call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for an appointment to discuss mediating you divorce.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #157:I live in New York. My boyfriend is married but separated and has a 9 year old Daughter from his marriage. He either got married in Boston, MA or in Long Island, New York, I’m not positive. He has been separated for about 5 years now. He has been living with me for the past 9 months unemployed, therefore he did not contribute to any bills. He recently started working and we are thinking about buying a 2 family home together. He has no savings so I’m using my savings for a down-payment, closing costs, fees, etc but the house will be purchased with both of our names and credit. I am afraid that even though he is looking into getting a divorce we can close on the home before his divorce goes through. If this happens, Will his wife (and his Daughter) be entitled to any part of this home, God forbid he dies prior to the divorce, or even if he does not die, if God forbids his wife finds out he purchased a home with me during their divorce proceedings and decides to get half upon the divorce. He has not paid child support for the past few months since he did not work for 9 months. He is looking to get divorced, pay child support and get joint custody for his child. Should I wait until the divorce is final? If so then we may pass on a good deal we found on a home. When we do purchase this home. How do you suggest we purchase it since we are not married and have no kids together? Please Help! Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Until your boyfriend has a Judgment of Divorce, signed by the court and filed with the county clerk’s office, he is still legally married, and any property acquired during the course of his marriage with funds earned during the marriage are considered marital property. Therefore, if he were to acquire an interest in this property you are talking about as a tenant in common with you, that property would be subject to a marital claim by his wife.

          The best thing to do is for you to do is acquire the property in your name and if you need the money from your boyfriend to purchase the property, borrow the money from him and give him a promissory note. You can also have a side agreement with your boyfriend, stating that upon his official divorce, he can convert the amount owing to him in the promissory note into an interest in the property.

          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss the matter at greater length and to prepare the documentation.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esquire/ Divorce Solutions

      HEALTH INSURANCE
      • Question #263: Love your website which is so helpful to people who desperately need help for divorce! I’m living in Atlanta, Georgia. My husband is a self-employed, he made twice as much as mine but he is financially irresponsible. I added his health insurance on my employer sponsored family plan during our many yrs marriage. Now I lost my job and filed for divorce because he treated me badly for years. May I claim to compensate for my contribution to his part health insurance? Another question: He spent fortune on his model train layout during the marriage. I don’t know exactly how much the value is. May I demand him to report the value? Thank you very much! I look forward to hearing from you soon! Answer
         
        • Ans :

          The health insurance costs which you provided during the marriage are not reimbursable.
          However, your spouse’s model train collection is marital property and you should have a 50% interest in it.

          Good Luck!

          Leonard M. Weiner,Esq. /Divorce Solutions

      • Question #205: I am divorced in New York State and the divorce states that I pay 70% of medical expenses. My older daughter is 21 and away at medical school – the younger daughter is 19 and away at college. I claim that I owe 70% of the DIFFERENCE between what health insurance costs my ex for a “parent+1 child” plan MINUS what she would pay for a single plan on her own My ex claims I owe 70% for her “family plan” for herself and both children. * On a side note – my ex flex spends (FSA) the entire health care amount and pays very little given these tax breaks. The court didn’t seem to consider FSA when splitting the incomes 70/30% THANKS Answer
         
        • Ans :

          In order to properly answer your questions, I would have to review the
          relevant provision in your Separation Agreement or court order that dealt with this matter
          to see if your wife was to be covered by this provision as well as the children.
          Generally, these matters are discussed separately.

          The tax breaks your ex may receive should have been raised at the time
          you negotiated your settlement or at the hearing before the judge.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #197:I have a simple question or at least I hope it is a simple one. I will be filing for a divorce in April after a year of legal separation. In the separation papers we agreed that my husband would keep me on his health insurance until the divorce was final. After the divorce is final, I have no means of getting health insurance that I will be able to afford. It is offered through my work at a cost of over $600.00 a month. I cannot afford this since my annual income is approximately 16, 000.00. Can I ask the courts to have my husband keep me on his insurance policy through his employer since he has to keep a family plan to keep our child covered? Thank you. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Why did you not think about your ability to pay for insurance before you agreed to
          the terms of the Separation Agreement? Did you have legal counsel when you entered into the Separation Agreement?
          You should try to discuss this matter with your spouse before the Divorce papers are filed.
          Once again, I cannot overemphasize the need to have an experienced, matrimonial attorney represent
          you when you get involved in Separation or Divorce. It will save you much heartache later.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      INHERITANCE
      • Question #325:Hi, I am hoping you can answer a question for me. First a brief history…. My husband and I had 4 children and then separated after being together for 19 years (married for 17). We have been separated for 18 years and are finally getting a divorce. I see in the papers (he sent over for me to sign) it mentions his retirement fund being his separate asset and that maintenance was not ordered. Before I sign these papers I am curious and would like to find out if I am entitled to anything considering how long we’ve been separated (not legally separated). By the way, I live in Washington state. I would like to know if I would be entitled to spousal maintenance, part of my husband’s retirement fund, or inheritance he just received due to his mother passing away. Any advice you can give me is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time and have a wonderful day. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Do Not Sign the Papers! Unless you had a legal separation 18 years ago, you are still legally married and any property or asset, including your spouse’s retirement account is a marital asset, to which you would be entitled to a share. Any inheritance he received ,if kept in his name only, is separate property, not marital.

          Consult an experienced matrimonial lawyer in your jurisdiction and seek his advice .,

          Leonard Weiner, Esq./ Divorce Solutions

      • Question #309:Am married to my husband in New York City for 23 years. We’ve lived apart for 22 of those years. We do not have a legal separation agreement. We file our taxes separately. We have a 23 year old son. I do not have assets, just debt. I recently came into a financial windfall, is he entitled to half of this money? Can I go to a lawyer to have a post nuptial agreement which will award him some money but nowhere near what he would get if we went to court? If he accepts this agreement, can I also stipulate that he has no claim to anything else from me or whatever I may give to our son? He’s not a bad guy, just a deadbeat. He supported my son for the 1st 15 years of his life. That money went to education only. I assumed all other responsibilities. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          The source of the “windfall” (i.e. was it an inheritance, lottery winnings, etc.)

          is very important to determine if your spouse has an interest in those funds.
          Please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for an appointment to discuss this matter in greater detail.

          Divorce Solutions
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq.
          212-370-1660

      • Question #140:I and my wife live in Virginia. We have two underage children and we own our own home. I have several questions. I want to pursue having a legal separation. My wife and I don’t have any rancor toward one another so we want to do this as cheaply as possible, but we do want to ensure our individual interests and our children’s interests are protected. I will be moving out of our joint home (as a residence), but we still want me to maintain joint ownership of the home (as property). Is this possible? We really don’t want to sell our home, because we want my wife and the kids to continue to live there. Also, the home is my primary investment in my future and I don’t want to give it up, and my wife is okay with this. Neither of us can afford to buy our share of the home from the other. Also, I am bisexual and will likely pursue an intimate relationship with a man after my wife and I legally separate. My wife understands and accepts this. But, if I did so, would I be violating a legal separation agreement? One of our goals for the legal separation is so that I can explore in this area of my life. If a legal separation prohibits sexual contact with another person (in my case, a male), what do I do? Finally, I am in the will of an elderly relative to receive a small inheritance. It seems greedy, but my wife has more resources than I do, and I would like to see that I receive the full small inheritance when that time comes. Would a legal separation ensure that it would come entirely to me, or would I still need to split the small inheritance with my wife? I want to do what’s right, but given my financial circumstances, I’m not in a position to do more than what’s right. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          I believe your situation is ripe for mediation. You should engage in an experienced attorney-mediator who can draw up the Separation Agreement which should provide for retaining the home as “tenants in common” instead of “as husband and wife” but which will allow your wife and children to remain in the home, and for you to continue your ownership interest in it. Provision should be made in the Separation Agreement for the children to be the beneficiaries of you Will and to receive your interest in the home in the event that you die prior to their maturity.

          The Separation Agreement should also provide that each may live separate and apart and conduct his/her life as if they were unmarried.
          With regard to the question of inheritance, inheritances are not considered “marital property” if they are kept separate and apart from the other marital property and maintained in the beneficiaries name only.

          I would be happy to discuss with you both the drafting of the Separation Agreement, and to that end please give me a call at 212-370-1660.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #97:I am due to inherit (as beneficiary on bank accounts and as Trustee of a Family Trust) a large sum of money upon the death of my mother. Naturally, I’m writing because my marriage is looking more and more like a ship off course…My question: Should I inherit the monies mentioned above, keep them in accounts only in my name (perhaps my children’s names as well), and keep a paper-trail showing the money was inherited, will it be safe should a divorce ensue – even several years from the date of inheritance? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You have the exact right idea! As long as you keep all of the inheritance, including all assets, stocks, money etc. inherited in separate accounts, not co- mingled with your marital assets, and keep them in your name, those assets will remain separate property, not marital property, and will not be subject to division upon divorce in the State of New York.
          If you do decide to divorce, I strongly suggest you mediate such divorce; if you are in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter in more detail.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #89:My parents have been married for 32 years. They are miserable and should have been divorced 30 years ago. They stayed together for my brother and I. My father was emotionally unavailable and verbally abusive our whole lives. My Mother wants to leave him but is fearful of how she will win a divorce case with him. She inherited money from her father that is left in her name only. She could survive on this alone, but is fearful he will take it in the divorce. How would this work and how can she be protected. She is 60 years old and scared. Any advice would help us. Thanks Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Any asset including money received by inheritance and kept separate in the recipient’s name is separate property and not marital property and is not subject to equitable distribution upon divorce.

          If your parents live in the NYC metro area please have them call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating their divorce.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq.Divorce Solutions

      COST OF MEDIATION VS. LITIGATION
      • 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 a 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 a 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 and I had a larger 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 large 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 since 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 moth I also have to legally have another insurance Sterling $300 a month and Cigna prescription drug $100 a month. My rent in $750. She used to pay half the rent, and cable, telephone, utilities and food bills. I now am helped by the generosity of my friends. 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 now here 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 Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If you have been living in NY State for a continuous period of 2 years, you can file in NY.
          If you are living in the NYC metro area, I strongly recommend you call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting
          For us to discuss mediating your divorce. If you both agree to mediate, you will be paying only one attorney instead of 2,
          You both will decide along with the help of the mediator who shall pay for what and how to divide your marital assets.
          You will also not have to spend hours sitting around the courtroom waiting for your ten minutes before the judge.
          All of our discussions will be held in the quiet of my office. It is just a much more civilized way of dealing with the matter and will save much time, emotional distress, anxiety, and aggravation.
          Give me a call. I can help.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq/Divorce Solutions

      VOLUNTARY SETTLEMENT OF FINANCIAL ISSUES
      • Question #319:My son is going through a divorce. It has been going on for about 2 to 4 years. She threw him out of the house twice. The first time I as his mother had to fly in to help him find him an apartment and buy him furniture so he can live. He has a very good job but she wiped him out of whatever they had. The first time he was thrown out he had a lawsuit going. He received the settlement. She decided to take him back and try to make the marriage work. After the money was gone she then threw him out again with no money. Mother came to the rescue again and got an apartment for him and paid for everything. He owes me that money which is quite a bit. Now it was time to get a divorce lawyer and told them what happened. They proceeded to tell me that this was an easy case, since they had no house no money to fight over with. He has two children one is 21 and the other is 19. He does pay child support. He also pays for her auto insurance which the car is in his name. She did have a job and my son was paying for her tolls in which she was getting reimbursed for it from her company. She hired a lawyer and they went through 3 depositions and I don’t know why, because their was nothing to fight over. Now this is costing me more money because he can’t afford to pay for his lawyer. Now in April they are going before a Judge (mediator) . Her lawyer wants to go to court what for I don’t know why. Why can’t this be settled in April before the mediator? When they first went to court the Judge said what are we here for. She has nothing and he has nothing. But nothing was done. I had to pay his rent several times plus I have to send him money for food. So could you tell me What Kind of Laws do we have that this has to go on and on? Please advise because I cannot keep paying all this money. Thank you I do have so much to say but hopefully I gave enough information. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          I strongly suggest your son tell his lawyer that he can no longer pay him and that he insists on going to a neutral lawyer- mediator, experienced in matrimonial matters in the county and court he is presently in, and resolve the outstanding issues without the court’s further intervention.
          If both parties agree to the mediation, the issues should be resolved quickly and expeditiously w/o major, additional legal expense.
          If your son is located in the NYC metro area, have him call me to discuss the matter further.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #308:Hello My wife and I are going to file for divorce, and I’m worried it will turn into a long legal battle. IF I open an irrevocable trust fund in the name of my children prior to the filing, and I do that with 50% of all of the cash we have now, could the court (in NY) then say that the money put into the trust was my half, and then my spouse would get all of the remaining cash? Or would the remaining cash be split in half between us? Thanks! Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Yes, you run the risk that the Court will see the transfer as a way to avoid giving your wife her equitable share (which may not be half). It would be best to reach an agreement w/ your wife about how much to give to the children.
          If you are living in the NYC metro area, please call me to arrange for a meeting to discuss this matter in greater length.

          Divorce Solutions
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq.
          212-370-1660

      • Question #260:My husband and I are separated. Two months after the separation he filed for divorce. According to the separation agreement, my husband had to pay the car off by May 1, 2011 and transfer the title to me. He still has not done this. I will get a 155.00 decrease in my homeowners if I use Allstate for both car insurance and homeowners insurance. What can I do? can I request money from him for the late payment? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You should send him a certified letter informing him that he is in breach of the Separation agreement (quote the paragraph) and that if you do not received confirmation of the payment and the title to the car as agreed, you will be forced to hire an attorney to make a motion to the court to enforce this provision and that he will have to hire an attorney to respond and pay for yours as well.
          If he does not respond, you can proceed to enforce the Agreement in court. The court should allow you any immediate damages you suffered as a result of his breach.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq. /Divorce Solutions

      • Question #119:Can I offer a one lump monetary settlement in lieu of traditional alimony payments, that includes a monetary sum and the cumulative sum of the value of precious gems i am willing to give her. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          One of the many advantages of mediating, rather than litigating a divorce, is that you can provide creative solutions to meeting and satisfying the needs of both parties.
          If you are located in the New York City metropolitan area, I strongly suggest that you contact may at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss mediating your divorce in which we will be able to discuss this and other different types of creative solutions to resolving the financial problems that may exist between you.

          In mediation all reasonable offers are discussed and entertained.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      COMPANION SUPPORT
      • Question #142: I am not married, but we have been living together for close to 4 years and have a 2 year old child. Throughout this relationship I have suffered documented physical and mental abuse. I want to leave but, i only make 24K per year, after taxes that’s 1,600 per month. There is no way I would be able to pay rent (Lowest possible rent in upstate NY $550) Daycare ($680 per month/$170 per week) Utilities $200-300 per month. Online DSL $44.00 per month (I am in my 3rd semester of college fulltime on-line). He makes 100K per year will he have to help me at least pay for daycare? The only reason why i am still with him is because I want my child to have both parents around him, and live in a nice home. But I can not take it anymore. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You are entitled to child support for the child, and depending on your exact relationship, whether you held yourself out as a married couple, you may be entitled to some type of palimony as well.
          You should discuss your feelings with your partner and perhaps go to some form of counseling for the sake of the child. But in the event you see that counseling his hopeless and not helping, you should be granted child support from your child’s father.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      IMPACT OF LIVING WITH NON SPOUSE ON SPOUSAL SUPPORT POST DIVORCE
      • Question #153:I’m 55 years old and have recently separated from my husband. Presently, I live with my daughter at the family home. For the last 8 years my daughter has contributed to paying for the house but has yet to receive any compensation for doing so. Recently, she has asked to receive 20% equity on the house as compensation and both my husband and I feel this is appropriate. My question is if my daughter ends up owning 20% of the house, I own 40% and my husband owns 40%, can my husband force me to sell the house if we were to get a divorce or does the fact that he now owns less than 50% preclude him from this? In other words, does it matter if the ownership structure of an asset is not 50%/50%? Hopefully my question isn’t too convoluted. Thanks Answer
         
        • Ans :

          The percentage of ownership of the property is not the determining factor. The court will consider the need to sell the residence in order to provide funds for each of the parties. You may be able to acquire his portion of the property by providing him with some other equally valuable asset. By introducing your daughter as an additional owner. you are making the possibility of sale more difficult for the court to order. The court will struggle to find jurisdiction over your daughter, in order to force her to sell her portion.
          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss the matter at greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      LIABLE ON MORTGAGE
      • Question #323:My husband and I have been married 20+ yrs and have adult children. We both work and have roughly equivalent incomes. At my request he has agreed to move out of our marital home which we own together, and he now rents an apartment. As of this writing we have no formal separation agreement or divorce action. I claim he should continue to help pay the mortgage, as he continues to have rights to the equity that is accruing and he shares equally in the debt. He claims that since he vacated our marital home at my insistence, I am now solely responsible for the mortgage. Who’s right??? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If your husband is signed on the mortgage as you suggest, he is liable to the bank to make the mortgage payments just as you are.
          However, since you are occupying the home and he is paying rent, you should cover a larger portion of the mortgage payment.
          The exact amount should be determined by examining all of the other financial and other considerations that are being proposed as a result of theSeparation.
          If you are living in the NYC metro area, please call me to arrange a meeting for the 3 of us to discuss this matter in greater detail
          And to work out all of the many other issues that must be agreed upon for the separation to work.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions
          212-370-1660

      • Question #76: I have been divorced since 1996. At that time, my husband and I had just purchased a home and I agreed to give him the house. As part of the settlement, he reimbursed me for a disbursement from my 401k plan which we used as a down payment on the home. I signed a quit claim deed on the home. At that time, I did not know enough about mortgage loans to realize the importance of insisting, as part of the settlement, that my ex refinace the loan in his own name. Now, many years later, the loan still appears on my credit. Now he is behind on his payments and it is really having a huge negative effect on my credit. Can I sue him and force him to refinance in his and his current wife’s name? If he can’t refinance due to his payment history, can I force him to sell the home? (The house has increased in value significantly since our divorce, and I am not seeking any money, just to be taken off the loan) I am also still on a credit card which he is behind on. Refinancing would give him enough cash to pay off the credit card. Is suing a viable option? What happens if the mortgage forecloses or he declares bankruptcy? Thanks for your attention. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You are unfortunately caught in a serious dilemma. You can try to take him to court to have the judge force him to keep up the payments or have you removed from the mortgage and credit cards. In any case , this is why it is so essential to have a qualified attorney who is experienced in divorce matters to represent you or to mediate a separation or divorce. Any experienced lawyer would have provided for responsibility for all outstanding liabilities, mortgages etc. in the Separation Agreement. The divorce process is too emotionally draining and too complex for anyone to try to do it by himself/herself. Before the bank would foreclose on the house it would have a right to seek payment from you as a co-signee on the mortgage. Even if your husband declared bankruptcy, the credit card company can still try to collect from you.
          LESSON # 1 For the Future – USE AN EXPERIENCED ATTORNEY! It will cost you much more later if you do not!
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq / Divorce Solutions

      REAL PROPERTY
      • Question #61: I have been married since September 2000 and live in New York. No children. My husband and I are thinking of separating due to the fact that we just cannot get along. I have owned a house since 1990 and the deed and mortgage is in my name only. I also have my elderly parents living with me and help support them at times. My question is, will my husband be entitled to half of the house? He is telling me that I am not entitled to any of his pension because we would have to be married at least seven years. Also, I took out an equity loan to pay for our furniture and payoff his credit card bills. I did have him sign an agreement that he would pay me back if we divorced. But he is saying that he is entitled to half the money in the savings account. The loan and the savings account are in my name only. Please advise. Thank you. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If the house was your property prior to the marriage and remained in your name after the marriage , it is individual property and not marital property and thus it belongs to you alone. You would be entitled to approximately one half of his pension earned during the marriage. He would be entitled to one half the money in the savings account which was earned during the course of the marriage. If you are living in NYC, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discussmediating the Divorce. I can help.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq. / Divorce Solutions

      • Question #59: My state of residence is NY. After many years of living apart have finally taken the steps and have a legal separation with the goal of the divorce being finalized at the end of the year. My question is, I would like to purchase a new home joint with another person. Since I am only in the separation stage my partner fears that if something should happen to me, my “almost ex-spouse” would have claims on this home. Is this true? If so what other options are there besides waiting until the divorce is final.Thank you Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If you have a legal separation you should review the terms of the separation carefully. Generally, the acquisition of property by each party is expressly discussed and usually provides that the other party will not have claim to such property. Did you have an attorney prepare the separation agreement? Consult him/her to be sure. If no such provision is included in your separation agreement, you may wish to consider having another relative such as your mother become the acquiring partner until your divorce is final. If you are located in the NYC metropolitan area, give me a call at 212-370-1660 to discuss properly documenting your divorce so such issues are taken cared of before they arise.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #58: After one year of marriage, my wife committed adultery and wants a divorce. We have no children. We own a house together that has no equity in it as I used a VA loan with no-money down. I understand that she has no sufficient grounds for divorce.We are selling the house, and as it turns out it will be a fairly hefty profit. Since I believe that her contribution to the marriage was minimal, being that she only paid her half of the mortgage, and I paid all other bills, and substantial home improvement costs, is there any advantage to delaying the separation agreement until after the sale of the house. Certainly she’s entitled to some money, but I really don’t want to give her half of the profit. It doesn’t seem very equitable to me. What should I do? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You did not indicate what state you were located in. In New York,which is an “equitable distribution” state, assuming you acquired the house after your marriage, your spouse would be entitled to half the net profits from the sale. You may, however, be entitled to compensation for your separate contribution of home improvement costs and other moneys invested by you in the equity of the house. I strongly suggest you consider divorce mediation to resolve these and other matters outstanding (e.g. spousal support, division of other marital assets such as retirement accounts, etc.). If you are located in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss further.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #53: My husband has a piece of real estate which I have asked them to deed over to me to secure the payment of any settlement arrangement, but he has refused. What can I do? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You do not need your husband to deed the property to you to secure payment. You have asked them to transfer the property to you when in fact you really need a security interest in the property, not ownership of the property. What you should have requested from him is a first mortgage on the property as security for the payment of the settlement arrangement. From the type of question you are asking it seems that you have not begun an adversarial court process yet. I believe that mediation could be very helpful in your situation and I strongly recommend that you contact an attorney-mediator in your area.

      SEPARATE PROPERTY
      • Question #326:My husband and I are divorcing after almost 25 years of marriage. About 12 years ago he inherited about $45000 which we used to redo our kitchen. How will that affect the financial split ? We live in upstate NY. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If the property is held in both your names, your husband made a gift to you of half his inheritance
          And should not be able to claim the entire contribution . If the property is held in his name only which he acquired prior to the marriage or with funds he had prior to the marriage,
          the $45,000 Investment and the property belong to him.

          If you wish to discuss mediating your divorce, please contact me .

          Leonard Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions
          212-370-1660

      • Question #324:I live in the state of Ohio and got married in June 2014. My father had died in 2013 and we just recently sold his house and October 2014. My wife and I are now getting a divorce after seven months of marriageand I am about to inherit funds from the sale of my father’s house and I was wondering if she is in titled to any of that money? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If you keep the proceeds of the sale in a SEPARATE Account only in your name, and do not commingle it with your joint funds, it should be treated as Separate property, not marital property, and she would have no claim to it.

          Good Luck!

          Leonard Weiner, Esq./ Divorce Solutions

      • Question #306:My mother in law lives with a man and has for many years. They was married at one time and after about a year divorced. A few years later they started living together again but did not marry. She lives on a family farm that she owns. She raises sheep and cows. He has nothing to do with that at all. He is not in good health and may have to be put in a nursing home and she is wondering if she is responsible for his care. Thanks for any advise that you could help out with. Appreciate the help!! Answer
         
        • Ans :

          In order to properly respond to your question I would have to review the divorce settlement agreement and the Court Order.
          It would be advisable to have them enter into an agreement spelling out the financial responsibilities or lack thereof of each party in their relationship.
          If you are living in the NYC metro area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for an appointment to discuss the matter at greater length.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq.
          Divorce Solutions
          212-370-1660

      • Question #294:I have been married for approx. 3 months. Prior to the marriage I was a widower and retired with a city pension. My home is in my name and since the marriage I have continued to solely pay for the mortgage and expenses on the home. I made home improvements that were completed and paid for by me solely prior to the wedding. My question in divorce, is she entitled to my pension, part of my home or my investment accounts that are solely in my name and she has hers In her name? The only commingled funds are a checking and savings account with funds from wedding gifts. Her income exceeds my current income without calculating my pension. Thank you. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Any property you owned prior to the marriage and kept in your name is separate property, not marital property, and your spouse would not have any claim to it.

          Only contributions to your pension made after your marriage are subject to a marital claim.

          The profits or capital gains made on investments in your investment account made after your marriage are subject to a marital claim. Any investments you held prior to the marriage ,are separate property. Any profits or capital gains on these investments, unless due to some unusual expertise or talent on your behalf, should not be considered marital property.

          I can help you with your divorce. Give me a call at 212-370-1660 to arrange to discuss the matter.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #283:I owned 50% of my house prior to marriage. The remaining 50% was transferred to me as a gift. If I was to get a divorce now, will the second 50% be considered marital property? There is no co-mingling of marital funds in paying for the upkeep of the house, so her contribution is zero. Additionally, both of us reside in the house now. Will she have any legal right to my house? Additionally, I brought another property during the marriage. Again no co-mingling of marital funds involved and is under my name only. Does she have any legal claim to the second property? I am in NYC. Thanks for your time. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Any property you acquired prior to the marriage and kept in your name is separate property and not subject to any claim by your spouse. Any gift you received during the marriage which is kept in a separate account or held in your name only is also separate property and not subject to a claim by your spouse. Therefore, the house you acquired a 50% interest in prior to the marriage and the gift of the balance of 50% of the property if kept in your name only, is separate property and not marital property.
          If the second property you purchased during the marriage was purchased with funds you had prior to the marriage or with funds received as a gift and title is kept in your name only, it would be separate property. If ,however, the funds used to purchase the property were earned during the course of the marriage, the property would be marital property and subject to a claim by your spouse.
          I strongly urge you to contact me at 212 370-1660 to discuss mediating your divorce. It will be faster, less expensive, and less traumatic for both of you.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #276:I have been married for 16 years since 1996, we have one 11 year old child together and we have had custody of his son since he was 3 years old, he is now 21 and will be graduating university in a few months. I have been on permanent disability since 2004 for a spinal disease & a chronic pain condition. My husband makes about 106,000K, I make on Social security disability aprox 19,800.00K. We live in a home my mother gave to me in 1990, it is worth aprox 439,000. 1999 we took out a home equity mortgage in my name for 59,000K for adoption, the balance is still $59,000. He will NOT pay this down. He has asked me to put his name on this house and to leave 1/2 to HIS son (from a previous marriage). He has screamed DIVORCE one too many times So, I cannot put his name on this house as I have NOTHING ELSE, no savings, not even life insurance. When he divorces me I do not want to have to give him 1/2 of what this house is worth and have to make a new life, who knows where. He says he is leaving because he hates our neighborhood in Queen NY, (he was raised & lived in Brooklyn most of his life) I want to stay here until my mother passes she is aging and needs me now more than ever, His parents are both deceased many many years now. He wants to live on Long Island and is willing to leave his family to live a life on L.I. He has about $250,000K in HIS 401K account. My question is, because I cannot work anymore, and my income is not enough to run this home, will I be entitled to alimony and will I be entitled to keep my home without having to sell and give him half. Thank you Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If the house your mother gave to you is in your name only, it is separate property, not marital properly and your spouse will have no claim to it.
          If you allow him to pressure you to put his name on the house, you will be gifting to him half of your equity in it.

          If he has been supporting you and the family all these years, the Court will require him to continue to do so, especially since you are unable to work.

          I strongly recommend you contact me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss mediating your divorce. We can discuss all of these and other matters that have to be addressed and the divorce process.
          I can help. Give me a call.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #275:I’ve been married almost 6 years and I’m considering divorce. We were married in Las Vegas, but reside in Arizona. Also, we never filed the document in our state. I’m still in our home but we barely speak and sleep in separate rooms. We have 3 children (2 whom are biologically his). I have received a gift (large sum of $$) from a relative who won the lottery for me to start my life over. The gift was put into my personal acct, his name is not on it and I’ve never used it to pay for anything in the home. Is he entitled to half even if it was given only to me?? Please help! Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If you received the money as a gift and maintained the funds in a separate account in your name only,
          The funds should be considered separate property, not marital property and your spouse would have no claim to it in the event of divorce.
          If you were legally married in Nevada, the fact that you did not file your marriage in Arizona will not affect its validity.

          Good Luck!

          Leonard M Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #268:In December I will be married for 2 years. I see this marriage coming to an end soon. During this short marriage, my parents bought a house that my husband and I live in. Both my parents name, along with my name is on the deed/title/mortgage. Not my husbands. If we get divorced, is he entitled to any part of this house? Also, I am disabled, living on disability from before he and I got married. I was and am not working. Will I be entitled to alimony or any other funding from him to help me financially? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If the house was purchased with funds from your parents and not funds you or your spouse earned during the marriage, the house would be considered “Separate Property”
          Not marital, and he would not have any equity interest in it. If you and or he made the mortgage payments, he may have a claim for reimbursement of half of any reduction in the principal amount owing
          On the mortgage, but no equity interest.
          If there is a wide disparity between what you earn on disability and what he earns, and your lifestyle while married was on a higher standard than what you can afford alone, you may be entitled
          To some support from your spouse. It will depend on the discretion of the court.

          If you are living in the NYC metro area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating your divorce.
          It will be less expensive and much less traumatic.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #224:If I am seeking a divorce, and we have two houses. One we purchased when we were married, and the other was given to me in my mother’s will, in 2004. Can I keep my mother’s house and he keep the one we owned together. He hasn’t paid bills in the other house nor my mother’s house. He only pays the gas and insurance and wear and tear on the car. He uses the car for work and sometimes to take his mother shopping and etc. plus sometimes takes me shoppng, but many times I go with my shopping cart. He has two cars also, and has bank accounts with his mother as the beneficiary. I have checking accounts to pay bills, and am currently unemployed since last May. I have a tenant which helps me pay the bills in my mother’s house. He starting paying the bills which is only the electric bill in the other house, plus the phone bill, as I can’t pay everything like I used to. I do photography for very little, as it pays some of the groceries. He is threatening me that he is entitled to everything. We live in my mother’s house because the other house caught fire in October, and will be fixed real soon. Is he entitled to everything including my parents home? Alll I am asking is my parent’s home as my mother wanted me to have it, and I was raised there. He is threatening to take me off the medical insurance from work. I am diabetic and need medication to surviive. When I was working I had to pay extra money for him to get secondary medical. Any help you can give I appreciate it. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          In order to properly answer your question I will have to see the Deed to both
          properties to determine who the legal owners(s) is (are). If you received your mother’s house as an inheritance
          and kept it in your name only, it is not marital property and your spouse has no ownership interest in it.

          if you are living in the NYC metro area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating your divorce.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #99:I live in New York, my husband of 3 years has not worked 2 1/2 years of those. His mother recently deeded him and his brother a piece of property for $1 which now they are fighting over. His brother has offered him monies for the property and we are now no longer living together, am I entitled to fight for any of these monies? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Property which is received by gift or inheritance and maintained in an individual’s name and not co-mingled with other marital property, will remain separate property, and not part of the marital estate. Therefore, in the event that you were to divorce from your husband, the property would not be included in the marital estate and you would have no interest in it.

          The only benefit you may have is that the court would take his assets, including this property, into consideration when determining child support and spousal support.

          If you are located in the metropolitan New York City area, I strongly recommend you consider mediating the divorce by giving me a call at 212-370-1660.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #98:If a car is given to me as a gift by my mother while I’m married, can my husband have any claim to it whatsoever, (monetarily or otherwise), if we divorce? (I live in New York.) Answer
         
        • Ans :

          In the State of New York, marital properly is generally defined as any property or asset acquired during the course of the marriage, regardless of in whose name the property is held, except for property received by gift or inheritance. Therefore, if your mother expressly gives you the car, and the car is registered in your name only, and your husband does not contribute to the upkeep of the car, the car will be deemed separate property, and not marital property, and he would have no interest in such automobile in the event of a subsequent divorce.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #97:I am due to inherit (as beneficiary on bank accounts and as Trustee of a Family Trust) a large sum of money upon the death of my mother. Naturally, I’m writing because my marriage is looking more and more like a ship off course…My question: Should I inherit the monies mentioned above, keep them in accounts only in my name (perhaps my children’s names as well), and keep a paper-trail showing the money was inherited, will it be safe should a divorce ensue – even several years from the date of inheritance? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You have the exact right idea! As long as you keep all of the inheritance, including all assets, stocks, money etc. inherited in separate accounts, not co- mingled with your marital assets, and keep them in your name, those assets will remain separate property, not marital property, and will not be subject to division upon divorce in the State of New York.
          If you do decide to divorce, I strongly suggest you mediate such divorce; if you are in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter in more detail.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #96:I have been married for 22 years. I moved out in March 2002 to live with and care for my terminally ill Mother who has just passed away. He has discussed divorce many times. Now he’s stalling. My Mother left me her estate. If the divorce isn’t started, is he entitled to this estate as part of a settlement? I live in New York. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          As long as you maintain the estate property (including any cash, stocks or other financial accounts) in separate accounts and not co- mingled with your marital accounts and assets, and keep the account solely in your name, they will remain separate property and not marital property, and not subject to division upon divorce.

          I strongly suggest that you consider mediation in resolving your divorce. If you are located in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter in greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS
      • Question #253:Hi, I wanted to ask a question about my divorce. I was married to my ex-wife for 5 years 10 months. I know I have to give her a part of my pension, I’m a police officer for NYPD. How much would I have to give her and is it for the rest of my life. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If you are living in NYS, under the NY ‘s laws of Equitable Distribution, your wife would generally be entitled to approximately half of the value of the pension earned during your marriage.
          Any part of the pension earned prior to your marriage or after your divorce, would be your separate property and not marital property.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #225:In a divorce, what are the percentages in NY my wife is entitle to from my 401k? Thank you Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions Answer
         
        • Ans :

          In general, under NY’s Equitable Distribution Law, a spouse is entitled to approximately
          50% of all marital property regardless of in whose name the property is held. That portion of your 401K that was earned during the course of the marriage is marital property.

      • Question #212:I’m writing to inquire about 2 things. First- my husband (of 20+ yrs) and i want to get an amicable and uncontesable divorce- and we are both residents of NY. My husband said that he will agree to any ” reasonable” request i ask… plus i want to leave the state of NY permanently. Hubbie is an officer in the FDNY and i have been unemployed for many years -being a homemaker and raising our daughter who is now a legal adult. However -I did work for 2 years (2001-2003) but had 3 heart attacks – now living with Congestive Heart Failure, ACS and COPD after stent implants and a triple bypass. We own our co-op outright. In addition to a fair financial amount i have discussed with him -plus a monthly allowance(which i am sure he will agree with)… what else should i consider … ie: his FDNY pension , any other pension plans he may have, medical & prescription plan (although i plan on moving immediately to another state after divorce),and will i still be eligible to collect on his social security when he and i are of age – even though he is 54 and i am almost 50(if i live long enough I am unable to collect SS disability as i did not pay into social security since 1992.)? This is not something that just came over us overnite- it has been in the making for the past 2 years-and although we live under the same roof- we sleep in separate rooms. *****Also- what would the legal fees for a situation such as this amount to in total for both parties- and do we each need a lawyer or can we just have one? Thank you for your time. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Since you are in a marriage of long duration and have not worked much, you should receive
          spousal support from your husband. You must have an experienced, matrimonial attorney prepare the documentation and help you work out the details, especially the division of the social security benefits.
          If you are located in the NYC metro area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter at greater length.

          Leonard Weinmer, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #195:I am 59 years old and my husband and I have been unofficially separated for 20 years. We both retain ownership in our home on Long Island although I live there and pay all mortgage payments, bills etc. He was having an affair which broke up our marrage and he is still with that woman. I am also residing with someone. We have three grown children.I am earning approximately 55,000 a year and he is earning about 80,000. We file our taxes together. My 401 is vested at about 40,000 and his over 100,000. I have no other asset and he does have to help me financially as my mortgage payments are very high. I do not want to sell my home and he has said he would never ask for that. I am the recipient of his insurance policy and 401 upon his death. He is also mine. Right now he has met another woman of 42 years of age who is insisting he divorce. If we decide to do this, what are the repurcussions to me? Would I be entitled to any alimony, share in 401 etc. We are currently married for 40 years and if I have to I will contest this divorce. Please answer ASAP. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Until you actually enter into a legal separation and/or divorce, you are still considered legally married , and any money earned by either of you , including your retirement accounts, are considered marital property and generally will be divided equally. Therefore, in the event that you decide to divorce now, any additional monies which he or you will earn after the summons and complaint are filed , and/or the separation agreement is executed, or a judgment of divorce is filed in the county clerk’s office, will be considered separate property , and you will have no claim to those monies earned by him after such date.
          In the event that you agree to enter into an uncontested divorce, you must provide for some spousal support for yourself , including the continued mortgage subsidy that you are presently receiving and some additional spousal support. There are a number of other issues that you must be concerned with which should be incorporated in the separation agreement prior to agreeing to the divorce.

          Please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for an appointment with you and your husband to discuss mediating your divorce. It will be less expensive, less emotionally draining, and much faster than litigating it in court.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solution

      • Question #193:My husband and I have been married for 10 years, he has been in the FDNY for 15 and worked for Buffalo State for 10 years with a break in service between the two. A few years ago a bill was pasted that he could by back the 10 years he worked for in Buffalo. So, he paid for those 10 years which was over 13,000 which was paid for out of his pension. Which mean at 20 years when he is able to retire from the FDNY he is really retiring at 30 years. So my question is how many years of his pension should I get? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          In the event of a divorce, you would be entitled to approximately one half of your spouse’s pension which was earned during the course of the marriage. If the $13,000 used to buy back the 10 years at Buffalo State was earned during the course of your marriage, it is marital property and the additional 10 years of retirement credit would also be considered a product of the marital property and as such marital property as well . So you should be entitled to 1/2 of the entire 30-year retirement pension.

          If you living in the New York City metropolitan area , please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the issue in more detail and to arrange for a meeting to discuss any plans for separation or divorce.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #164:My husband was married for 13 years in California and divorced for 5 years before we met. We have been married 6 years in New York. I would like a divorce now. His ex has not remarried. If I divorce him, which ex-wife has the right to his retirement funds, pension, etc. Also, would it make a difference if I stayed in the marriage longer? He is 59 years old, I am 42 his ex is 56. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You would have a claim to approximately half of the retirement funds, pension, etc which were contributed during the 6 years of your marriage, while the former spouse would have a claim to approximately half of the retirement funds, pension, etc that were earned during the time she was married to him. The comparative ages of the parties is not relevant.
          If you are living in the NYC metro area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss mediating your divorce. I can help!

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./ Divorce Solutions

      • Question #138:I’ll attempt to make a long story short. My father recently passed away and had worked for one company for many years. I was contacted by a representative from this company asking for his ex-wife’s address. During their divorce, she received a sizeable lump sum, and signed away any financial benefit after his death. 13 years later is she eligible to receive money from his pension? I’m the executor of the estate, and I would like to know the correct process for keeping this money away from her. I don’t even know what the total sum of the benefit comes to…they wouldn’t release the information. I don’t know her current address, no one from our family kept in touch with her after the divorce. This was his second wife, whom he didn’t want to notified he was ill or notified of the funeral. She was written out of all other life insurance and veteran’s benefits. I would rather the money go to charity if there is no option to place that money into the estate. Am I legally responsible to find her? Does she really receive a benefit even if she signed off in the divorce? The divorce occurred 1 year after he retired from the company. She took over 70,000 from a retired man in his 60’s. If she is eligible for money, I hope she spends it on a one way ticket to hell. Thanks in advance for your time and reply. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          The answer to your question should be found in the Separation Agreement which your father and his ex-wife executed prior to their divorce. I would have to examine the Separation Agreement to tell you with any type of certainty that she no longer has any benefit in the proceeds of his retirement account. You, as the Executor of the estate, should not do anything with the funds until you have a determination regarding this potential claim.

          Please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter at greater length. This seems to be a relatively simple matter which can be resolved quickly and with minimum legal cost.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #135:I was married for almost 20 years and my ex-husband and I had two children. Our marriage deteriorated because our ideals, interests, goal and dreams changed dramatically in the last 3 years of our marriage. I left and we agreed to share custody of the children. After a year of separation, we divorced. 6 months before our divorce paperwork was even commenced, I lost my job due to downsizing. Now divorced for almost 6 months, I am still unemployed but continue to share custody and 1/2 of all expenses for the children, as agreed. My ex-husband has a 401K through his employer now for more than 9 years in the approxamt of %$50,000. By law, am I entitled to any portion of these monies even after divorce? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Under the law you would have an interest in your husband’s 401(k) for that portion of his retirement account that was earned during the course of your marriage. Once you entered into a separation agreement, however, you may have waived your right to any interest in that retirement account. Furthermore, once the summons and complaint was filed with the county clerk, your rights to claim any income earned or assets acquired after that time by the other party terminates.
          In order to properly answer your question, therefore, is important to review your separation agreement and your judgment of divorce to see if you have some claim to that portion of your husband’s retirement account which he earned during the course of your marriage. You do not have any claim ,however, to any portion of that retirement account that was earned after the termination of your marriage.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #125:Hi, My mother is has been married for over 46 years but has been separated for over 22 years. My question is would she be entitled to his pensions; he worked two jobs for over 35 years. If yes, at what percent. She is thinking of getting legally separated. Thank you. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Until she enters into a legal Separation Agreement, although she has been separated for 22 years,
          she is still considered married and has an interest in her spouses pensions. Certainly for the period during which they were living together, approximately 24 years, she should be entitled to 50 percent of the pension earned during that period.
          If she is in the New York City metropolitan area, I strongly suggest that she call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating the separation and getting a divorce and legalizing her informal separation.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #123: I have been married for 11 years and have been contributing to a 401K at my place of employment. My husband has always refused to invest in a 401K through his workplace or any other. – stating that he “could not afford to invest the money”. I have ALWAYS paid AT LEAST 50%, sometimes more to the monthly household bills. Now since the divorce has been mentioned – he claims that he will sue me for my 401K (along with take my daughter, have me committed and burn the house down). Can he just take 1/2 after he refused to invest in one?. Should I quit investing, or put the money in something else? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Marital property is defined as all property acquired during the course of the marriage
          by either party, no matter in whose name the property is held, other than property
          acquired by gift, inheritance or bequest.
          Your 401K is such property regardless whether your husband refused to have one of his own;
          it appears to be marital property in which your husband will have a claim. Shifting the money to another account or contributing future income or assets to a different account will not help. He will have an interest in any such account. The only resolution is to enter into a post nuptial agreement or perhaps separation agreement, depending on your relationship, in which you spell out exactly what is marital and what is to be separate property. This must be done by a competent, experienced attorney in order to be sure that it will have legal authority.

          If you’re living in the New York City metropolitan area, I suggest you call me at 212-370-1660
          to discuss the matter at greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #109:I have been married almost 3 years and am now getting a divorce. In terms of Roth IRA contributions and marital vs. separate property: Are all IRA contributions considered marital property regardless of who put the money in the account as long as it is in one of the spouse’s names? My wife’s parents have contributed regularly to her account and I want to see if this money is considered a marital asset. Thank you. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          The nature of the account is not controlling. It is the source of the funds in the account that is important. If the funds were earned by either party during the course of the marriage, the funds would be considered marital property, and generally divided 50-50. In the case that you presented, the funds were not earned by either party, but were a gift from your spouse’s parents, and a gift such as that, if held in an individual’s account, is not considered marital property; therefore, you have no interest in the amount which her parents have contributed.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      WEDDING GIFTS
      • Question #136: My husband and i have been married for 7 months and are already discussing divorce. Clearly we should not be married to each other. My question is His parents offered to help us by paying for the wedding or by getting us into a house. We opted for the house, and it was purchased . The mortgage is in his parents name as well as his. I was led to believe that once we were married that my name would be added to the deed, it in the has not been added. I changed my mind about having children(dont want to)and that is why we are discussing the idea. I have contributed to half of the financial responsibility, but am not on the deed. Should i stop contributing? The insurance policy however lists me as primary insured. I have been contributing half of the payments to the mortgage even though my name is not on the deed. I am wondering if i have any entitlement to the property. We have made improvements to the house during our engagement and were led to believe that the house downpayment was a “wedding gift”. Who gives a gift to just the groom? Anyway the house has increased in value, if we sell am i entitled to the money at all, only the increased value, or to all of it or none of it? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          The fact that you were not listed on the deed indicates that the property was a gift to your husband and not to you despite what you may have been told or promised. As such, you do not have an equity interest in the property. However, if you have been contributing to its upkeep and to the capital improvements made to the house ,you have may have a claim to be reimbursed for such money invested. For this reason, it is so important to have an experienced attorney in matrimonial matters prepare all documents both prior to and after marriage or divorce ;such matters should not be left to self help.
          The increase in value of the home belongs to the owner, and the deed expressly states that the owner is your husband and not you. Since it was acquired by gift, as opposed to monies earned by your husband during the course of the marriage, it is his separate property and not marital property, and thus not subject to equitable distribution.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      LEAVING MARITAL RESIDENCE BEFORE SIGNING AN AGREEMENT
      • Question #297: I have been married for 19 yrs and my spouse and I have grown apart. We have a 21yr old son in college out of state. My wife is on social security disability and does not work, but I think she could if she wanted to. Before I leave our house I wanted to know if there were any legal ramifications of me doing this, such as, abandonment? We are trying to work out the separation but I wanted to make sure I’m not giving up any rights once I leave the house? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You should not leave the house until you have resolved the financial division of assets and spousal support. If the house is owned by you , leaving it before there is a written agreement regarding the finances may jeopardize your ability to force a sale of the house or to have her move out in order to sell it.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #261:Hello! My husband and i have been married for 4 1/2 years. For the most part, things were good with a flare up every 6 months. My husbands flare ups have been occurring regularly now and he rips me apart verbally. He will then ignore me for days until he is ready to speak again. I love him but cannot continue to feel uncomfortable in our home. The home we share was left to him when his father passed. He claims he added me to the deed but i have never seen it. If I move out because of his verbal assaults would this be considered abandonment? After moving can i then contact a lawyer to start divorce proceedings? Also, if I leave first, would i lose any entitlement to money? thank you! Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Check with your local land recording office to see exactly how the property is held.
          You can check by your name and your husband’s name or by lot and block number.
          If you move out w/o an agreement in writing , you would be abandoning the marital home.
          Do not leave the house until you have settled the ownership issue and have an agreement in place regarding the division of your marital property
          And the divorce.

          Of course, if there is physical abuse involved, you should leave and deal with the problems of ownership later.
          If you are living in the NYC metro area, p lease contact me to discuss mediating your divorce.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq/Divorce Solutions

      • Question #203: I have been a stay at home dad for 4 and a half years. My wife and I just bought a house . My son has a medical condition that I had been taking care of for the past 3 years. He has improved and the doctors have said that if all goes well his respirtory problem will be gone or under control by the time he reaches kindergarten. I also have a 4 year old girl who will be starting kindergarten this September. We are still trying it sell our old home and as of right now we are around $600,000 in debt . We agreed since Robert’s illness that I would stay home until he reaches kindergarten, and then I would go back to work. She has now asked for a legal separation. She wishes to hire a nanny to live here and take care of Robert and that I leave the house and see the kids on the weekend. I have raised my kids since the day they were born. She has a member of her family who is a lawyer and therefore will not have to pay any legal fee. Is it legal for her to use her family member as her lawyer and can I refuse to leave? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Generally, she can use anyone she wishes to represent her, even a family member. You must find legal counsel in your area, experienced in matrimonial matters, to represent you. Do not leave the house until all matters are resolved and do not go it alone!

          I strongly suggest you try to mediate your separation with an experienced, matrimonial, attorney -mediator.

          If you are living in the NYC metro area, give me a call at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss the matter at greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #152: My husband and I have been separated for two years now, married for 7 years. I finally left after several attempts and have not gone back since. He carries the insurance on me an my child. He is not the biological father, nor was she ever adopted by him. I let her see him when he asks or when she ask. I’ve been scared to file for divorce because, I only make $10 hr. I will not be able to afford health insurance. He makes like $45,000 yr including bonus money every quarter. We had land on contract for deed, which I signed over to him after I left. We lived in a mobile home on the land which was his prior to the marriage. We purchased a 4-wheeler together which I signed for because his credit was bad. He promised to pay for the 4 wheeler if I would put it in my name. Needless to say it wasn’t long and he stopped paying the $150 month bill. It’s been in collections every since, like 6 years I suppose. When I left I had no way to take the 4-wheeler with me, I asked him to bring it to my parents’ house. He never has and continues to use it everyday. Is waiting to get a divorce hurting my chances at receiving maintenance? Can I receive it at all? I have a boyfriend now. He is convinced this is why I left him. I left because he is an alcoholic, and I didn’t want to deal with the mental, sometimes physical abuse any longer. I did not want to raise my child in that environment either, only to have her grow up thinking it was normal relationship and end up in the same predicament. What advice can you give me? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You should not have been so eager to sign over the property. You could have used that as leverage in order to have your husband assume the debt on the four wheeler and provide you with spousal maintenance.

          I do not see any benefit in procrastinating the filing for divorce. If you are unable to pay for the divorce process,
          the court will require your husband to pay for your attorney’s fees. If you are unable to pay for
          health insurance, the court will require your husband to pay the health insurance costs
          and provide you with some spousal maintenance.

          Please beware however , that if you are living with another man, your husband may not be required to provide spousal maintenance to you.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./ Divorce Solutions

      • Question #151:I am in New York City and considering a separation from my husband. If I move out without being legally separated, am I in anyway forfeiting my right to the homes/assests we own together? Can mediation be used to draw up separation papers? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Unless there is a problem with physical abuse, in which case I would suggest you move out immediately, it is best that you remain in the home until you have some written agreement regarding how the home/assets will be divided. This should be incorporated in the Separation Agreement which will deal with all of the issues necessary in the separation process and will be eventually incorporated in the divorce papers.

          As an attorney-mediator, I will draft the Separation Agreement and the Divorce Papers after we have discussed all of the issues and matters pertaining to the separation and divorce and incorporate those understandings in the agreement and papers.

          Please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter at greater length and to arrange for an appointment.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #147:Hello. This is the first time I am contacting a mediator after years of thinking about legal separation/divorce. The first question I have is…Is it ok for me to leave my apt that I share with my husband before we sign a legal separation agreement? I have not told my husband that I am seriously considering separating although we talk about it frequently. He is opposed, but would not hold me back. I would like to move out of the house first so I do not have to face uncomfortable feelings…but dont want to do anything that will hinder this process. Do I need a consultation? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Unless this is a case involving physical abuse, in which case I strongly recommend that move out of immediately, it would be most prudent that you remain in the house, especially if you intend to claim an interest in the house either by personal contribution or as a result of it being marital property. Before you make any decisions you should consult with an experienced matrimony attorney.
          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, I strongly suggest you call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for an appointment to discuss the matter at greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      HIDDEN ASSETS
      • Question #52: I do not have the financial resources to conduct discovery to find my husband’s hidden assets; how do I discover these hidden assets without extensive financial expenses? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Under the laws of the State of New York and many other jurisdictions a party to a divorce may require the other party to execute a sworn net-worst statement in which the executing party swears under oath that he has declared all of his assets. The terms of any settlement shall be conditioned upon the truthfulness of all sworn documents and if at a later time you discover that he had hidden assets you may come back to the court to amend the settlement agreement.
          In addition, you may request that the other party answer interrogatories in which you may ask specific questions about hidden bank accounts and other assets you believe he is refusing to acknowledge. You may also request all bank statements and other financial records which you are aware of or believe exist.

      EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION
      • Question #316: In May of 2009 I moved to NY from Kansas. In August of 2009 I married a NY resident. In August of 2010 I moved back to Kansas and we are still married. My name is not on the home deed or mortgage but after almost 6 years do I have any claim to the property or his 401K in the event of a divorce? Thank you. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Because you are living in Kansas since 2010, you would have to file in Kansas, not NY.
          Kansas is an Equitable Distribution state meaning that generally any property ( including the house and 401K) acquired during the marriage with funds earned during the marriage (excludes funds received as an inheritance or gift from a parent) are considered Marital Property, regardless of in whose name the property is held and will be divided approximately 50 -50, with the court retaining discretion to make a different division based on extenuating circumstances.

          Good Luck,

          Leonard Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions
          212-370-1660

      • Question #236:Generally speaking, if a couple who reside in New York state decide to divorce and jointly own property in California, does the California property fall under community property rules of California? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          First, let me point out that the division of marital property under the Community Property rules of Californiaand the division of marital property under the Equitable Distribution rules of New York, although not identical, are very similar,with New York giving the judge somewhat more leeway in determining if one party should get more than another.
          With regard to a direct answer your question, if the couple is residing in New York State, the court in the county in which the couple resides in New York Statewill have jurisdiction, and the matrimonial laws of the State of New York should govern.

          If the couple is living in a New York City metropolitan area, I strongly suggest that they contact me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating their divorce.
          By mediating, the parties themselves can determine how to divide their property. It will be quicker, less expensive and less traumatic for the entire family. I can help. Have them call me.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq. /Divorce Solutions

      • Question #220:My wife and I are thinking of a mutual divorce after having lived separately for 2 years in NYC. We are both Asian Indians by origin and we were married in India in 1998. We own an apartment and we are both title holders. What’s the divorce process in NYC , how long would this roughly take if it is mutual consent, and how much would it roughly cost? Also, what exactly does equitable distribution mean ? If I sell the apt. before the divorce process starts, would the proceeds count in the equitable distribution? Can we mutually decide the distribution of assets without involving the law? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If you are both living in New York for 1 year, NYwill have jurisdiction over your divorce, regardless of where you were married.
          Equitable distribution means that generally, all property earned or acquired during the marriage other than by gift or inheritance, is considered marital property and will be generally divided in half , regardless of in whose name the property is held.
          You cannot, in anticipation of filing for divorce, just sell off the property first and take the money without dividing the proceeds equally.

          One of the many benefits of using our mediation services is that you will not have to make court appearances or spend countless hours, time and money on attorneys waiting for your ten minutes before the judge. All of the decisions on how to divide your assets and what support and other provisions will be made in the quiet of my office and will be up to you and your wife instead of the judge.

          The cost will depend on how long it takes us to go through all of the issues (e.g. spousal supprt, divvision of marital assets,payment of outstanding debts, etc.), draft a Separation Agreeement, and prepare and file the Divorce papers.

          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

      • Question #143:Is New York State a community-property state? Thank you. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          No, New York is not a “community property” state. However, New York has what is called “Equitable Distribution” which is similar to community property but provides the judge hearing the case with somewhat more discretion to allow one party to receive more or less than the other party , depending on the circumstances.

      • Question #92: My wife and I have been married for over 40 years. Last year, out of the blue, she first asked for a legal separation and soon after mentioned a divorce. I have no idea what may have precipitated this; I am guessing that an affair may have been involved based on her and the suspected party’s actions and comments. A comment like ” I didn’t think you would care” almost sounds like an admission, but she has steadfastly denied this. She has been reading Stephanie Marston’s book, “If Not Now, When?” which never leaves her side. (I question some of the advice given in this book.) She wants to sell our home and property and split all our retirement savings. My question is can she legally get a divorce and walk away with half of our retirement funds that we worked so hard to get? My wife never had an income producing job. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You did not indicate what state you live in so it is difficult for me to give you a definitive answer. In New York, for instance, which is an “equitable distribution” state, each spouse is entitled to approximately one half of all marital property which is defined as property of any kind acquired during the course of the marriage by either spouse other than property acquired by gift or inheritance.
          If the house and retirement funds meet the definition of marital property,
          she would be entitled to half, despite the fact that she never worked.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq.Divorce Solutions

      POST-NUPTIAL AGREEMENT
      • Question #258:My partner and I in the process of purchasing a condo and I want us to sign a legal document saying we split everything 50/50with no issues if we were to ever break up. What document could I use? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You need a Post Nuptial Agreement . It should be drafted by an experienced attorney
          Practicing in the matrimonial area .
          If you are living in the NYC metro area , please give me a call to arrange for a meeting to discuss the details.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #180:My husband and I have been married for 9 years. We live on Long Island, NY. Four years ago, my parents gifted (in my name only) $150,000.00 in equity in their home. We put 27,000.00 down (20,000 down payment, 7000 closing costs). We mortgaged the house for $130,000.00. On the side, we agreed to pay my parents $50,000.00 additional, but this was not drawn up in the paperwork. My parents sold the house for about half the market value so that I would have this house to raise my children. We now have three children. When we purchased the house, my husband verbally agreed that in the event of a divorce, he would walk away from the house since all of the equity in the house was really earned by my father. Now, I find out my husband is cheating. He says that he wants to make the marriage work and is willing to sign a post-nup waiving all rights to the house in the event of a divorce. Can a post-nup waiving all rights to the house stand up in court? Will I need to provide “consideration” and if so, will $5,000.00 cut it? One last question, he earns about $67,000.00 and I only earn $26,000.00 because I work part-time because my kids need me. Can you give me an idea of what I can expect for child support and alimony? Help!!! Answer
         
        • Ans :

          A postnuptial Agreement will certainly help resolve this issue regarding ownership of the house and can also address any other issues you are concerned about in the event of divorce.
          Child support is statutory and depends on the number of children, the incomes of each spouse and any unusual circumstances such as illness of infirmity of children or parents.

          Spousal support will depend on your ability to find gainful employment and your level of professional skills and experience working.

          If you are living in the NYC metro area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for an appointment to discuss the matter in greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      DIVORCE COUNSELLING
      • Question #126:I have been married to this man for 8 years …he has spinal injury and is confined to a wheelchair…When we first got married he was walking with canes and he told me that it was temporary that he would walk again. However shortly after we got married he sustained a fracture and refused to continue therapy so he could walk with canes again but instead requested a wheelchair. Our relationship has deteriorated sexually and otherwise. He is now impotent…we haven’t had sex in over 5 years and I have never cheated on him…He does not want me to work..so I can serve him hand and feet…He refuses to go on disability because this is his way of controlling me…he brings in the money and I serve him hand and feet and remain his prisoner…I am now 51 years old and I just can’t take this anymore..It is driving me crazy…I want a divorce but the house is on his name and I have nothing….no job no money…every time I get a job he manipulates me into quitting….please help me….I am not a greedy person I just want to be compensated for all the time I gave to him…I have had no life since the day I married him…he managed to alienate me from all my friends and family…I would really appreciate your advice on how I can go about getting a divorce from this man and be able to get something to start a new life with….I am a medical transcriptionist by trade so I can still get back in the job market and be able to take care of myself but right now I have no money of my own…my mother left me $13,000.00 when she died but he put it on both our names and we don’t have even that much in the bank anymore….thanks again . Answer
         
        • Ans :

          From the facts which you present, it sounds like family counseling should be your first choice and not divorce mediation. Severe sickness or disability of one spouse places a tremendous emotional and physical burden on the healthy spouse and it is not unusual for you to react in the way you are. I strongly suggest you seek out and experienced, family counselor to help both of you. Get home care assistance to take part of the burden off of you and to provide you with some free time to go out and to enjoy yourself with your friends and family.
          If, after family counseling, you still believe that divorce is the only solution, I would be happy to discuss the matter with you at greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      INSURANCE PROCEEDS
      • Question #277:Hello, I received monies from my mother’s life insurance policy a couple of months ago. The money has been sitting in a total control account solely in my name. Me and my husband are about to file for divorce. I have read that he is not entitled to any of my inheritance as long as the account is separate, but is money received from a life insurance policy considered inheritance? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          In New York, The proceeds of a life insurance policy as well as money received as a gift, bequeath, or inheritance, should be considered separate property if they are kept in a separate account and not commingled with marital assets. I imagine the law in Texas is the same, but check the law in Texas with an attorney to be sure.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #187:My father passed away Oct 28 2005, he had not lived with his second wife for almost 12 years, before he passed he was sick and gave me power of attorney and told me what he wanted done with the money from his life insurance policy (which was to evenly distribute it amongst myself and my 3 other siblings.) After his death I found out that I was not on the life insurance policy as a beneficiary, but he never removed his second wife from the policy. After that much time apart are they considered divorced due to abandonment? If they are divorced what do I have to do to stop her from getting the money? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Unfortunately for you, if your father never legally divorced his 2nd wife
          she is still considered his wife .Secondly, if he told you that he wanted you and your siblings to be
          the beneficiaries of his estate, you should have asked for a copy of the insurance policy and
          made sure that it reflected his wishes.

          This is why it is so important to review and update all documents with a qualified attorney to make sure the legal papers reflect the wishes of the testator.

          Check with the insurance company to see if your father amended his beneficiaries at a later date or if a Separation Agreement was executed between them in which she agreed not to claim any interest in his estate or insurance policy.

          Good luck!

          Leonard Weiner, Esq. Divorce Solutions

      DISSIPATION OF MARITAL ASSETS
      • Question #318: I have a question in regards to back taxes owed by my ex- spouse. At the time we were married he owned a small business in which he was the sole owner. We officially separated in 2011. Our divorce was final October 2013 but the final decree was signed by the judge July 2014. During the time he had this business and through our marriage, my role in the business was just to keep track of the projects he was working on (mainly construction on hotels). After 2011 he made it difficult for me to gain access to file any tax returns and even took me off our joint bank account. After pleading with him for years for the information to file taxes he till this day is unwilling to cooperate. I don’t want to run into any problems with IRS and our final divorce decree does state he is responsible for any back taxes owed. I’m aware IRS doesn’t always accept this though. Since May 2014 he changed the company name and we are no longer In contact. I was also awarded 51% of his business, when it had the original name and not the new one he recently formed. Can I file for bankruptcy on that business since it was awarded to me 51% and there is no way of getting that information from him. Or can I file for injured spouse relief? I have not taken any action into actually putting the original business in my name and still stands in his name only. Thank you for taking the time to read and in advance for responding. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          The real question is what happened to the original business, its accounts and assets? Were the assets of the original business taken over by the new entity? You as a majority shareholder have a right to demand to see the books and records of the original company and the tax returns filed on its behalf.
          Obviously, there is much to be determined before a legal plan of action can be suggested .
          If you are living in the NYC metro area, call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss the matter in greater detail.

      • Question #314:I have an urgent question and would appreciate a prompt response please. I met my husband 16 years ago overseas, we have been married since 14 years ago, we have one child, a 7 year old boy, we live in NYS. I brought my husband here through marriage visa, i taught him English, driving, I left my Pharm D program to support him typing applications for months while we moved in with my parents who supported us. My father took out loans (as my husband did not have any money) to support his 33 residency interviews. During residency I typed all his medical notes and worked 30 hrs a week, as his English wasn’t that good. I continuously gave up great job opportunities in my field to support him and help him. Once he was finished with residency, he decided to apply for fellowship, I typed his applications every single day, I did Everything for him, many times while he slept. During the marriage when he was angry, he was abusive, verbally and sometime physically. However, there were good times, and he was kind at times. 2 years ago, his mother became ill with terminal cancer and moved in to our home, while I was finally concentrating on my studies (boards). I took care of her with him for 6 months, she than passed away. However, when she was here, she was at times rude to me and she did cause a huge strain in the marriage, making the problems worse. As soon as she passed, when we thought we could find some normalcy. My father became ill and was in the hospital for 6 months, we found out he has pancreatic cancer with poor prognosis. Thus the past two years have been extreme stress. Since about 6 months ago, my husband started to pick fights with me for no reason, which made me so angry, because he wasn’t there for me with hardships I’m facing about my dad, like My entire family was for him. I thought he was just being crazy. However, since a few weeks ago, he has been so adamant about an urgent divorce. I had asked him to move out last year and he didn’t ..long story short, i thought it was so heartless that he is asking me to sign with a mediator RIGHT NOW that my father has such limited time left. However, I found out he is cheating on me with a nurse at his job. He doesn’t know that I know. I tried to talk to him, and he was going to change his mind, but she texted him all night and changed his mind back. I explained that I cannot go through two major crises at once, and he seems to be in such a rush. I think this may have something to do with her or finances . I also just found out that he opened a Money market for a lot of money, and possibly wiring money elsewhere. I feel like I don’t know him anymore. Not only am i going through my father’s crisis, I’m also ill right now, this is the worst possible timing of him to do this to me. I just don’t understand it. I have injuries from an accident, i have untreated sleep apnea and a boat load of other stuff going on. I am not even sure if I can handle what I’m going through with my dad and functionally taking care of my dad with my illnesses, and the additional emotional devastation I will incur from his leaving us high and dry, after everything I sacrificed for him. If he is emptying accounts and putting things in his name, does that not get divided? can you think of a financial reason he is rushing me so much? What can I do to protect myself and my little boy? is there any way to delay this process so i can deal with my father first? I got our joint checking account statements and I do not see any withdrawals for the amount he deposited into the money market… is there any other way he is getting money from? Please advise on these q’s asap, I’m so sorry for the long post. If he is emptying accounts and putting things in his name, does that not get divided? can you think of a financial reason he is rushing me so much? What can I do to protect myself and my little boy? is there any way to delay this process so i can deal with my father first? I got our joint checking account statements and I do not see any withdrawals for the amount he deposited into the money market… is there any other way he is getting money from? Please advise on these q’s asap, I’m so sorry for the long post. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          There is much going on in your life that needs to be dealt with and cannot wait, but you must get help from an experienced professional.
          To properly advise you I would need to discuss your situation in more detail and help you work out a plan to intelligently address each of the issues in a timely fashion.
          If you are living in the NYC metro area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for an appointment.

          Leonard Weiner, ESQ
          Divorce Solutions

      • Question #299:I live in NY. I have been married for 38 years. My husband left the marital home claiming that it would be for a period of time to get a business out of state up and running. He advised me that the business purchased a house in Maryland for him to live and for the workers for construction of business, etc. It was also to our advantage for him to become a resident of Maryland as my son was in college and it provided in state tuition status. Always being told the business was having difficultly with start-up and it did not appear that the move back was in the near future. He then sold the house, which later I discovered was just owned by him, and relocated to Virginia as it was too much for him to commute to Washington, DC. During this time he would come back to NY for all holidays, some weekends, etc. He then sold the one place in VA and move to another. Then he claimed again too much to carry and was going to share with a male friend an apartment in DC. He had the accountant who took care of our taxes, who also is accountant for business had us file separately. I was on the payroll at that time at the DC store. He said the reasoning was to build my social security. I trusted and brought into the whole story line as my life was complicated by having fragile health issues, a dying parent, house fire and then being in charge of my mom’s estate took three years out of my life. He had always provided me with the profits out of one of the stores Upon receiving a check I found an addressed embedded into the check of an address I had no knowledge. After researching I found it was listed in his name and another woman. More searching found he owned two other homes and one attached to her name as well and a child that he fathered. He removed me from the payrolls and started providing directly for my support. It has been four years since all of this came to light. Our marital home he has promised that he would turn over to me…and of course I am always put at bay. He is a principal in a business with others. I have no clue where I stand to pursue a divorce. There is no legal separation agreement. Only an oral agreement of what he will provide financially. As now both of our health is not the best and he claims he has nothing anymore…I am becoming very concerned that he has transferred much funds to property, etc. in her name or the child’s name. She has relocated from the VA to FL within the last year. He claims he lives with a friend in DC, is in the process of selling a home in VA, he claims status of living in FL for tax purposes and present deed is showing his mailing address for FL. Where do I stand legally? My son recently has offered for me to come stay in an apt. he owns in NYC. I think it would be advantageous for me to make this move for health reasons, as well as the courts are more liberal than where I live if filing for divorce is the solution. I worry about my health insurance, as well as maintaining the house. It was always our wishes that the home went to the boys upon our demise and they spend much time with me there on weekends and it has always been there home. Your thoughts of what would be in my best interests? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You should contact him and tell him you want a formal divorce and a full accounting of all of his finances, including income ,expenses and assets and a formal Separation Agreement spelling out exactly his legal support obligations. If he refuses, tell him you intend to file for divorce in NY and that he will be forced to provide that info to the Court.
          I strongly suggest you consider mediating your divorce and if you live in the NYC metro area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for an appointment to discuss the matter in greater length.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq.
          Divorce Solutions
          212-370-1660

      • Question #267:after 32 years husband moved out this past week end. he is a VERY successful business owner since 2003 -refinanced the house to start business in 04- now has removed a safe with large amounts of cash & important documents what can I do?? has purchased new vehicles & computer what are my rights there ? they were for the business so he says he has NO grounds for divorce christ I was the perfect wife though I did lose my job after 14years from a school district due to budget cuts I am 55 years old he is 52 I cannot find a job what would pay me enough to support the house which by the way was “sold” to us by my mother for $10 and she was granted life residency There was in the past physical abuse and there is a lot of mental abuse – I am not allowed to speak for fear of being told I complain all the time I have NO money for a retainer hate the idea of using credit cards to do this he will NOT go to counseling says they always blame him …. HELP please !!! Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If you are living in the NYC metro area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss mediating your divorce.
          If you cannot afford a lawyer, the Court will make your husband pay. You should also be entitled to spousal support for a period of time.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #256:I live in NY and have been married for 23 years. We have just starting proceedings for a divorce and I found out that my soon ex to be took out a second mortgage on the equity of our house (yes I signed because he told me he was re-financing). Am I entitled to 1/2 and should that be put into the divorce agreement? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If the money is still liquid ( sitting in a joint account ) you should make sure your spouse cannot withdraw it without your consent. The best thing would be to divide it now before it “disappears”.
          If it has been spent on marital matters, such as home renovations, college tuition for child, a family car, etc., you have no claim to it . If it was spent on his personal vacation trip to Hawaii with his “buddies”, you may have a legitimate claim for half the proceeds.

          Good luck!

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #156:I have a friend facing a divorce he is quite wealthy and faces loosing well over 50% of all he had prior to his marriage. I am retired with very little cash and I live in Thailand in a small one-bedroom condo. I have often borrowed money from my friend and currently owe him US$20,000. I am selling my Condo that will allow me to pay him back. He has made me this offer but I am worried if its legal. He said he will buy my Condo before his divorce, he wants to pay me US$500,000.00 for it !!Its worth maybe US$45,000.00. He will tell his wife I ripped him off and he lost the US$500,000 cause he bought my apartment for 10 times its value. He asked me to set up a off shore company and put the excess cash in a bank in the Caribbean until the divorce is over, this will wipe out my debit to him. It’s a real good deal for me. I questioned the legality he said hey if he makes a bad investment that’s his problem, if the wife wants the Condo she can have half of it. Are there any loopholes in his plan? Right now he has access to the money US$500,000 being maybe 1/4th of his wealth, she will be mad as hell but what can she do? It is his money. Can I get into trouble, can he? Any advice greatly appreciated. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If your friend intentionally dissipates marital assets in contemplation of a divorce proceeding, the judge will hold him responsible for that amount of money that has been dissipated. This is clearly an attempt to defraud the wife out of her share of the marital assets, and if you participate in it you will be an accessory to the fraud.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #127:My husband and I have been married for 20 years. We live in New York. He left the house. We have 2 children together. I make more money than him. Do I have to pay him alimony? Does he get half of my pension? Do I have to be legally separated for him to only get 1/2 pension for the time we were married? Thanks! Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You indicate that you have two children but do not mention their ages. If they are under 18 years of age, there is a question of custody and child support which must be determined in the course of the separation and divorce process. With regard to alimony,, which is now referred to as spousal maintenance or spousal support, and with regard to the pension questions, the answers depend on a number of particular factors in your case, such as who was the main provider for the family during the course of the 20 years of marriage, how much did each one contribute to the support of the family, whether the individual remaining spouse is capable of supporting himself/herself, etc.

          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area ,please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss these and other matters which must be resolved in order to proceed with the separation and divorce.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #126:I have been married to this man for 8 years …he has spinal injury and is confined to a wheelchair…When we first got married he was walking with canes and he told me that it was temporary that he would walk again. However shortly after we got married he sustained a fracture and refused to continue therapy so he could walk with canes again but instead requested a wheelchair. Our relationship has deteriorated sexually and otherwise. He is now impotent…we haven’t had sex in over 5 years and I have never cheated on him…He does not want me to work..so I can serve him hand and feet…He refuses to go on disability because this is his way of controlling me…he brings in the money and I serve him hand and feet and remain his prisoner…I am now 51 years old and I just can’t take this anymore..It is driving me crazy…I want a divorce but the house is on his name and I have nothing….no job no money…every time I get a job he manipulates me into quitting….please help me….I am not a greedy person I just want to be compensated for all the time I gave to him…I have had no life since the day I married him…he managed to alienate me from all my friends and family…I would really appreciate your advice on how I can go about getting a divorce from this man and be able to get something to start a new life with….I am a medical transcriptionist by trade so I can still get back in the job market and be able to take care of myself but right now I have no money of my own…my mother left me $13,000.00 when she died but he put it on both our names and we don’t have even that much in the bank anymore….thanks again . Answer
         
        • Ans :

          From the facts which you present, it sounds like family counseling should be your first choice and not divorce mediation. Severe sickness or disability of one spouse places a tremendous emotional and physical burden on the healthy spouse and it is not unusual for you to react in the way you are. I strongly suggest you seek out and experienced, family counselor to help both of you. Get home care assistance to take part of the burden off of you and to provide you with some free time to go out and to enjoy yourself with your friends and family.
          If, after family counseling, you still believe that divorce is the only solution, I would be happy to discuss the matter with you at greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      EVICTION OF SPOUSE
      • Question #176:Hello, My husband has been served the summons, the divorce has been filed. We were married in 1999. This house was given to me by my father in 1999 before he remarried. My husband refuses to leave. His name is not on the deed. What can I do? Can I call the sheriff or police? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          This matter should have been addressed in the Separation Agreement. If it is not, you should have your attorney get a court order instructing your spouse to vacate your home by a date certain.
          If there is a question of physical abuse or violence, you should immediately call the police
          and get an order of protection.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      SHORT TERM MARRIAGES
      • Question #183:MY HUSBAND AND I HAVE BEEN TOGETHER FOR SIX AND A HALF YEARS. WE HAVE A FOUR YEAR OLD CHILD. HE HAS A HOME THAT HE PURCHASED IN NY THAT WE USE TO RESIDE IN. WE NOW LIVE IN NJ IN A HOME THAT’S IN HIS NAME. WE GOT MARRIED IN JUNE OF THIS YEAR AND EVERYTHING SEEMS TO HAVE GONE DOWN HILL FROM THAT MOMENT. MY QUESTION TO YOU IS, AM I ENTITLED TO EITHER OF THE HOMES IF WE WERE TO DIVORCE NOW EVEN THOUGH WE’VE BEEN TOGETHER FOR YEARS BUT ONLY MARRIED FOR MONTHS? PLEASE ANSWER MY QUESTION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You do not have any claim to property owned by your spouse prior to the actual, legal marriage.Even if he acquired the property during the marriage, but used funds he had prior to the marriage and kept the property in his name, it is separate property and not marital property, and you would have no claim to any portion of it.

          You should be entitled to spousal support and should also get child support, however.
          If you are living in the NYC metro area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for an appointment to discuss the matter in greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #88:My wife and I were married about 4 months ago. Our relationship has deteriorated drastically. She has threatened my life and threatened to “destroy me”. I have no hard evidence of either of those. Though the police did arrive to help me leave the house once. I have made it clear that I want out of the relationship but she refuses to leave. Only my name is on the rental lease. Some of the bills are in her name. I cannot afford to continue paying my current lease and get another place for myself. what are my options? If I file for a divorce who has to move? I am in New York City. What support will I be liable for considering the short time we have been married? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          There are no hard and fast answers to your questions and all will depend on the judgment of the judge unless you both decide to mediate your divorce in which case you both can come to an agreement on how to divide what you have together and what would be an acceptable amount
          for support and rent until your spouse can get on her own feet and support herself.
          Because the marriage is of such a short term and there are no children (I assume), the amount of support and rent money will be relatively small and of short duration.

          If you are located in the NYC metro area, please call me at 212-370-1660

          to discuss mediating your divorce.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq.Divorce Solutions

      CHILD SUPPORT
      • Question #315:My ex-husband went to prison for medicare fraud and was released after 18 months. He stopped paying the distributive award (2000/month) and child support (2100/month). We are in New York. Does interest accrue on these missed payments while he was incarcerated? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Your husband is required to continue making the court ordered payments and should have to
          Pay interest on any missed payments.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq./ Divorce Solutions

      • Question #259:With agreement with my soon to be ex wife, I pay for our sons day care which is $811.00 per month which is far beyond my means but she cannot afford either. During this time I do not pay for child care however we agreed that when he is not in daycare and when he finishes daycare, I will give her the required 17% that New York says I have to give. My question is if she starts asking for child care, who is responsible to pay his day care? Please help me. Thank you. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Schooling , or daycare are generally NOT included in the 17% percent of child support payments
          But are in addition to such support. Who should pay, however, and how much, should be decided by the parties
          And if they cannot reach an agreement , the Court will decide.

          If you are living in the NYC metro area, I strongly suggest you call me at 212-370-1660
          To discuss mediating this matter rather than litigating it in Court.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #194:Hi…I think this is a fantastic site. Hopefully you can help me out with a question. I was seperated from my husband in early 2003. We went back and forth with the support and finally he gave in enough where I signed the papers. The divorce was finialized in Sept 2006. While we were going through the agreement (2003 – 2006), my ex-husband’s company downsized and subsequantly he found a new job with less money (went from 180K – 110K). The alimony, child support and misc money which we agreed upon was based on his old salary; however when the papers were signed and went before the job, he was at his new salary. I just got a job making $42K / year. This is my first job after 12 years of not working. My ex pays me $3000/month for alimony and $2500/month for child support. In addition he pays for my daughter’s dance (4K/year) and my two son’s baseball and basketball (500/year). My fear is that now that I have a new job, he will try to claim “poverty” and have my alimony reduced. Is this possible? Can I be taken back to court and how soon? Will I be given enough time in my current job (starts Feb 12th) to make sure I am comfortable and that I will stay in this field before he drags me back to court? When I told him I would need help with babysitting fees, he told me he already paid me enough and I am lucky he hasn’t taken me to court based on my ‘increased income”. Is this possible? Please help. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          In order to properly answer your question I would have to review your Separation Agreement and examine the spousal support and child support provisions. Generally , the court will not modify the child support and maintenance support provisions of a signed agreement unless there is a radical change in the incomes of one or both of the parties. Until there is a new court order, however, your husband must continue to pay you as agreed upon, regardless of the changed financial situation.

          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area I strongly suggest that you call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating this issue so that it does not get to the court which will require attorneys and additional legal expenses.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #163:Me& my husband have been married for 3 years in upstate New York. Last summer he convinced me to stay after i asked for a separation due to his failure to commit to starting a family, temper & unhappy living conditions among other things. I just felt we wanted different things out of life and we drifted and wanted out. We also were living with his mother who is mentally unstable and caused a lot of tension & problems in our marriage. I stayed to give it one more try. My husband knew it was his very last chance. A month later, I surprisingly got pregnant. Through my pregnancy my husband was distant and uncaring. He said he just had a lot on his mind with work and his mother being mentally ill and having to live under her roof. He showed no compassion or concern for me or the baby and made my pregnancy very lonely & stressful. i did my best to not let the stress effect me because of the baby and hoped we could make our family work. A few days after giving birth, my mother-in-law went ‘mental’ on me for no reason kicked me out of the house. I decided to respect her wishes because I don’t want my baby in this unstable environment and moved out. I moved into my parents’ home. (They are also the ones who now provide his day care while i work.) The “marital” home where we resided was owned by my husband & his mother which was left to them when his dad died. I refused to go back because of his mentally unstable mother and also the way i was treated throughout my pregnancy. I had enough. My husband loves the baby and stops by almost everyday to see the baby, but only usually stays 15min – 1 hour. I provide all the baby’s care; feeding, changing, bathing, healthcare, health insurance you name it. Here are my questions: (1) WHAT ARE MY CHANCES OF GETTING FULL & LEGAL CUSTODY? (2) CAN HE GET ME ON ABANDONMENT BECAUSE I LEFT OUR MARITAL HOME EVEN THOUGH I GOT KICKED OUT? (3) CAN I GET CHILD SUPPORT EVEN THOUGH WE MAKE ABOUT THE SAME AMOUNT? (4) AM I ENTITLED TO ANY OF HIS INHEIRATANCE THAT HE GOT WHILE MARRIED? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          1. From the information you provided, it seems that you have a good chance of getting legal custody of your child and serving as the resident parent.
          2. Assuming you can convince the judge of the fact that you are indeed thrown out of the house and that it was in the best interests of the child to live elsewhere, you should have no trouble with any claim of abandonment.
          3. If you are declared the resident parent of the child, you should receive child support from your husband for his share of the child support obligation, regardless of your income.
          4. Unless your husband co-mingled the inheritance funds or property by putting it in a joint name or account, an inheritance is not marital property.

          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, I strongly suggest that you call me at 212-370-1660 to mediate your separation and the Divorce. Until you have a legal separation or Divorce, you cannot remarry, and you are still considered husband-and-wife.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #94:My wife and I have been married for 4 years with a 3 year old daughter. We married right out of college with barely any assets. During our marriage she has always kept our money and credit separate. Now she is demanding a divorce with 17% of my salary as child support (We both make similar salaries). But she says I can not touch her assets. She has even threatened to send her money to her family in China. What can I do to find her assets, am I entitled to a portion of them, and is she liable for any of my debts that I incurred during our marriage (individual credit accounts)? We live in NYC. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Any money or other assets acquired during the marriage other than by gift or inheritance
          is generally marital property and will generally be divided 50-50, no matter in whose
          name the property or money is held. Child support is a different issue. There is a statutorial
          requirement to pay 17% for one child, but the parties can agree on a different (i.e. lesser) amount.
          The catch is that although both parents are suppose to each pay 17%, in effect ,
          the non-resident parent pays hisher share to the resident parent and the resident parent does not pay!
          Actually, there is really a complex formula to calculate the 17% and it is not simply 17% of your total salary. But let’s call it 17% for this discussion.
          If she hides her money or sends it to China as you indicate, the Court will credit you for the amount she hid or took.

          Once you file for divorce, you can demand a Net Worth Statement in which your spouse will have to swear as to all of her assets and liabilities.
          Please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss further.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq.Divorce Solutions

      • Question #93:Child support payments in NY State are17% of combined gross income, pro-rata, correct? My wife’s annual gross is about $4,000 more than mine. For my one son, this would amount to $625.00 per month! I know from detailed budgets I kept, that it never cost us even close to that. What is this money for? I’ve been told what it doesn’t include, please tell me what considerations are put into coming up with that number. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          The number is not based on a calculation of need per se, but is a statutory requirement under the NY Domestic Relations Law .
          The number 17% is for only one child and it is calculated on the combined gross incomes of
          both parents up to $80,000. After that, the Court has wider discretion to decide how much more
          it will require. What makes matters worse, however, is that the residential parent does not pay his\her share because it is the non-residential parent who has to pay his\her share to the residential parent, and that is grossly unfair!

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq.\Divorce Solutions.

      MARITAL PROPERTY
      • Question #334:Hello. Sadly I learned too late that I married a liar and manipulator who after the reveal this past August of egregious financial abuse, a three year affair in a five year marriage and a personal physical assault against me making it unsafe for me to remain in our home, is now using the Michigan family court system to continue his manipulations with repeated subpoenas and motions that my lawyer is calling harassment and the judge will hear in the settlement conference soon (failed mediation because my husband and his lawyer refused to negotiate). With no one to stop my husband who is using a game of blame, moving goal posts every few weeks to keep the motions coming, I am preparing for a very long drawn out battle knowing that our case will go to trial- adding 1-2 years to this nightmare. Because he tied my hands financially in the marriage, withholding cash from me, I have NO savings, NO hidden cash. My only option is to leave with nothing because he has clearly stated in his answer that he prays the court will make me leave with only what I came into our marriage with… personal items only. He was a high wage earner in our marriage, worth 2m in assets. I am asking only for equitable distribution of our marital assets and a reasonable spousal support to bridge the changes I am forced to make in my life. At age 58 and because my current employer cannot offer FT work (working only 24 hrs/wk for four of our five year marriage) I would like to continue my education seeking a masters in nutrition of science- I can bump up my annual income with an additional $15-20,000 a year. I would like to begin soon and will need to take out student loan debt and potentially use credit cards to fund out of pocket expenses. At my age and in the dyer financial position I am in my QUESTION is: Can my husband in any way hinder me from pursuing this goal? Do I have to ask him for permission to apply for student loans in my name and to place out of pocket costs my new degree on my credit cards? Can he deny me? I am prepared to assume responsibility for my own loans. In fact, I carried the current student loan debt when I entered the marriage. I paid the monthly payments from my income. Can he use ANY LAW to deny me from adding to my student loan debt and adding books and other out of pocket fees to MY credit cards for what I consider an essential masters degree, providing a solution to my new financial challenges, caused entirely by him and his lies and manipulations? What are my rights in creating a healthy, financially sound life beyond him while waiting for the court to settle our divorce? I truly appreciate any guidance you can offer. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You do not indicate in which State jurisdiction you are presently under. In NY, the judge can decide whether the concept of “Marital Property” of the parties begins on the date the Summons and Complaint is filed or upon the date of the Court Order of divorce is filed. After such date all of the newly acquired property of each party would be considered “Separate Property”
          And you could spend it as you wish. In any case, I do not believe the Court would penalize you in any way for trying to advance your education to provide for yourself in the future.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #329:My wife and I married in 1993, I took my present job in 2000 and we separated in 2005 but did not do a separation agreement. We have child custody papers dating back to 2006. I am know 5 1/2 years from retirement and she refuses to sign divorce papers. Does she have right to half my pension when I retire even though our custody papers show we have been separated for over 10 years? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Until you formally file a Separation Agreement or your /divorce papers are filed with the County clerk, you are legally still married and any assets acquired during the course of such marriage is Marital Property. If you are located in the NYC metro area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss the matter in greater detail.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq./ Divorce Solutions

      • Question #322:My husband and I are planning on divorcing within the next year. He has been the main 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 nursing school(which I put myself through) & stand to earn over 80,000 being a RN on Long Island. He also stopped paying the mortgage over 5 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 using 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 a 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. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          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

      • Question #310:New York: My wife and I were married in June 2010 and I bought a house in June 2013 in my name only, both on the deed and the mortgage. My wife did not contribute to the purchase or the monthly mortgage in any way. We moved into the house in June 2013 and I moved out in July 2013. I filed for divorce on July 15, 2013. She remained in the house, but I solely pay for the mortgage still. We are trying to list assets. My question- Is the house considered marital property if she never contributed, nor is her name attached to it? If so, the equity in the house would be possibly divided between the 2 of us? Would that be the equity gained between June 2013 and July 15, 2013? Or from June 2013 until now? * we have no children. *we both are employed and aside from living rent free since I pay the mortgage on my house where she lives, she pays her own bills and receives nothing else from me. * I had to move out of state in December 2013 for work, but continue to own the house. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          The source of the money you used to purchase the house is very important.
          Please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss the matter in length.
          Divorce Solutions
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq.
          212-370-1660

      • Question #304:My ex and I 4 lots in New Mexico. I have paid taxes on it for 35 years, also made most of the mortgage payments myself. He now wants to sell it and split the profits. Does he have the right to collect? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Since title to the properties is held in both names, he has an interest in the properties. However, you can ask the Court to compensate you from the proceeds of the sale for all of the individual payments, such as the taxes, repairs, etc. that you made from your own money prior to distributing your spouses share.

          Good luck!

          Leonard Weiner, Esq.
          Divorce Solutions
          212-370-1660

          Divorce Solutions
          212-370-1660

      • Question #302:I was wondering if you’d give me some legal advice. I’ve read many of your FAQ but can’t find one specific to my situation. My husband and I rented our family house in which we are both on mortgage and deed in September of 2012. In April of 2013 I moved back into the house by myself. So in all essence my husband has not lived there in over 2 years now. He keeps claiming he has the right to enter the house whenever he wants to, but I say no. I am also assuming that after being separated in NYS since April that it is considered a legal separation or am I totally wrong on this one? We live in Warwick NY, are you close for a consultation? Thank you. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Until you formally file for a legal Separation and it is filed with the County Clerk ,you are still considered married and all of your earnings and acquired property are “Marital Property”.
          The fact that you are not living together in the same house for 2 years is not determinative of your marital status.
          As such, the marital home is half his and he has a legal right to enter it until you get a Court Order giving you title to the house.

          If you are located in the NYC metro area, please call me to arrange for a meeting to discuss the matter at greater length.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq.
          Divorce Solutions
          212-370-1660

      • Question #298:I am married 30 years and live in New York – In our marriage I purchased 2 homes – Last year, I changed the deed to my spouse’s name. I am entitled to 50-50 marital property once divorce is settled? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If the money you used to purchase the houses was from “Marital” funds, (money earned by either party during the course of the marriage, not from inheritance, gift ,etc.) the property would be considered Marital Property and generally divided equally, regardless of in whose name the property is held.
          If you are living in the NYC metro area and are considering a divorce, give me a call at 212-370-1660. I can help.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq.
          Divorce Solutions

          212-370-1660

      • Question #290:My wife was married before we were in the state of Florida. That is also where they divorced. As part of the divorce agreement, he kept the house, the pets, and his truck. All she received was her car and a painting of no value. Also as part of the divorce agreement, he was to pay the mortgage, his truck, the past due vet bills and a couple of other bills, and she would pay her car. She has paid her car every month on time and has not missed a payment, putting a good mark on his credit. He on the other hand has lost the truck, the house went into foreclosure, and none of the bills were paid, as all the bill were in both of their names, it has hurt her credit, and we are not able to buy a house. She is selling her car, paying off the balance, and will make a profit on the car. Because his name is still on the loan, he has to sign to agree to sell the car. He said he wants half of the profit in order to agree to the sale. Does he have a right to the profit since the court gave my wife the car, and he has ruined her credit? If we get to cash the check for the profit, do we have to give him half? Is there a way to go after him for failing to do what he agreed to, which has an impact on our life? Thank you very much for any help! Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If the Court granted your wife the car (is it in a written Court Order?), the title to the car should have passed to her alone. The fact that her Ex is still liable on the loan does not give him an equity interest in the car.
          From a practical point of view,however, I would suggest you pay off the loan by yourself, taking the Ex out of the picture entirely,and then sell the car and keep the proceeds. If the car is hers, the proceeds of the sale are hers.

          Good Luck!

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #287:After 20 years we have agreed to get a divorce in NJ. The Judgment states that we will split our marital assets 50/50, including 401K’s, Pensions, and IRA’s. The pensions are being divided via QDRO and the date for this division was determined to be April 25, 2011 which is the date my wife first filed for divorce. My 401k balance as of that date was $66,000. In November 2011, the balance increased to $88,000. Here is my question: Which “balance” of my 401K will be used when divided it 50-50. The $66k balance as of April 25, 2011 (when my wife filed for divorce and when we agreed our Pensions are to be divided) or the current balance of $88K, the increase of which occurred in November 2011? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          I have not read the Judgment or Order of the Court , nor have I seen any additional Separation Agreement or Stipulation you may have entered into which may clarify this issue, but based purely on what you have written in your letter , it seems that just like the date of the pension was determined to be as of April 2011 so also the 401K and IRA should be as of April.
          This certainly should be your position.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #280:Hi! I am married but living separately since September 2010. Filed Divorce in August 2011 and then drop the case. Still living separately and on the process of buying a house. Will he be a problem for me? I am living in Texas. I am trying to work on my relationship with my husband but I am not sure whether I will be able to live with him again or not. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Until you actually get A divorce judgment signed by the judge and filed with the county clerk in your jurisdiction, you are still considered married and any asset acquired during the course of such marriage is considered marital property, regardless of in whose name the property is held. If, however, you use funds acquired prior to the marriage to purchase the property, and keep the property in your name only, the property will be considered separate property and not marital property and your spouse will have no interest in it.

          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter at greater length.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq/Divorce Solutions

      • Question #279:My husband and I have been married for 18 years in New York State. We have an 18 years old son together. I moved out of “his” house in November 2009 because of daily excessive arguments and him hitting me on 2 or 3 occasions. We never got a legal separation. I “owned” a condo before we got married. He “owned” his house before he married me. During the marriage, I acquired a house in Atlanta, Georgia and he now owned a house outside the country of his birth Trinidad and Tobago. He now resides in Trinidad and Tobago for most of the year. He comes to NYC in April to get his taxes done and then he leaves the country. Under what grounds can I get a divorce and would we have to sell the properties between us. He is retired and gets a monthly pension. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Any property or assets acquired during the course of the marriage other than by gift, inheritance, or bequeath, is considered “marital property” and is generally divided equally.
          Any asset of property owned prior to the marriage and kept in one’s individual name, is separate property, not marital property, and one’s spouse has no proprietary interest in it.
          Regarding the properties acquired during the marriage, if the funds used to purchase the properties were earned during the marriage, these properties are marital property. Regarding the pension funds which a spouse receives, to the extent the contributions were made during the course of the marriage, the funds are marital property as well.
          If you are living in a New York City metropolitan area, I strongly recommend that you contact me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting for the three of us to discuss mediating your divorce and making sure that all of the properties that have been acquired during the marriage are distributed fairly and as you both wish.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #278:I HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 11 AND A HALF YEARS. MY WIFE WANTS A DIVORCE. I HAVE BEEN UNEMPLOYED FOR 3 YEARS. I WORKED PRIOR TO THAT AS A PERSONAL FITNESS TRAINER. I USUALLY EARN BETWEEN 25-33 THOUSAND $ A YEAR. SHE MAKES 100 THOUSAND $ A YEAR NOT INCLUDING BONUSES. WE LIVE IN A TOWN HOME, WE BOUGHT SHORTLY BEFORE MARRIAGE. THE HOME IS IN HER NAME. SHE HAS AGREED THAT WHEN SHE SELLS IT WE WILL SPLIT THE PROCEEDS. SHE HAS A 401 AND OTHER INVESTMENTS. WHAT AM I ENTITLE TO. THANK YOU. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Any property acquired during the course of the marriage, unless by inheritance, gift, or bequeath, is deemed to be marital property, with each party generally having a right to approximately ½.
          Since the town home was acquired prior to the marriage and is being held in your spouse’s name only, there may be a serious question as to whether it is in fact her separate property or marital property. If she has agreed to divide the proceeds, you should take it. All contributions that were made to her 401 K during the course of the marriage should be marital property as well.
          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, I strongly suggest that you call me at 212-370 -1660 to arrange to discuss mediating your divorce. It is a much more civilized way of dealing with the issues and you and your spouse will have the ability to determine exactly how to divide your assets rather than have a stranger ( the judge) decide who gets what.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./ Divorce Solutions

      • Question #271: I have been married for 11 months. My husband and I separated in April and he moved back in the end of October and he is out of the house again. Before he moved back in I financed a car which he has been using. I filed for divorce in September but did not have him served. He said he consulted a lawyer who told him that the car was consider a marital asset so that he is entitled to it. Is this information correct? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If he was not served, even if you purchased an Index number and filed a Summons and Complaint, you do not have a divorce case!
          He must be served.
          Any item acquired during the marriage with funds earned during the marriage is “Marital Property” and will generally be divided equally.
          If the money used to finance the car was money you had prior to the marriage and the car is registered in your name , the car is separate property,
          not marital property and he would have no interest in it.
          Even if it is Marital Property, his interest at best would be one half of its value, NOT the entire car.

          If you are living in the NYC metro area, I urge you to consider mediating your divorce.
          Call me at 212-370-1660; I can help.

          Leonard Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #269:Hello’’ I live in Westchester County NY, my husband and I have been married for 6 years he is a dentist and the soul financial maker I am a house wife, he pays all the bills because I cannot afford to pay them suddenly he decides to walk out on me and said he’s not coming back and he won’t be paying any more of the bills..he owns everything is in his name, I am totally dependent upon him..so my ? do I have any rights is he still legally obligated to continue to pay the bills so that I can stay in the house…. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Any property acquired during the course of the marriage with funds earned during the marriage are “Marital Property” , regardless of how title to the property is held.
          If he was supporting you for the past 6 years he will have to continue to do so and cover the house expenses in an amount and for a period of time to be determined by a judge if you chose to go to Court.

          I strongly suggest you consider mediating your divorce. It will be less expensive, time consuming ,and less traumatic.
          I can help.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #266:I have a few simple questions about a very complex derailed divorce proceeding. we married in 1975 in New York. After 25 years of marital hell, my husband was arrested for spousal abuse. I filed for and was granted a one year permanent order of protection. I subsequently discovered that he had corresponded with a dominatrix and was a cross-dresser with an extensive collection of perverted pornography, some women’s wigs and various s & m items. In 2000, he filed for divorce shortly before I did. We have maintained separate residences since then. During 4 years of contentious negotiations, I was led to believe, even by my own lawyer, that the equitable distribution of our joint assets would be very complicated and could leave me in financial ruin. Just days before the scheduled date of the trial, my new attorney felt that the judge would almost certainly dismiss my husband’s case due to the false charges he had accused me of and advised me to proceed as such. He said that it would give me additional leverage to negotiate a mutually agreeable settlement. After less than an hour the judge threw the case out. My lawyer never even attempted to contact my husband’s to discuss settlement, My husband and I have, for the most part, maintained a good relationship for the majority of the past 7 years. We lead separate lives and maintain separate bank accounts. For 5 years after our separation (not legalized) I continued my teaching career and opened a 403 B account. Will the money I saved and the time accrued be considered joint marital assets? Although we are co-owners of the house I currently reside in, my husband has not financially contributed towards any household expenses in any way. I took out a $100,000 mortgage to do necessary repairs and renovation. Will I be held responsible for that debt? Could it be possible that the legal distribution of our assets will be calculated from the action that I originally filed in 2000? We have not been able to reach an acceptable settlement in 11 years. Please don’t respond with a simple “try mediation”. I need answers to my questions. You have long maintained this site to advise people honestly concerning their legal rights in divorce proceedings. I thank you in advance for your time and consideration. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          As long as you have not filed a Separation Agreement or filed for Divorce,
          You are legally considered married, and all assets acquired during such time
          Are “Marital Property”, both yours and his, regardless of in whose name the property is held.
          If the previous case was dismissed by the Judge, it ended and a new case would have to be
          Filed. One cannot generally start the separation of assets from the original filing date of a dismissed case.

          The judge may have some discretionary power to allocate a larger portion to you,
          But it will be up to the judge.

          Good Luck!

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #265:I have been married for 5 years, and now I want a divorce. Â the reason would be “cruel and unusual treatment”. He has been emotionally abusive, cheated in the beginning, calls me names, insulting, etc. I tried leaving in the past and he has always returned me from leaving, apologized told me he loved me etc. Now after 5 years, I guess his feelings have diminished – he is the one who is constantly suggesting divorce, telling me to leave, and there is a weekly scene and name-calling on his part. I have a son from a previous relationship, he is now in high school. He is being quite strict with him as well, and not in a “normal, healthy” way. He picks on him, calls him names, etc. I can’t take this situation anymore. Here is my question. He owns a business and he owns a condo in which we live in. Also, I used to work however, after we got married he wanted to me to stop working, and help him with business. I now work there 3-4 times a week. Do I have a right to the business and the apartment? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You did not indicate what state you lived in, but if your state is a Community Property state or a
          Equitable Distribution state, most states are one or the other, you have a right to approximately half of all
          assets, property or funds earned during the marriage, no matter in whose name the property is held.
          If your husband’s business was acquired during the marriage , or grew during the marriage, and if the apartment
          Was acquired during the marriage with funds earned during the marriage they would both be considered marital property
          And you would have an approximate one half interest in them.
          If you are living in the NY metro area, please call me to arrange an appointment to discuss
          Mediating your divorce. I can help.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #257:My question concerns spousal support and division of property. My husband and I have been married for 26 years, live in an affluent community in Westchester county NY, and we have 2 children in college. He has had over 20 affairs during this time (I stopped counting), and has been a self-employed attorney & adjunct business law college professor for 15 years, making approximately 20k annually. He brought student loans with him to the marriage. I brought a farm that I had inherited through the death of both of my parents. For the past 4 years, I am a 50% partner in a successful business, and am about to open a new corporation shortly, and have worked our entire marriage. 5 years ago I learned of $250k of credit card debt that he had accumulated in cards with my name on the account, had not paid income taxes (though he told me it had been done), and had many delinquent bills (he insisted that I just sign over my paychecks, and he would take care of the bills), and so I had to refinance our mortgage, increasing the loan to pay off the cc debt, and the mortgage had to be put in my name only, though he is still on the deed. At that time, I made him close all the cc accounts, and opened my own separate bank account. Since then I pay all the household expenses, including all the childrens’ expenses & spending money, college tuitions, mortgage, insurances, utilities, food, travel, etc….also I have started filing “married filing separate” tax return this year. I have reached the end, and think I would be much happier if I was not in this marriage (this is not because of anyone else, I have never committed adultery), and my children are at an age that they can understand this splitting. But, how likely is it that I will be sucked dry of all that I have worked so hard for (I am 52 yrs old)? Will I have to give up my house, my company, pay him spousal support, etc… because he prefers not to work to his ability, prefers to stay home, sleep late, etc? Am I better off just continuing to pay for everything now, and hope that I will outlive him? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          No one should be forced to remain in a marriage that he or she can no longer tolerate simply for financial reasons alone. Because you are holding your home as joint tenants on the deed, your husband has an equitable interest in such property despite the fact that you are the sole party on the mortgage. You will not have to give up the house or your company, although you may be required to provide your spouse with some form of payment for his portion of the marital assets in your home or business.
          The question of spousal support will depend on his ability to earn a living and be self supporting. The court will look very carefully at your past history, your spouse’s efforts to seek employment comparable to his professional ability, and the capital contributions that you have made to provide for your family and continue to provide.

          I strongly suggest you contact me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss mediating your divorce .
          It is by far the more civilized way of dealing with the issues at hand.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #255:Me and my wife both lived and still live in NY. We got married in Oct of 2008. We got married in NYC at the Croation church. We also bought a home this year Feb. 2011 I cannot take the stress she puts on me when we get in to an argument any more I thought she would change when we bought the home but it got worse when we argue she gets violent like curse at me swings doors open picks up chairs like as if she is going to throw at me. She mentally abuses me and I don’t know what to do anymore she treats me by saying she’s not going to give money for the house payment or credit cards we used to buy things for the house I will continue to pay for the house with my money I make is that good or bad and if I do will she still have the chance to keep the home or can I keep it we have no children we have separate accounts and also a joint account. I also have audio recorded have her mentally abusing me cursing, screaming, threatening to spit on me, and more. Please let me know what can I file under and if you can do the work thank you. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Any property acquired during the course of the marriage with funds earned during the marriage are marital property and are generally divided equally between the parties. If the monies you used to purchase the house came from separate funds that you owned prior to the marriage or from an inheritance, then the house would be considered separate and not marital property.
          Under the new law in New York State, if the marriage has broken down for over six months, you can file for divorce based on those grounds. You will however, have to settle all of the financial matters as well before a divorce will be granted.
          If you’re located in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss the matter at greater length.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq. /Divorce Solutions

      • Question #254:Hello. I am a teacher with a son about to go to college, trying to divorce on a limited budget. My ex is also a teacher. We hope to be able to use a mediator, rather than a divorce attorney… but I’m trying to get enough info first to determine if this is realistic. Two of my most pressing questions: 1. When trying to divide property and assets up 50/50, what happens to a NYC Mitchell-lama coop? It has no market value, as we can only sell it back to the coop for what we paid for it, but if we were renting it on the open market, our lovely UWS 2-bedroom would probably rent for about 6,000/month, or if we owned it, sell for perhaps 800K. 2. Also, if some stocks are in both our names and some in only his name, are they all subject to a 50/50 split, or am I entitled only to half of the ones held jointly? Thank you! Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If one of you intends to remain in the coop apartment, the value of the coop can be determined by the difference between the monthly cost of the coop as opposed to a comparable rental apartment in your particular area. If neither of you intend to remain in the coop, and it cannot be sold, then there is no residual value to be divided.
          Any asset including stock which was acquired during the course of the marriage with marital funds (e.g. funds that were earned during the course of the marriage other than by inheritance ) are marital property regardless of in whose name the asset is held and should be generally divided equally.
          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange a meeting to discuss mediating your divorce.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq. /Divorce Solutions

      • Question #252:Divorcing in the state of WV. My husband moved out September 27, 2011; I filed for divorce in March 2011; he is living with a woman since January 2011; I have been living in our home and he wants the house as well. His name is the only one on the deed at court house; however my name is on the mortgage and deed of trust. Can he remove me from my home? Who has rights to the house? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          West Virginia is an equitable distribution state. In the absence of a valid agreement, the court shall presume that all marital property is to be divided equally between the parties, but may alter this distribution, after a consideration of the following:
          • The extent to which each party has contributed to the acquisition, preservation and maintenance, or increase in value of marital property by monetary contributions, including, but not limited to employment income and other earnings and funds which are separate property.
          • The extent to which each party has contributed to the acquisition, preservation and maintenance or increase in value of marital property by nonmonetary contributions, including, but not limited to:
          1. Homemaker services;
          2. Child care services;
          3. Labor performed without compensation, or for less than adequate compensation, in a family business or other business entity in which one or both of the parties has an interest;
          4. Labor performed in the actual maintenance or improvement of tangible marital property;
          5. Labor performed in the management or investment of assets which are marital property.
          • The extent to which each party expended his or her efforts during the marriage in a manner which limited or decreased such party’s income-earning ability or increased the income-earning ability of the other party, including, but not limited to:
          1. Direct or indirect contributions by either party to the education or training of the other party which has increased the income-earning ability of such other party.
          2. Foregoing by either party of employment or other income-earning activity through an understanding of the parties or at the insistence of the other party.
          • The extent to which each party, during the marriage, may have conducted himself or herself so as to dissipate or depreciate the value of the marital property of the parties: Provided, That except for a consideration of the economic consequences of conduct as provided for in this subdivision, fault or marital misconduct shall not be considered by the court in determining the proper distribution of marital property.
          [Based on West Virginia Code; Sections 48-5-610 and 48-7-103]
          If the house was acquired during the marriage with funds earned during the marriage, you would have an equitable right to one half of such property regardless of in whose name the property is held in.
          If it was acquired prior to the marriage, or with separate funds , such as savings held separately from before the marriage or from an inheritance or gift your husband had or received,
          It would be separate property and not marital property and you would not have an ownership interest, though you may claim that one half of any upkeep expenses or
          Mortgage payments made during the marriage from money earned during the marriage should be credited to you.
          The fact that title is in his name only is not determinative as to your marital interest in the property.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #251:My wife and I are in the process of getting divorced in NY after 16 years of marriage. There were infidelities involved with her but she just says she was unhappy. It really doesn’t matter anymore but the horror is just beginning. WE have 3 beautiful children all under 13 and I just want to be able to start a new life for them and myself. My question is whether premarital stocks that appreciated can become marital with the following description of active appreciation. My wife has long been a registered trader and broker and has managed her investment account since we have been married. She had stock gifted to her before we were married. She managed this account that included a substantial amount of a stock that has split and paid dividends. As a stay at home trader she actively bought and accumulated shares of the stock over the years from the dividends and interest. Unlike a mutual fund though it was not automatic and she actively bought and placed the trades. The stock was never in my name but dividends and interest was used for living expenses at times of need. The entire account was managedby her and was considered our retirement and nest egg. Since I earned a living enough to support our family she worked as a satellite office in the house for many years up until late as the market conditions deteriorated. She now manages the account via Etrade but it is still all in her name. The account is still under her name and contains many other stocks accumulated during our marriage. In addition in past years commissions were paid and deposited into this account and the monies were utilized to purchase more stocks and other products within the account. The question now becomes whether the active participation of the entire account including the trades and purchases of more stock via dividends and the depositing of the earned income into the accountcreates it as a marital asset rather than separate property. The debate is whether the appreciation of the premarital stock amount is eligible for equitable distribution and if the entire account would be as well, due to the comingling of earned income to the account. I am also questioning if I need to look at this as one total account itself or as each individual asset for distribution. All of my earned income was utilized for everyday living expenses and any joint monies has been depleted. Savings was also minimal as we were overextended and never thought to put money away in both our names since we did treat the investment account as our own. Now with divorce imminent, I am fighting for a new life and a new start. But to walk away with nothing and she gets to keep what she had over all the years just doesn’t sit right. Any input would be greatly appreciated . Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You raise an interesting question that involves a detailed analysis of the stock investments that your wife has made over the course of your marriage and the amount of time she has devoted to overseeing her portfolio. To the extent that she has extensive professional training and experience in investments, and devoted her working time to this endeavor, there may be some marital interest in the profits generated by such time and effort. The initial investment, being held in her name only, however, will most likely be deemed separate property.

          I strongly recommend that you consider mediating your divorce, and if you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter at greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq / Divorce Solutions

      • Question #250:If both spouses made a good income over the marriage (15 years) and the wife paid for all of the mortgage and real estate and tax payments in excess of individual withholding, can she get any credit for that portion of the husband’s income that was reduced for tax purposes because of the mortgage and real estate property deductions as well as increased on an after-tax basis because she paid that portion of his taxable income in excess of his withholdings by check to the government? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Generally, any money earned by either party during the marriage is considered marital property and thus the moneyyou earned which you used to pay the mortgage was marital property , not separate property , and any benefit or savings resulting from the mortgage payment will not be credited to you.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #247:I have a question. My wife decided after 1 year and 10 months that she no longer wants to be with me. I tried going to counseling with her and she was only going for me. We finally went our separate ways. I live in the house that I bought, and bought before we were married. She is now living in a house rented, with 2 other males. She has not signed the separation agreement, and refuses to call my lawyer back. She thinks she is entitled to half my savings. Savings is in my name not hers at all. We filed 2 tax returns together and wedding money that was in the account, (all money was put into my savings account, nor a joint account) roughly 20k, this money was spent on 4 vacations and furnishings for the home which we split up. However what is left in my savings is the same amount the day BEFORE we got married. Is she entitled to half my savings even know that 20k was spent? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Any money earned or acquired prior to the marriage and kept in a separate account is separate property and not marital property. By comingling money you received as gifts at your wedding with your individual monies you have “ muddied the waters” somewhat but I believe that if you can accurately account for the monies that were yours prior to the marriage in that account and can substantiate the expenses you claim were used for mutual vacations and furnishings which were ultimately divided by you and your spouse, you should be able to claim the balance as your separate property and not marital property and as such your wife will have no claim to such remaining moneys in the account.

          I strongly suggest that you consider mediating rather than litigating your Divorce. It is less costly and emotionally draining and your spouse may be more inclined to cooperate.
          If you living in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss the matter at greater length.

          If Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #244:Have been married for 23 years, have three daughters 22, still living at home, 20 at college, 16 at home. My husband has e-mailed me to tell me he is moving out, he needs to have a life, has contacted a lawyer and wants to be fair . He has been having affairs with many women these past 4 years. I work a part time job in upstate NY.He works full time in NJ; has his own electrical business in upstate NY and also bartends at a catering hall. Slowly he has been moving things from the house that were purchased in the marriage, flat bed trailer, wine making supplies(very expensive items),snow blower etc. Also he has started to turn in stock that was bonuses from his job in NJ and took a loan from his 401K . My questions are, can I still have claim on these items as 50/50 property , if he turned in stock and spent on himself do I have claim? His electrical business make good money but he gets paid in cash or does not claim it on taxes how do I prove this, also with the bartending mostly paid under the table and claims no tips. How do I prove what he makes? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Any marital assets that were taken from the home in anticipation of the separation or divorce
          Must be accounted for in any divorce or separation proceeding. Keep a record of these items
          And any receipt you have regarding their value for future reference.
          Your husband’s retirement account, to the extent it was earned during the course of the marriage, is also marital property,
          And any loans he takes out against its value will be credited against his share in the event of a separation or divorce.
          Most experienced matrimonial judges are familiar with a spouse earning cash which doesn’t appear on his/her tax returns,
          And we’ll make a concerted effort to find out or estimate what the real income is.

          I strongly suggest you try mediating your separation and divorce with an experienced Atty.-mediator in your jurisdiction
          Who can help you resolve your matters without having to litigate in court .

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./ Divorce Solutions

      • Question #232:My husband and I were married in PR on a cruise ship. I have been with him since 2003 married 3 years now. I have left my job to help him raise his kids 14 and 12. He asked me and I agreed as I was let go from my job a year ago. I have worked part time to help with the finances but I was making 55k+ a year. He is in a custody battle with his ex now for the kids. I have 3+ years of journals of incidents that has happened with his ex and kids that it has ruined our marriage. I always bought the extras in this house…Christmas, B-days for his kids, clothes, last minute parties I put together, been there to pick up his kids from school, emergencies, homework time….etc even when his ex did not have no one to do I was there. There has been a time or two that she has tried to physically attack me since this custody battle has been going on. I know we have investments in our names and such, but I want to know if I can get some kind of alimony or relocation help or something to help me get back on my feet. I also had to wait 3 years for his ex to get off the insurance for him to out me on his insurance as it was indicated on his divorce papers with his ex. He is the bread winner in this house (VP for JPMorgan for 27+ years) and I supported everyone emotionally and such. We have no kids together. I just want to know where I stand to get out of this marriage b/c I given up a career as an accountant to be home for him and his kids! Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If he has been supporting you during the marriage he will have to provide you with some spousal support to allow you to get on your feet and retrain or find employment in your field. Whatever assets were acquired during the marriage, regardless of in whose name the assets are held, is marital property and generally should be divided equally. If you have investments in both names, you are entitled to half those investments.
          If you are living in the NYC metro area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating your divorce.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #231:Hi, I’m ending a 19 year marriage in the state of New York. My mother-in-law bought and put the house we’ve lived in for last seven years (with three children) in her name. Is the house still considered marital property? It turns out my husband and his family have made sure that “nothing” is in his name, even though I know that its only that way on paper. We lived in a million dollar home, drove expensive cars and lived very comfortably, but on “paper” my husband has nothing. Now I’m with two teenagers in apartment, and he has the big house, expensive cars, and everything we own. What are my options? Thank You Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If your mother in law bought the house with her money and not your husband’s, and if the house was held in her name, even if you lived in it, it is her house, not yours or your husband’s and you have no claim to it.
          If you can prove that the funds for the house, cars, and other valuable items were really bought with your husband’s money earned during the marriage, then you would have a marital claim to them despite who holds legal title to these items.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq/Divorce Solutions

      • Question #230:As a stay-at-home mom and full-time homemaker living in a community property state, who for the last 20 years has belonged to a stock club. The money for investing came from gifts from my husband and, earlier, in life, from parents. Is my husband entitled to any of the shares? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If the stock account is in your name only, those stocks that were purchased from gifts provided to you by your parents should remain separate property. The stocks that were purchased with funds that you received from your husband during the marriage, even if you describe them as “gifts”, are most likely marital property and your spouse will have a ½ interest in such shares.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq. / Divorce Solutions

      • Question #224:If I am seeking a divorce, and we have two houses. One we purchased when we were married, and the other was given to me in my mother’s will, in 2004. Can I keep my mother’s house and he keep the one we owned together. He hasn’t paid bills in the other house nor my mother’s house. He only pays the gas and insurance and wear and tear on the car. He uses the car for work and sometimes to take his mother shopping and etc. plus sometimes takes me shoppng, but many times I go with my shopping cart. He has two cars also, and has bank accounts with his mother as the beneficiary. I have checking accounts to pay bills, and am currently unemployed since last May. I have a tenant which helps me pay the bills in my mother’s house. He starting paying the bills which is only the electric bill in the other house, plus the phone bill, as I can’t pay everything like I used to. I do photography for very little, as it pays some of the groceries. He is threatening me that he is entitled to everything. We live in my mother’s house because the other house caught fire in October, and will be fixed real soon. Is he entitled to everything including my parents home? Alll I am asking is my parent’s home as my mother wanted me to have it, and I was raised there. He is threatening to take me off the medical insurance from work. I am diabetic and need medication to surviive. When I was working I had to pay extra money for him to get secondary medical. Any help you can give I appreciate it. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          In order to properly answer your question I will have to see the Deed to both
          properties to determine who the legal owners(s) is (are). If you received your mother’s house as an inheritance
          and kept it in your name only, it is not marital property and your spouse has no ownership interest in it.

          if you are living in the NYC metro area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating your divorce.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #201:I have been divorced for over 7 years and have not re-married. I still own stock with my ex-wifes name listed as one of the owners. My question is how do I have her name removed from ownership therefore leaving me as an Individual owner. Presently, I do not know where my ex-wife lives or even if she has remarried. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Once again, unfortunately, we see the results of trying to take care of the divorce by yourself or the results of poor, legal counsel. The matter of the stock ownership should have been taken cared of prior to the divorce and discussed in the separation agreement. If you have a Separation Agreement, and If it was discussed in the Separation Agreement, and the terms of such agreement were incorporated in the Divorce Judgment signed by the Court, you may be able to use that judgment to have the ownership changed to your name only. Otherwise , you are going to have to locate your former wife , and arrange for her to assign to you her interest in such stocks.

          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, please contact me at 212-370-1600 to discuss the matter at greater length and to review whatever documentation you may have pertaining to this issue.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #196:My husband and I got married in 2004 in Lake Tahoe, California. He was a resident of California, I was a resident of NYC. Yes, it was a spur of the moment thing after 5 years of dating. We never lived with one another. I maintained my living status here and about 14 months of marriage this way (yes I know) when I was to move there, everything went to hell and we have now been seperated since November 2005, since well I found out that after one week of seperation he had hooked up with someone else. (eeesh) I have never received any papers of any form asking me for a divorce. Am I still married? Does he need to inform me that we are divorced if he filed papers? And if papers are filed, would I receive them by being served or in the mail? See, I would not be surprized if he somehow forged my information to obtain a divorce but I am just concerned if I am indeed divorce because my financial situation will be changing right quick and want to know if he has any rights to my money, if in fact we arent divorce. My friends said I should sue him for what he is worth-but I feel its too late And just want to be rid of him. Anyhow-the question I guess is…Can he divorce me without me knowing? And how would I find out if he did. Or can he go to Mexico and divorce me? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Until you actually get a formal separation or divorce you are still legally married , and, generally, any monies earned or property acquired during the course of your marriage is marital property, other than through inheritance if kept separate, both under New York or California law , and each party will generally have a 50 percent interest in such property.
          It is essential that you deal with an experienced matrimonial attorney- mediator to make sure that all of the papers are prepared properly and you can get on with your life without having to worry that your past experience will come back to haunt you.
          You would have to be served with the summons and complaint in any action for divorce, unless your spouse satisfied the court that he made an effort to find you and was unable to reach you.

          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, I strongly
          suggest that you call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss the matter at greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solution

      • Question #182:My parents are considering a divorce, but an attorney recommended a legal separation. They are in their early seventies and have no intent to re-marry. My father thinks he can leave her with absolutely nothing after thirty-five years of marriage. He also wants to leave the country and go back to Italy his native country. What rights as a legal U.S. resident does my mother have and what can she do to cover her back in this soon to be stressful situation? Any information would be greatly appreciated! Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Any property acquired during the course of the marriage from funds earned during the marriage regardless of in whose name the property is held is considered marital property and each spouse would have approximately a one half interest upon divorce depending on the particular laws of the state she is a resident in. That applies to real property, stocks, bonds, bank accounts etc.

          If she feels he is about to dissipate the assets, she should file for divorce.

          If she is living in the NYC metro area, please have her call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter in greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #181:ok 3 years ago i sold my house to buy land and move to new york state with my husband of 3 years – we also purchased a fishing lodge we have been running for 3 years – i had to take a full time job out of the home because i had a better ability to make a lot more income than him. he was suppose to take care of the lodge – his contributions were minimal, however he had no issues in spending all the money i was making – for the last couple of months he has been acting very funny – i thought it was clinical depression – he denied there was someone else – however, the dummy went around telling people he was unhappy and was screwing a 24 year old – one weekend when i was out of town he even went as far as to take her to two of our friends house – i got a call and came home a day early to talk to everyone that had seen, met or heard anything about her – when i confronted him on his cell phone he still insanely denied my accusations however he was with her and when he got her back in the truck to come home and handle me his cell phone accidentally called me back and i was privy to a conversation between him and his lover about me – that night and since then (it has only be a few days) he has been shacked up with her at another lodge in our neighborhood four blocks down the road – i even confronted them myself with disbelieve the first time i saw them out there together – this was within 24 hours of me coming home to find out what was going on!! Here is my question – i have worked my fingers to the bone – he has taken full advantage of me and my finances and has obviously run off with this young girl – i aggressively want to protect what i have worked to hard for – does the state of new york take into consideration peoples actions when it come to splitting the marital assets????? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Property acquired during the course of the marriage with money earned during the marriage is marital property, regardless of how the title to the property is held. If the house you sold was your separate property and you purchased the lodge with that money and kept the lodge in your name only it would be separate property and not marital property. If, however, you have both names on the lodge property, it is if you gifted to him one half of the property. The matter then becomes involved and a thorough review of all documents and accounts must be made before legal advice may be offered.

          Generally, people’s actions are not taken into consideration, but in unusual circumstances judges will lean over backwards to help the innocent party.

          If you are living in the NYC metro area, please call to make an appointment to discuss the matter in greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #178:I am struggling to find a way to be sure that my 83 year old father’s new wife doesn’t original artwork that was a gift to me and that I gave to my mother, who loved the work, and I did not have appropriate wall space. There was no family information on who received what after my mother’s death. After her death (Indiana) my then 81 year old father moved into an Independent Living complex, which my brother and I set up for him. I hung the artwork gifted to me on the walls. Very shortly after my mother died, my 81 year old father began living with a woman. She came to his complex and seeing the art wanted him to bring it with him to New York. He asked me if that was all right, and I said yes, thinking it would be good for him to have something from his previous life. After one year of living together, they decided to marry. Prior to the marriage he asked me if he could give the paintings to the new wife, who loved them. I said no, but he and she could continue to enjoy them. They then got married, and in the pre nuptials it states that upon his death ALL furnishings in the house go to her, and upon her death ALL furnishings (with the exception of another painting owned by my father) go to her estate. Essentially my father, without my knowledge, has signed away my paintings to her if he dies first; if she dies first my paintings go to her adult children. If there any sort of legal documentation or way around this? I do not have title to artwork as it was originally a gift to me from a now deceased friend. Would he have to prove ownership? Is there any kind of document that I could try to get my father to sign that would overrule the pre-nuptial? Thank you. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If your father is of sound mind you can simply have him return the painting to you. He has a right to transfer the painting to you while he is alive. From what you state, his new wife has a claim only to furnishings that are in the house at the time of death. A careful review of the prenuptial agreement will be necessary before I can render an opinion on how to proceed.
          If you are living in the NYC metro area, please call me to discuss the matter at greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #175:My husband and I have been married 6 years (Oct. 13, 2006), he has his own business and I am making $26,000 a year, we have a dog and 2 cats, which we acquired within the marriage. He owns two buildings (only in his name) that he acquired after we were married (a 3 unit and a duplex in NY) he has been very abusive (emotionally & sometimes physically) I have just started to see a therapist because I am a very depressed person and can’t handle his criticism and abuse anymore. I was wondering since we have 2 buildings, would I be able to stay in one side of the duplex and would he have to compensate me because it is more than I can afford due to him convincing me that my job was good because I have always carried insurance. He is very controlling and we are at the point of not even talking to each other and I know where this situation is going, he always tells me to leave. This is both our second marriage, the reason for his first marriage was that he was cruel and inhumane, as I was also, but I decided to be cruel and inhumane just to get out the marriage. It would be feasible for me to live in the duplex because of the animals that I have. (If I am able to keep all of them). He said that he would put everything in his sister’s name and I would not get anything. I do not know a lot about this situation, but would like to. Please advise, Thank you very much. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If the buildings were acquired during the marriage with funds earned during the marriage, they are marital property despite the fact that they are held in his name only and you would be entitled to approximately half their value. Do not allow yourself to be intimidated by his remarks or threats.
          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

      • Question #160: I left my husband almost a year ago. All of our furniture is in a storage unit in his name. Would it be against the law to take the furniture out of storage without asking him? We are still married, but living separately. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If you have not filed any legal divorce papers, you are still considered married under the law and if you have access to the storage unit there should be no problem for you to remove the items. If your husband wishes to contest the items you selected he would have to do so by filing a claim.
          The more serious problem is not your furniture, but the fact that you have done nothing about getting a legal separation and divorce. Until you do so, you are still considered married, are unable to remarry, and may be responsible for your husband’s debts.
          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating your divorce.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #159:I left my husband almost a year ago. All of our furniture is in a storage unit in his name. Would it be against the law to take the furniture out of storage without asking him? We are still married, but living separately. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If you have not filed any legal divorce papers, you are still considered married under the law and if you have access to the storage unit there should be no problem for you to remove the items. If your husband wishes to contest the items you selected he would have to do so by filing a claim.
          The more serious problem is not your furniture, but the fact that you have done nothing about getting a legal separation and divorce. Until you do so, you are still considered married, are unable to remarry, and may be responsible for your husband’s debts.
          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating your divorce.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #144:My husband and I are heading to Divorce after 9 years of marriage. Domestic Violence, alcoholism and affairs (his) have been a constant. I am due to receive a significant settlement for an employee discrimination lawsuit I filed. I have been advised to file for Divorce PRIOR to completing the actions necessary for me to receive the settlement. A few months ago, my husband ‘found’ an attorney to handle the settlement process for me, this attorney drafted a retainer that listed my husband and I as clients, yet specified therein that both the lawsuit and settlement check is/will (be) in my name (only). Advice? We are in New York State. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          I would strongly recommend that you follow the advice you received and file for divorce prior to concluding the settlement.
          If the award or settlement is still questionable at the time when you file the summons and complaint, you may maintain that the recovery was not assured and therefore did not exist prior to the date of the filing of the summons and complaint ,which is the cutoff point for determining marital property.
          If you receive the settlement payment before you file the summons and complaint, it will most likely become marital property and be subject to equitable distribution.

          If you are located in the New York City area, I strongly suggest you call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating this matter and your divorce and resolving them out of court.

          Good luck!

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #137:Near the end of my marriage I was at work on a textbook which was about 50% complete at the time we filed for divorce. (We are attempting to negotiate a resolution.) A second book, based on the first, was begun several months after filing, but required substantial additional work to complete. My wife did not contribute to the creation of either book. Both arise from my job as a teacher. Are either or both books marital property? If so, are there guidelines for an appropriate spousal share? We are NY residents. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Marital property is generally defined as all property acquired during the course of the marriage other than through gift or inheritance, regardless of in whose name the property is held .Thus, according to the facts you presented, 50 percent of the first book appears to be marital property, whereas the second book, which was not commenced until after the divorce papers were executed by the judge and filed with the clerk, appears to be separate property, and not marital property.
          Under the “Equitable Distribution” laws of New York State, each party generally has a 50 percent interest in the marital property, with the court retaining the right to make certain adjustments based on particular facts in each situation. There are no, however, statutory amounts that are provided to spouses as there are with child support.
          If you’re located in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating this matter.
          It is an issue that should be mediated and not litigated in court, and mediation will save you much time, money, effort and aggravation.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #129:My husband filed for divorce after 21 yrs. of marriage after meeting someone a month before. We live in NY. At this time my 3 boys were 21, 18,16. I never worked.There were 4 properties to be divided, laundromats, contracting businesses, my x hadn’t filed taxes since 96, and much more. My lawyer was horrible. I wrote her letters numerous times. I had consults with other lawyers to see if they would take over my case. They wanted a lot of money because of the mess and I didn’t have the money to give them. I had no cash. On the day of the inquest, we were in the halls of the courts trying to split properties based on a “draft” settelement. My lawyer never went over it with me or discused with me my life style and that of my boys or the cost of living for me and my boys. My boys were the biggest concern to me and she repeatedly told me the two oldest are not my problem. It was very unprofesssional. To make a long and complicated story short, I went befor a judge for an inquest – I did not know what this was. I was tired and disgusted. Never thinking or knowing this was my final contract. My x was in contempt for all other pende- lite motions – never returned furniture, didn’t have art work appraised that he stole out of the house (over $100,000), didn’t give me maintenance and child support for two months, didn’t do repairs on the home, etc. My lawyer did nothing even though I was angry – she told me to stop worrying about the little things. and since all the court orders that were ordered in the previous months were ignored I thought initialing the papers was just temporary – my divorce settlement is only 7 pages, a lot of cross outs – a disgrace. Medical was never mentioned but in the papers sent to the judge to be filed my sweetheart of a lawyer added that I would be fully responsible for medical for myself and my youngest son. Regarding my youngest son’s education – she wrote that we would go to court if we could not agree. Since we don’t speak – we didn’t agree. I could not afford it, I can not get loans. My father helped out the first semester. The judge did not sign the papers until last month so now I can go to court and have the judge decide who has to pay. My x can afford it. My x is also suing me because I have not transferred deed. After the inquest, I asked my lawyer to do a title seach on the two properties I was awarded, she did it on the matriamonal property. With the transfer of deed papers she sent me a judgment or lien. There is a $200,000 lien on my property so I refused to transfer the deeds because no one can tell me if the lien will come off with his name. Another property I received has a satisfaction. At the day of the inquest I was told I would have to pay a man $2300 a month cash, because my x said he used the builiding for collataral but didn’t explain for what. I wanted to see the note – still haven’t. So next week I am going to court. My x is suing me for legal fees,want’s to get sherriffs to take baseball cards out of the house, force me to transfer deeds and to pay a loan shark. I am going to court alone – can’t afford a lawyer. Like I said this divorce was a disgrace and handled very unprofessional. Any advice for me would be appreciated? Do you think I have grounds to sue my lawyer and if you do can you recommend anyone? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          I cannot overemphasize the need to find experienced, competent, matrimonial counsel
          when searching for legal representation in a divorce situation. From your description it is apparent
          that your lawyer neglected to inform you of the terms of the proposed settlement as they were being discussed and deliberated and to properly investigate the property that was being offered to you in settlement, to see if there were any claims or liens against such property.
          At this stage, you must employ experienced, legal counsel to review all of the documents you have signed and to advise you how to proceed. Do not, under any circumstances, sign any more papers until you have read them and have reviewed them with legal counsel.
          These matters are too important to proceed without proper legal advice and you must do whatever you must to get the money necessary to hire an attorney who can represent you, especially in such a situation. Failure to do so will impact you and your children for the rest of your lives.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #120:I would like to know if my wife, is entitled to any profit on my house. Live in New York. I bought it in 1988. She moved in November 1995. Refinanced it in February 1998. I put her name on the deed, we were not married at the time. Since then I have paid $40,000 in mortgage payments. We got married in June 1999. We have been separated since July 2002. The refinance was to pay off a car that I owned prior to marriage. And to do some remodeling on the house. I owe more on the house now, than I did when she moved in. She put about $3000 in to something’s prior to marriage and about $500 to $1000 after marriage. Before she moved in I put about $25,000 of my own money into the house. And after about $15000.I bought it in a forecloser sale from a bank, I use to do work for. I do remodeling. And some of the thing’s she paid for was a deck, which she wanted, (materials only) that I built. My labor was worth more than the materials. Made a deal for her to put carpet in, and she could move in. So she could save money, by not having to pay any rent. And she saved a lot. I have paid 100% of the mortgage, and all utility. from day one. She has never paid anything on the house. Because she always knew it was my house. We also had agreed, that her money was hers, and mine was mine. We had separate accounts. I have agreed to give her a 1999 car. At the time of our separation, it had about $5,000.00 in equity in it. She wants me to give her $5,000 more, from the sale of my house. On top of the car. I’m thinking of selling my house and moving down south. Because my business is slow and my finances are not looking good, right now. What I’d like to know, can she get anything from the sale of my house. The car is the only thing we bought together, when we were married. I also found out that she had money in a savings account ( $3200). Which she told me she had no money, to make the car payment. Then she closed the account in April with ($2600) still in it. A day before I was served with divorce papers. On top of that she bought me a snow blower and lawnmower, as gifts. Then she sold them to her sister and her husband. I don’t want, nothing from her. I think giving her the car was enough for what she put in to the house. And I would be entitled to half of the car, which I’m willing to give up. Thank You Answer
         
        • Ans :

          This case sounds like it is ripe for mediation, and should not be litigated. You’ll spend more money on attorneys’ fees and court costs than you’ll receive from the proceeds of the sale. If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area I strongly suggest that you call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating this matter. Although your wife is a titled owner to the property, you have apparently invested much of your separate money in this house, and should be fully compensated for such investment before the net proceeds are divided equally.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #117:My wife and I are living in the same house, not separated. We are both aware of severe problems in the marriage. Within a day or two I will discuss with her that I am leaving. I put an offer on a nearby house (to be near our son) that was accepted. I was “pre-approved” for a mortgage based on my salary alone, including 17% subtracted for child support. The downpayment will be a gift from my father. Closing date is still 5 to 8 weeks away. Will this new house be considered “marital property” in New York State? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          In order to maintain this property as separate property and not marital property, you must put only your name on the deed ( not with your wife), use only funds which you received as a gift from your father, and do not use additional funds which you acquired during the course of the marriage to pay for the balance of the cost of the property.

          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, I strongly suggest that you call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating your divorce which will save you time, money, and much aggravation.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #116:I was married in 1984 in NY and have one child with my spouse. My spouse filed for divorce in 1993. Towards the end of the divorce/custody proceeding (in 1995) which I was to get sole custody, my spouse abducted our child and left the country for 5 years. In 1996, I enrolled in a 401k at work and opened a IRA. When they were found in 1999 my spouse was arrested and incarcerated for a short time. The divorce was granted but soon dismissed because my attorney did not file for an “extension of time.” Since that time there have been (2) two custody cases in which I have won. She has since purchased her own home, paying cash. Now I am faced with filing for the divorce again and want to know if my spouse is entitled to any part of my 401k, IRA, equity in my home or maintenance. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          I do not understand exactly what you mean when you say the divorce was “granted” but then dismissed because of failure to receive “an extension of time” . In any case, since you did not enter into a legal separation, you are still considered married and technically all of the assets you acquired during the period in which you were married are marital property and are to be divided under the equitable distribution rules. This will include both your 401(k), IRA, but will also include any asset your wife acquired, including her home which she purchased.
          If you’re located in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to make an appointment to discuss the matter and see if we can mediate this divorce.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #115:I have been married for nine years and live in new york city. Recently I added my wife’s name to our primary residence as well as three investment properties. All of the properties were purchased several years before we married. The attorney who did the deed transfers advised me that in the event of divorce my wife would not be entitled to half the value of these properties but only half the appreciation of the property going forward. Another attorney told me i am totally screwed and would have been better off leaving her name off the deeds. Yet another attorney told me that after 10 years of marriage the court has discretion to include separate property in the equitable distribution calculation. Why are there so many varied opinions, are there not any clear cut laws. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Generally, property acquired prior to the marriage is separate property, and not marital property,
          and would not be subject to equitable distribution. However, since you added your wife’s name to the deed, you have in fact provided her a gift of one-half of the property and she may now claim that she is a titled owner. Had you left just your name on the property, then she may have claimed an interest in the appreciated value of the property if in fact you had some role in increasing that value. The third opinion, in which you state that after 10 years of marriage the court has discretion to include separate property in the calculation of equitable distribution, is incorrect. However, when it comes to child support or spousal support, the court can take into consideration all of the assets owned by the individual in determining what those support requirements will be.

          If you are located in the New York City area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter at greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #114:I have been married for 5 years. My husband and I have 2 children, ages 1 and 4. He recently had an affair, and filed for divorce. My problem has to do with determining separate & community property. He owned two properties from a trust prior to our marriage. After we married, we used proceeds from the sale of one of the properties to buy a new home jointly. Later, we sold that property, took out a equity loan against his remaining trust property, and used it to buy our current residence. Over the years I contributed to the maintenance and mortgages of the properties, loans, bills, etc. Most all of our funds have been “comingled” in joint banking accounts. He is claiming that we have no “community property” because of the trust issue – we live in California – and I am only entitled to split our debts. Is there any documentation that I might have that might help resolving this matter? What can I do?! Thanks for your help! Answer
         
        • Ans :

          By contributing the assets which were originally part of your husband’s trust funds which were his separate property, your husband has in effect made a gift to you of the funds which he had. This is true especially since you are now contributing to the maintenance, mortgage, and other property expenses. The issue is somewhat complex, in that he may have a claim to be reimbursed for monies that were his separate property, but if the property is in fact in both names, it is marital property and as such you should have a marital interest in such property. I strongly suggest you contact an attorney-mediator in your area experienced in these matters who can assist you and your husband to resolve this and all the other issues necessary to conclude your divorce without costly litigation.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #113:Married 1971,children now 24,28.I started divorce 1993,husband unstable, Children and self left house for safety in 1994, Trial by jury in 1996 contested by husband. I lost. So I am married to someone who would hurt me if he could find me. I have been in hiding since trial. Children now grown, on their own. Husband bought another house upstate ny about 3 years ago, he had been living in our house that we bought in 1976 which is now paid for up until this summer, visiting the other house on weekends. He now lives upstate and plans on renting our house. Questions:does he have the right to rent with out my permission? I was in a very bad accident in March of 2003, I’ve had 7 operations since, the last was a spinal fusion leaving me out of work. I do collect social security disability. I haven’t asked him for any support or help of any kind, however if he is not going to live in the house, i might. Should I get a restraining order to prevent him from renting? Should I break into my house (he changed the locks in 1996) and change the locks myself and start living there? I need to know what to do because once someone else is in the house it will be imposible. help me please. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          In order to properly answer your question I must know whether you are named on the deeds as a joint tenant or tenant in common with your husband. If you are named on the deeds you are an owner of the property and as such have a right to determine whether the property shall be rented are not. Because you have not entered into a legal separation agreement or divorce, you are still entitled to approximately one-half of all of the assets acquired by husband during the course of your marriage, including this new house upstate. However, as long as you have not been legally separated, or divorced, it is the ownership of the property as reflected in the deeds which will determine the rights of the named owners to rent or dispose of the property as they see fit.

          If you’re located in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to make an appointment to discuss the matter and greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solution

      • Question #72: My spouse and I are contemplating an amicable divorce in NYS. We have 2 homes with mortgages in both our names. We have agreed for each of us to take a house along with the mortgage responsibilities. How will that work from the legal standpoint. do we have to re-mortgage the properties to remove the joint ownership or does that happen as part of a divorce? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          you will have to consolidate the original mortgage into a second mortgage with only the owning party named in the new mortgage. To do this, you will need the cooperation of the mortgage Co. You will have to re-apply individually to the mortgage Co and each party will have to qualify alone for the mortgage on his-her property. If you are located in the NYC metro area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating your divorce. As part of the mediation process, we will take care of this and all other matters necessary for the Separation Agreement and prepare and file the Divorce papers.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq /Divorce Solutions

      • Question #214: My husband and I were married in Jamaica seven years ago. We live in New York State. We purchased a home together with his name on the deed and mine is not. I want a divorce due to emotional, verbal, and you physical abuse. He threatens our marriage is not legit due to emotional out of country and because my name is not on the deed that I will not be entitled to the house and/ or any portion of it and any monies that are put into his 401K and other retirement savings. Is this true? His earnings far exceed mine by 2/3. We do not have no children together and I have a 20 year and old in college . Thank you so much for your help. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Do not listen to your husband’s threats. NY recognizes foreign marriages. If the house was purchased with funds earned during the marriage or the retirement account was acquired during the marriage, they are “Marital Property”, regardless of in whose name they are held.
          In addition, he should have to provide you with some form of spousal support for a given amount of time.

          If you are living in the NYC metro area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss mediating your divorce.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #213: My wife recently informed me she would like to separate and subsequently asked me to move out. I have been living in the house we just bought for the past 2 weeks with no heat or hot water but is in my name only. I have been renovating this house for 6 months. Now I’m living in construction. She also just told me she wants to end the marriage. I have an inheritance coming to me from my deceased mother of 10 years and my father who just passed this summer. Is any of the inheritance considered marital assets ? Can she take any of it ? Most of it is in an inheritance IRA and some in bonds and cash. I live in Nassau County NY. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If the house was purchased with funds earned during the marriage, it is
          “Marital Property”, regardless of in whose name the house is held.
          Any inheritance you receive which you keep in a separate account in your name only, is “Separate Property” not marital, and will belong to you only.

          Please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss mediating your divorce.
          I can help.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #148: My question is what are marital assets? I have no issue with physical possessions and those can be divided equally. My problem is that my wife refuses to engage in sexual relations with me and I am very tired with this issue. If she no longer loves me then I can live with that. Can I divorce her on that issue in the state of new york? I live in Upstate area and would like to know. We have two children together who are 7 and 9. We both earn equal amount but seem to no longer love each other and that issue is spilling over into our relationship with our children. Thanks. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Generally, marital assets are any assets or money earned or acquired by either party during the marriage
          regardless of in whose name title is held except for gifts, or inheritances which are kept in separate accounts and not commingled with marital assets.

          If one party refuses to have sexual relations with the other party for a year or more prior to filing for divorce
          one can file for divorce based on what is called “Constructive Abandonment”.

          If you are in the NYC metro area, I strongly suggest you call me to discuss mediating your divorce.
          It will be less expensive , faster and most important, less traumatic on you and your kids.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #112: i have been married almost 10 years-4/20/04 if i get a legal seperation can i also stay on the medical insurance- he is a suffolk county police officer- the insurance for the me and the two kids is free no out of pockets expenses for him. also he is a extreme drinker and has some police reports filed on him for abuse to me only -the abuse (all of them0 has been since a month after we married- i have always kept a diary and can list all dates which is quuite often he has ia involved in his behavior and to top this he has many girlfriends and one after two years of coming here breaking in , ramming garage doors and getting my husband loaded work gun and holding james & I hostage and etc. his job finally kept coming here and finally talked me into order of protection -in which she violates here and there- but its much better-my husband still meets her goes to all her courts dates and has a tatto on his arm of her name about 2 years now. i live in fear from him everyday i do not any acess to money and well its pretty horrid-he does not hurt the kids just ingores them alaways did- their ages are 5 ,7 they do not like him and are telling me not to let him in the home and want a new nice dad, well he does make 102,000 a year but he fails to give us money and i mention he goes missing for days, sometim weeks etc with no way to contact him -my mom lives downstairs and thank god for her she doesnt make much with social security but can help sometimes. i have recently had to go to a church for food it was embrassing he keeps his paycheck cash in his wallet there is no money anywhere in accounts and he pay bills sometimes but the house went into foreclosure twice and my friend gave me the monet to save my youngest child will be going to school soon he forbids me to work all thses years, and have to produce receipts when he gives me food money to check to make sure i never get change back and to see and critize what food i bought. my friends help to get me hand me dows for me and kids and even bought them new jackets for the winter when they came here(which is only allowable when james is working) and he does not know we are not allowed to have anyone over to visit- anyway i cried when i got the jackets- our home is falling apart it was a foreclosure when we got it and need lots of work which he does not want to or have any repairs so its not worth much. but he always on vacations himself, out of \bars all of the time, sporting events , rock concerts etc.. and the cable shut off again and phone disconnected again because he so late paying or for lack of not paying them etc.. what would be the best thing to do –also he does want a divorce or seperation -that he is handling everything etc-but he does not. i need help-also he has a son who is 12 from a previous girlfriend he never see him last time maybe 3 years ago me and my kids would get and see him 100x more than james-the child support is 700.00 a month which is garnished from his paycheck. i sure this would have some bearing on me and kids. i live in new york state could you tell me how much i would receive in child support thank you-thank you sorry its so long but i guess you would need to know basic of components thank you please write back Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Answer: As part of any court settlement, if you cannot afford health insurance for your children and for yourself, the court will require your husband to provide it, either through his employer if it possible, or through some independent means. If you are unable to work or must tend to the children because they are infants, the court will require your husband to provide you with spousal support. In addition he will be required to provide you with child support for the children and for you to remain with the children in the family residence. The exact amount of support both spousal, and child, will depend on book on a number of factors including your income if any, his income and what your total assets are (Statement of Net Worth). If you feel that you with and or the children are in danger, you should call the police and get an order of protection.
          Leonard M.Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #111: My husband and I have been married for five years. He has owned the house we are living in for the past 18 years. One year ago he placed my name on the deed and we refinanced the house. I am the sole mortgage holder and money that was borrowed was put into a joint bank account. My husband now wants a divorce. Am I entitled to half the house as well as half the money in the joint account? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Answer: If you are named as one of the owners on the deed as a joint tenant or tenant in common, and you signed the mortgage, in the event of a divorce you should be entitled to one-half of the house plus one-half of the joint account. If you are located in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me to discuss mediating your divorce. My number is 212-370-1660.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      CHANGING LOCKS
      • Question #141:My husband and I own two homes in two different states just recently he changed the locks on the second house. Can he legally do this without my knowledge? I asked him what he was doing at the house and he said he was just checking on things. Do I legally have the right to call a locksmith and enter the home? He hasn’t mentioned he wants a divorce, but all his actions tell me different. At this point I do not believe he has contacted an attorney, but I just want to make sure I go about things properly. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If title to the home which you refer to is in your name, whether title is held in your name only or jointly with your husband, you have every right to have access to such home. If title is held in his name only, then the issue becomes more complex.
          In the event of divorce, if the property was acquired during the course of the marriage from money earned during the course of the marriage, it will be considered marital property, and depending on which state you are living in, you should have a 50 percent interest (approximately) in such property whether or not your name is actually listed on the title.

          If you a living in the New York City metropolitan area, I strongly suggest that you call me to discuss the matter at greater length and to consider mediating your divorce, should that the necessary.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      CHILD SUPPORT TAX DEDUCTION
      • Question #150:My boyfriend and I have separated after 2 1/2 years, We have a two year old daughter and I am the custodial parent. He claims that he is claiming our daughter in his taxes this year because he pays child support, but $65.00 a week does not put a roof over my daughters head. I am the head of my household, I work and provide shelter, food, clothes etc. for my child. As much of a good father he is to his daughter, I don’t believe he has a right to claim her. Does he have the right to claim our daughter in his taxes or do I as the main provider? Please answer ASAP! Thank you Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Generally, the right to claim the child as a tax dependent is addressed in the Separation Agreement between the parties.
          Even if you were not married, it still is a good idea to enter into a Separation Agreement , which would spell out exactly the relationship and the obligations of each of the parties.
          In many cases like yours, the parties agree to share the right to claim the child as a dependent by alternating the years, and this can be done by both of you filling out IRS tax form 8332 and indicating that one will be taking the deduction in the even years , and the other will be taking it in the odd years.
          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area , and wish to discuss entering into a written Separation Agreement, please call me at 212-370-1660.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      MARITAL DEBT
      • Question #239:Hi, I live in NYS. My wife and I have been married for 23 years and we started legal separation proceeding in the past month (Nov 14th). We use the same credit cards, checking account etc. If after Nov 14th she goes out and purchases items (computer, shoes), takes excessive money out of the bank account, may I responsible for 50% of these costs? These items are not needed for home etc. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          If you have already commenced legal proceedings for separation in court, I strongly recommend that you terminate all joint accounts, be they bank accounts, credit accounts or any other accounts where you have financial exposure.
          Cancel all accounts upon which you are jointly liable.
          Divide up the monies in the bank accounts and checking accounts and open SEPARATE banking accounts and credit accounts for each of you.
          You do not want to have to come home one day and discover that your bank account has been emptied or your credit card is showing an unusually large charge made by your spouse for which you are personally liable. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
          This should be done immediately.

          If you living in the New York City metropolitan area, I strongly suggest you call me at 212-370-1660
          to arrange for a meeting to discuss mediating your separation and Divorce.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #168:My husband has asked for a divorce. After some significant damage to my credit due to my ex’s financial irresponsibility, I am seeking a legal separation until the divorce is final (which may be a while). I understand that the legal separation will not remove my name from accounts, but can I use the legal separation to prevent or remove missed payments and defaults from hurting my credit further? The large majority of our debt is my husband’s debt but some of it is in my name. If the legal separation stipulates he is responsible for the debt, regardless of whose name is on the account (credit cards mainly), can I still be held responsible for payments that he misses or makes late to accounts that are in my name? Will a legal separation do me any good? Is it worth paying the extra legal fees for the separation? Thank you for your help! [Continuation of previous Question] Thank you for the information, but I have just one more question for you. I understand that my name will not be removed from the loan and credit cards, and when my husband pays the payments late or not at all it will go on my credit unless I pay the payments myself. My question is can I take a legal document i.e. legal separation or divorce decree that states I am not responsible or liable for the debt to the credit bureaus and have the late or missed payments removed from my credit report? Is there any way to protect my credit without having to just pay for everything my self? I was told the only way to truly protect my credit is to pay off the debts myself and then sue my husband to be reimbursed the money. Is that true? Thank you for your time!!! Answer
         
        • Ans :

          The first thing you should do is to terminate all mutual credit card and bank accounts that you have with your spouse, if you have not already done so. You are correct in seeking a legal separation and divorce in order to prevent any additional claims against you for the debts of your husband. Until you have such legal separation and divorce, you may still have some financial exposure for his debts. Unfortunately, however, those debts to which you are jointly and severally liable on, will not be discharged against you simply because you enter into a Separation Agreement now. The credit card companies or banks to which the debts are owed will generally not let you off, but it does not hurt to communicate with them and see if you can work something out with them.

          Unfortunately, the Separation Agreement you entered into with your
          spouse is not binding on the credit card companies. You remain liable to them
          for the outstanding debt despite your Agreement. All you can do is pay the debt
          when it comes due and sue your spouse for his share.
          Good luck!
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #63: I have been married for 4 years in New York. 2 months ago my husband left me he is now living with his parents. I am curious about how you go about filing for a legal separation and then a Divorce. Also, I have student loans that were acquired before the marriage is he responsible for those payments? We also have a car loan and several credit cards that are primarily in my name with him as a cosigner. We have called the credit card companies to see if we can change the bill to his name and they will not do it. He has tried to get a loan in his name to consolidate these bills but they will not give it to him because of bad credit. What can I do so that I am not left with all of the debt? Also if I were to find out that he was with another woman that is adultery and how is that different from abandonment? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Any debts you incurred prior to the marriage are your individual debts; thus the student loans are your individual liability. If you are located in the NYC metropolitan area please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating your divorce. The issues you raise regarding outstanding liabilities and grounds for divorce can be resolved in mediation.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

       
       
  • MEDIATION V. LITIGATION - DIVORCE SOLUTIONS SERVICES
    Open
     
    • MEDIATION HOURLY FEES
      BENEFITS OF MEDIATION
      • Question #81: I have been married for 25 yrs and want a divorce. I am employed, he is self -employed. I pay the bills, as I get paid every two weeks and he gives money as he gets money from jobs. He is a carpenter. We don’t have any children. Live on Long Island and own our home and land upstate NYS. Since I pay the bill and if I leave the home I will have to continue to pay the mortgage and rent at my new place . I can’t afford both.. I have a pension he does not- 25yrs of pension with NYS. Would this be difficult for me to do mediation ? or lawyer which is best for me. Do you have a free consultation for me to evaluate which is better? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Each side choosing an Atty. and battling it out in court in the adversarial system should be the last resort rather than the first resort. If your spouse is cooperative and wishes to get a divorce as well, there is no question that mediation will be faster, cheaper and less traumatic.
          If you are located in the New York City metropolitan area please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for all of us to meet to discuss the matter at further length.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #80: Is there any of the mediation or arbitration solutions still an option if the parties are already going through the divorce proceedings in NY and also there is a “order of protection” in effect? Thank You Answer
         
        • Ans :

          The option of mediation or arbitration is always available even after you have commenced the divorce proceedings. However it will require the cooperation of both parties. You cannot coerce the other party to participate in mediation or arbitration; It has to be voluntary.
          With regard to the question about an order of protection, if the reason for the order of protection was fear of physical abuse, or physical abuse is actually present in the relationship then mediation is probably not the preferred means of resolving your issues.
          If you are located in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter at greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./ Divorce Solutions

      • Question #78: I sat down with my attorney and my soon to be ex and her attorney, we finalized our divorce and the papers were drawn up, 8 months ago (April 12, 2007). We both agreed and both left satisfied. But 8 months later she still refuses to sign off. What can I do. She is living with her boyfriend and my children for the last 3 years. I am living with my girlfriend and would love to marry her. But this never ending divorce is starting to stress our relationship ………………Please help……………my attorney tells me one thing and my soon to be ex is telling me something else and I can not afford another attorney to start this process all over again. I had to walk out 5 years ago when she decided to have an affair with a my ex-friend. Thank you. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Unfortunately, when lawyers on opposing sides get together, the process which is difficult enough, gets even harder.
          You should try to communicate with her outside the formal meetings with the attorneys in a more calm and relaxed setting and see if she is amenable to mediating whatever outstanding issues remain and to finish it and get on with your lives. Until you have a legal divorce properly prepared and legally binding you are in a state of limbo and even more so, so are your children who are suffering emotionally as a result. For the sake of the children she should be more responsive to resolving the issues still outstanding.

          If you are living in the NYC metro area please call me to arrange a meeting to mediate the remaining issues.You will not have to start all over but just continue from where you both left off.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #76: I physically, emotionally and verbally abused my wife six months ago. She left the marital residence three months ago, took out an Order of Protection from me (for six months), found a job, moved into an apartment, and rematriculated our son into another school district. Since, she has been awarded temporary custody of our six year old son and child support. (I have been “indicated” for child abuse, but deny emphatically these allegations my wife has made, which are the only bases for the “indication” – it’s a pretty corrupt process.) I understand her concern about our marriage, her anger at me, and her fear of me (I suffered an Adjustment Disorder six months ago after she stabbed me with a pair of butcher knives). (Although claim that she fears for the life of her and our children is excessive in response to being slapped a few times after “extreme” provocation and instigation – I am not proud of my behavior, but her portrayal of me is ridiculous to the point of comedy.) That being said, after three months, several hearings in family court, support hearings, almost a nervous breakdown on my part, etc… she still has not served me with papers or even purchased an index number with the Clerk’s Office. Is it normal to proceed with a divorce this way, humiliate your spouse in Family Court indefinitely, lie about his parental abilities, grossly exaggerate abuse to the point of delusion, etc… without serving papers and without anything really to gain as custody is not an issue and financial matters are independent of the reasons for divorce (to the extent we are getting divorced yet). Concerning custody, even after my attorney advised my wife’s attorney that I have no reservations about her having custody, she still proceeded to allege child abuse (completely untrue – I am practically father of the decade). So, there is no reason to do what she has as I have no reservations about yielding permanent custody to her. She also has alleged violations of the Order of Protection (interpreting “violation” very liberally). Even after being indicated for child abuse (which has emotionally crippled me as my relationship prior to three months ago was extraordinarily good), being arrested twice and jailed once for “violating” the Order (which also has emotionally crippled me as I have never even had so much as a speeding or parking ticket in my life), yielding custody, and giving in to practically every demand of her and her attorney, my wife still has not served papers. (Although I have rehabilitated my emotional state since she first left me, I was suicidal early on and no-one seems to appreciate the impact of these kind of extreme and false accusations on a person.) Is there a name for this process? Again, I understand her state of mind as I would be pretty pissed off at me too, but I confess to being a little annoyed by the false allegations and the extreme claims like “fearing for her life” and having those entered into public record. Also, the failure to be served yet is puzzling. It seems we could have avoided all the problems of the past few months (at least the problems for me as my wife has been pretty much in Xanadu) if she had just filed for divorce with grounds (that she can prove and to which I have confessed) in Supreme Court. Heck, we could have been divorced by now and although I do not want to get divorced, it would have been easier on me as I would not have to be humiliated and falsely “indicated,” etc… Anyway, my question is what is going on and what should I expect in the future. I’m pretty stressed out, miss my wife and my son (I have only seen him in a limited capacity during supervised visitation). I love my wife passionately and don’t think the problems we have are irreconcilable (although I will always feel pretty ashamed of my behavior), but I also don’t want to confine her to a marriage she does not want (as neither of us will be happy then). Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Without having spoken to your spouse, it seems clear from your description of the situation that there are serious problems with your family relationship and that divorce may be unfortunately, the only solution at this point. The question now is whether you are going to enter into a litigated adversarial battle in court or will you both choose to go a more civilized way and resolve your divorce matters through mediation. I cannot overemphasize the benefits of mediating with an experienced, divorce attorney- mediator. These are matters that require experienced counsel , and should not be left to self-help.

          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, I suggest you call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting between all of us to see if we can mediate your divorce and allow you both to reach some type of understanding to improve your relationship with your son, to work together for the best interests of the child, and to get on with your lives and regain your self-esteem and respect.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solution

      • Question #75: Hi, I guess I could be one of your horror stories. I’ll try to make my story short. We got married with my husband three years ago and have a beautiful 2-yr old daughter together. My husband comes from a divorced family and so, he acted towards me accordingly – lack of respect, kept me under control, used me literally as a punching bag to practice karate, denied excess to his finances and spent more time with his local Rabbi than he ever did with me. We also lived in terrible conditions, in the mold-infested basement. He refused to move, and only after pleading to his parents and Rabbi, he let me find a new place. Unfortunately, that apartment wasn’t any better – mice, mold, gas leak, 2nd hand smoking, and when the baby came I was terrified and especially upset by the fact that his parents decided we could live there for another 3-4 yrs. Among other issues, my husband showed no remorse and the more I’d get agitated, the more he grew with resentment towards me and set forth on a quest to portray me a bad mother. Oftentimes, I overheard his conversations with his sister and father’s side of the family in my regard; constant lecturing and verbal put-down coming from his step-mother was overbearing. Our intimate life was horrific, as he would simply exploit me for his pleasure while I was crying of pain. He would quietly drive me crazy and asked his sister to come over almost every day to “help”. Not to mention that he would leave to Temple at 5:30 am and come back from Karate and the gym late at night and force me to keep our daughter up till 10 p.m. Sometimes he would scold me for calling while he was on the treadmill that I desperately needed help with the baby. I grew to hate him more each day as his emotional abuse only escalated. He was extremely conniving, whispering something nasty and offensive to me, farting in my face, biting nails and spitting at me. I would scream for him to leave me alone, or call him a name and he would say I did it in front of our daughter, even when she wasn’t there. He called and questioned my friends and family behind my back if they noticed how I’ve changed since the birth of our baby. Meanwhile, I was cooking and cleaning and had his friends and relatives over for Shabbat (with no help from him). He’d still call me crazy and so did his sister. At some point I confronted him that he was just raping me and he got scared that I might report him and later set up a spycam in our bedroom and started taping our conversations. The more he did it while denying he was doing it, the more I just wanted to leave, but nobody would ever believe me and I didn’t have any money for the attorney. Then he went to a social worker(CSW), a member of his community, and told him that I was the one to abuse him sexually. Then he went to some officer and told him that if I call, they should know that I’m crazy and delusional. Then he hired and attorney and after months of torturing me emotionally, served me with papers on the grounds of cruelty. In addition, his Rabbi and the scial worker wrote pretty disgusting letters, that I’m a sinful woman who’s been touching her husband inappropriately and sexually abusing him. Despite everything that happened, I tried to understand that my husband was afraid to loose his license and go to jail, and I had tried to save the marriage for our daughter’s sake and we went to see social worker of his choice. Of course, he didn’t like the fact that she was taking my side, especially when he was the one paying her so much money. I expected genuine love and support, while he just wanted to get rid of me. So we tried mediation, but we couldn’t agree on visitation schedule and the mediator wasn’t really helpful. So he went to seek out a lawyer behind my back but I found out shortly after because she is also a member of the same community, and my husband has been a friend to her husband for quiet some time. So, after he practically kicked me out of the apt, my previous attorney told me to take the baby and run and so I did and, immediately after that we set up visitation schedule. Of course, his attorneys claim that I just packed up and left with our baby unilaterally, (as if my life was so peachy and sweet that one day I decided to make trouble and take off with our daughter). This is just a small part of what they have to lie about to represent their client and make opposing party so miserable. And how fast did she transform from being a friend to the role of his attorney. A friend would probably suggest to treat the mother of your child with respect at least. And so, I left to Brooklyn from Long Island, got a job, rented an apt, and wish I could spend more time with my daughter and can’t wait to have more kids. But do you think my ex is happy that I’m content and confident that I can stand on my feet and that now I’m with my friends and family and don’t have to put up with his family’s abuse? NO! And his lawyers are trying so maliciously make me a crazy woman and to take the baby away from me. You are absolutely right, they helped my husband hate me even more, and he’d refuse to discuss our daughter with me and made my life living hell! And you would think, his lawyer, a religious woman, be compassionate and understanding, or at least investigate what really is going on, but she decided to play it so nasty and what really hurts is that most of the time my husband lies and twists my words or tries to purposely exasperate me while on the phone to see if I loose it and say something that sounds crazy enough to later use as supportive evidence. She also offered mediation and we tried to settle the case, but she and her partner were so mean, cynical and aggressive at the meeting that the only thing I wanted to do is to walk out on them. Right now we have a case pending in court, which was moved from Brooklyn to L.I. and this is only a beginning. At some point I wanted to see justice and proceed with litigation but I didn’t realize how stressful it was going to be and how unfair the system really is. So, definitely, if couples could agree between themselves, they should go for professional mediation. But the big question for me is, when it comes to visitations, how does the mediator really know what’s in the best interest of the child when they don’t evaluate both parents and their interaction with the child? I hope I didn’t bore you with my story, but it’s one out of many that shows how exhasting and overbearing divorce procedure becomes when two people are taught to hate and ignore each other. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          With the right mediator, mediation can work even for you and your husband if you

          are both willing to think of the best interests of the child instead of yourselves

          and are ready to move on with your lives.

          Please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter at greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #74: I am in the middle of divorce proceedings. Frankly, I think it was bad advice on my attorney’s part. This has dragged out almost a year. A Temp. Court Order was issued in Jan ’07. Am I able to stop these divorce proceedings (yes, I started them) and convert our Temporary Court Order into a Legal Separation agreement? My main problem: I am disabled and am fearful if we are divorced, I may not even qualify for my own healthcare. I am currently under his HMO from his job. Thank you. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You can stop the proceedings at any time by formally withdrawing your complaint .

          You can then enter into a Separation Agreement with your spouse.

          If you are living in the NYC metro area, I strongly suggest you call me at 212-370-1660 to
          discuss mediating this matter rather than litigating it in Court. This is too important a matter to leave to self help.
          It must be done with experienced legal counsel.

          It will be cheaper, quicker, and less traumatic.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #70: If I am in the middle of a divorce and we can’t agree on the settlement on the house, can we go to you to have this settled like adults between us both. She can’t take any more time off work for the hearings and I don’t like the way I am being represented by my lawyer. Can I ask my lawyer for a refund because he’s not around if I have questions or concerns. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You both may agree to mediate any outstanding issues which remain between you and do not have to have the judge settle the matter. If you believe you’re not being represented properly by your attorney you may terminate your relationship with him at any time, and any retainer monies which remain unused must be returned to you.

          If you’re located in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me ASAP to arrange for a meeting between us to discuss the matter at greater length. I can help.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #65: I live in NYC; I met my wife in February of 2002. She is a citizen of an Asian country and was here on a student visa. Within two months, she moved in with me. When she graduated in June, she had only 30 days to find an “approved” job to fulfill the requirements for a work visa. Unfortunately, the bad economic environment did provide an acceptable position. So, in love and sympathetic to her plight (and considerable prodding from her), I married her in July 2002. Since that time, it has been mostly miserable for us. Profound differences between us and her habit of secretly destroying my belongings has created an intolerable environment for me. Desiring quick and simple, I initiated an uncontestable divorce under the grounds of “Cruel or inhuman treatment”. She, at first, said she would sign; alas, but now changed her mind. I have, to this point, only filed for an index number and could continue without her signature, but her parents (back in her home country) are urging her to either hire a lawyer to fight my grounds or make me agree to a one year separation in order to keep her in the US. She hasn’t even received her conditional green card, so her status in this country is in jeopardy. She received her temporary working permit in February 2003; so, prior to that time I was paying all the bills. She hasn’t yet decided on a course of response and I’ve delayed further action until this is clear. To compound matters more, she attempted suicide last night (she even wrote a note) and is now in the hospital awaiting psychiatric approval/release. I know I did the right thing in calling 911 and caring for her, but now I need to escape from this nightmare before she either hurts either herself again or me. I want to reclaim my once-peaceful life. . .quickly. Please advise. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          This is a case which I believe should be mediated and not litigated. I strongly suggest that you discuss mediating your divorce with your wife as opposed to each one hiring an attorney and battling it out in court. You’ll simply spend all of your hard earned money on attorney’s fees, and will ultimately be forced to settle anyway for lack of funds to continue the litigation. Please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss arranging a meeting with the three of us. You’ll save time and money and a lot of aggravation by doing so.

          Leonard M.Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #61: Could I use a paralegal to get a divorce after being separated 3 years, we have no children together, house has been turned over to me. He, up and left us 3 years ago. Leaving all financial responsibilities to me. What I would like to do is get a cheap divorce, free and clear, as so does he. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Like most other things in life – you get what you pay for!

          There are important personal as well as legal issues which must be discussed,

          reviewed and settled in a legally binding agreement before a couple can get divorced and

          be assured that they will not regret having taken the cheap way out. This Agreement

          and the experience and knowledge of an experienced divorce attorney -mediator

          is important for your peace of mind and future.

          The answer to your question is thus NO! Do not try to save on the

          legal fees. It is too important a matter to rely on a non-professional.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq.Divorce Solutions

      • Question #60: I have been married for 10 years and have endured verbal abuse for at least 7 of those years. The last 2 years, he feels that he has tried to improve his behavior, but I feel that the damage has been done. I no longer love him. Under what grounds in NYS can I file for divorce ? There are assets to be divided and 2 young children whose custody needs to be worked out. I would like to go through mediation – are there any “rules” where mediation cannot be used ? My husband does not feel that divorce is needed because he has made efforts to change and is quite hostile about the idea. Please help. Thanks Answer
         
        • Ans :

          It is not uncommon for one party to be more advanced in the process and decision to divorce than

          the other but it does not mean they will never agree to divorce. Once your husband understands that

          you are serious and the marriage cannot continue he will be forced to deal with the

          situation and the question before him will be “do we do it the civilized way – through mediation,

          or the uncivilized way – through litigation”.

          There are no “rules” limiting Mediation but it does require the consent of both parties.

          Please understand that in mediation the parties are guided through the divorce process

          by an experienced mediator, but all of the decisions are made by the parties – not

          the mediator.

          If everything else falls in place, we can find the necessary grounds for divorce.

          Have you tried marriage counseling? You have two young children and owe it to them

          if not to yourselves to see if there is some way to reconstruct the marriage .

          If you find marriage counseling is not helpful and if you are located in the NYC

          metro area please call me at 212-370-1660 to

          discuss the matter further.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq.Divorce Solutions

      • Question #56: I’m at a loss…I am married for 18 years and know my wife for 23. We started with nothing and now I own a business as well as a building and other assets. I understand these will be split equally in some way. My real issue isn’t the money, she supported me and stayed home with the kids and contributed to our marrage. My issue is my children, as much as I know me and my wife just can’t get along anymore. We have tried counseling and it just doesn’t seem to work but I would do anything for my kids, 14, 13, 6. I would fight for custody but I don’t want to put my kids through it, I much rather have an amcicable seperation and divorce and move on, but she doesn’t seem willing to do that. I live in NY; I feel totally lost. No offense to you, but picking out a laywer isn’t easy… there’s no way to know who to trust. How do I resume my life in peace and not hurt my kids mentally? I need direction before I lose what little self worth I have left. Thanks for listening. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          I strongly suggest that you consider mediating your divorce with an experienced attorney- mediator rather than each party hiring an attorney and battling it out in court. You will get no satisfaction from court. Only the attorneys win – not the clients and as soon as your money runs out you will be forced to settle! Have your spouse look at the website ” divorcesolutuions.com” and get an idea of what the alternative is to divorce litigation . If you are located in the NYC metro area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for an appointment to meet with both of you to discuss the matter in greater length. I can help.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #51: My husband and I are divorcing and about to go to mediation. Is there anything I can do to prepare for the procedure? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          It is important that you select an attorney- mediator with years of experience in Divorce mediation who is familiar with the matrimonial laws of the jurisdiction in which you live. If you are located in the NYC metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter in more detail.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq.Divorce Solutions

      • Question #47: My wife has been having an affair for many months now. It came out into the open in early December. When that happened, we agreed to try and work on our relationship rather than face the alternative of divorce. During our reconciliation period, she continued to see her lover, and their love has grown stronger. She cut short our reconciliation and said she wanted a divorce. We have 2 boys, aged 8 and 5. She wants to use mediation/arbitration instead of the traditional adversarial divorce route. Continuing to today, se continues to be promiscuous. I have numerous documented occasions where she has dropped off our kids with someone else (a grandparent, a friend, me) in order to get her sexual appetite filled. Recreational drug use is well-documented on paper with her lover, even discussions of using XTC. She is using very poor judgment on a daily basis. She continues to deny her involvement with her lover, saying it is a “friend” and a platonic relationship. I have documentation that shows otherwise. She is also a recovering alcoholic, but never and not currently regularly attending AA meetings. Broken childhood home, and she has been in therapy for 15 yrs. She is now scared of losing the kids to me. I do not want to have my children feel that they are in a position where they have to choose between her or me, so mediation is a promising alternative. But I am hesitant that mediation would be slanted towards granting custody to the mother no matter what. I do not want my children put into a living situation where there are drugs present (pot & who knows what else, as my wife’s lover indulges more frequently than my wife), and I want them to be in a stable environment. In a traditional divorce, I know that it would be rough, but my evidence would prevail. I’m not so sure about mediation though. Comments? Advice? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You are absolutely right about the response of the courts to a parent using drugs who is seeking custody of the children. The courts would not want the children exposed to such behavior.
          Mediation, unlike arbitration, requires that you and your spouse agree to which parent will have custody, and you can insist that as long as she continues to abuse herself with drugs, you will not allow the children to reside with her or for her to have custody over them. Even if you agreed to arbitrate the matter of residency and custody, an impartial arbitrator should have serious problems with agreeing to grant resident custody to a parent who is using drugs.
          You should not fear the mediation process, but should seek and experienced attorney-mediator in your jurisdiction who can assist both of you in this divorce.
          If you are located in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediation.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #43: Can you help us with our divorce? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          In order to properly respond to your question, I need to know some additional information. Are either of you living in the State of New York and for how long? Do you have any children? How long have you been married? Have you sought family counseling?
          If both you and your spouse are convinced that the relationship is finished and that you both want to separate, I cannot over emphasize the importance of mediating the separation and divorce in order to minimize the accompanying emotional trauma, especially if there are children involved.
          During the course of the mediation I would help you arrive at a mutually acceptable agreement on each of the issues, such as spousal support, division of marital property, child support and custody (if any children are involved), etc., all of which is necessary to form a Separation Agreement and which would serve as the basis for the uncontested divorce which would follow the execution of the Separation Agreement.
          Such a procedure under the direction of a trained attorney-mediator would minimize emotional impact on the family, would allow you both to remain in control of the process, retain your dignity and privacy during the course of the separation, would proceed much quicker than in the courts, and would save you much money.
          Please contact me at 212-370-1660 to further discuss this matter in more detail and to arrange for all of us to meet at a mutually convenient time.
          Sincerely yours,
          Leonard Weiner, Esq. Ph.D.

      • Question #41: WHAT ARE THE QUESTIONS THAT YOU SHOULD ASK WHEN SELECTING A MEDIATOR? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          The first thing you should ask about is the mediator’s credentials, including his/her professional training and degrees, years practicing divorce mediation, number of cases he/she has worked on, etc. You should also insist on an attorney-mediator who can both mediate and prepare and file all of the legal documents necessary including the Separation Agreement and the divorce papers and who is knowledgeable in the field of matrimonial law in your state.

      • Question #39: Please send me some more information regarding the solutions you are offering. A good friend is currently going through a divorce, and is trying to save some money. The divorce is un-contested, but two children are involved. Please send me any information regarding the such. Thank you for your continued assistance on this matter. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          I strongly recommend that you get in touch with an attorney-mediator in Michigan who is licensed to practice law in Michigan and who has been specifically trained in divorce mediation and is familiar with the matrimonial laws of the State of Michigan.
          If you send me your fax number, I will send you a short article entitled “Divorce-a Better Way” which describes the advantages of using my firm Divorce Solutions. I also recommend that you re-read all of the information contained in the Divorce Solutions web site.
          If you wish to discuss this matter further you may call me at 212-370-1660.

      • Question #38: I have been separated from my husband for over a year. He is suing me now for child custody, alimony and wants overnight visitation rights. How can I get full custody and not give him overnight visitation rights as he is an alcoholic, drug addict, has dwi over 4 years ago. I live in NJ. My child is only 20 months old. Please advise. Thank You Answer
         
        • Ans :

          I can not over emphasized the benefits of resolving separation and divorce matters between spouses through the assistance of an attorney-mediator especially trained in divorce mediation. Try to convince your spouse to mediate your separation and divorce, including all of the issues you mention above.If he is unwilling to mediate this matter, you will have no choice but to hire an attorney licensed in New Jersey to represent you in court. The judge will consider all of the information which your attorney will present in court regarding your husband’s drinking problems and the impact it will have on the child. All of these allegations will have to be substantiated in court. The process is financially draining, emotionally upsetting, and may take years to resolve. Therefore, if there is any chance to mediate this matter, I strongly urge you to discuss this with your spouse, and then call me at 212-370-1660.
          DIVORCE SOLUTIONS

      • Question #30: Can a judge site the husband for contempt, if the husband refuses to pay a law guardian. A law guardian appointed by the court for the purpose of interviewing the husband, the wife and the child and to report to the court his findings. The law guardian interviews the wife and the child, but not the husband. The law guardian makes a demand for 50% fee compensation from the husband. The husband claims that the law guardian fees are exorbitant and in addition the law guardian provided no services to him “he never met the law guardian” and in fact the law guardian provided the court with a biased opinion. Does the judge have the legal right to force the husband to pay or site him for contempt? Shouldn’t the law guardian seek legal avenue for payment on his own? Please respond Thank you . Answer
         
        • Ans :

          In order to answer your question, I must know what state you are living in (please see my request in previous question).
          Once you enter the adversarial legal system, you are subjecting yourself and your children to the vagaries of the judicial system and the subjectivity of the particular judge who is presiding. I am not quite sure what you are referring to when you reference the “law guardian” but I understand from your question that apparently the judge has mandated such law guardian be appointed and assist your spouse.
          The judge has every right in such matrimonial cases to appoint professional advisers as he deems reasonably needed and as in your case, as placed the cost of such adviser on your shoulders. I strongly suggest that you convince your spouse to try mediation and resolve your differences under the guidance of a qualified, attorney-mediator, specially trained in divorce mediation who can assist you and get you out of the adversarial system. If you are in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370- 1660.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #26: I am currently involved in a situation that is very bitter. I would like to know the following: 1. Is mediation helpful if one side is bitter? 2. How can I convince the bitter side to go to mediation? 3. What are the fees for this service. Thanks. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          In order to take advantage of the mediation process in divorce the parties to not have to agree on all or any matters other than two which are 1) they do not want to give all of the hard and money which they have acquired over the course of their marriage to their attorneys; and 2) they do not need “a pound of flesh” from their spouse in order to reach a settlement. Most couples are bitter as a result of conflict leading to the divorce and the mediation process if conducted properly and by a well trained, experienced professional can help reduce the bitterness and satisfy the needs of each of the parties.
          The reason why parties choose mediation as opponents to the adversarial system is based on self interest. It is in the interest of both parties to minimize emotional trauma on themselves and their family members, to maintain control over the destiny of their children, their assets, and their lives rather than having a third party judge, who does not know the parties or their family, and who is not equipped or interested in dealing with the emotional and family issues which inevitably arise during the divorce proceedings. Mediation provides a private forum in which the parties control the outcome, it is cheaper and quicker and less traumatic than the adversarial system and should be considered as the first method of resolving divorce issues, leaving the adversarial alternative as the court of last resort.
          The fees are spelled out in earlier letters which you can find below.
          If you are located in the greater New York City area please contact me at 212-3 70-1660 to discuss this matter in greater length.
          Good luck.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #25: Already divorced, reason: abandonment First lawyer suggested to settle on the property because it would cost too much to go to court. My ex-husband was suppose to sign the property over to me for a ten thousand dollar settlement. He never signed anything, I never paid him. He took me to court for breach of contract. Second lawyer took my money, wrote one letter to the courts regarding this issue. There was a court date, that neither myself or my lawyer was never notified. There was a judgment in his favor. I spoke to my second lawyer, who said he will write a letter to vacate that judgment. NOTHING has happened. I have called my Second lawyer several times, have gone to see him, but he was not there. He has not answered any of my calls. Now I have received an eviction notice, which is very confusing to me because this is a condominium. I know I need a new lawyer, but I need one I can afford since I am very tight on my budget. How do I handle this situation. How can I get the original settlement dismissed, and how can I fight this. Thank you for your attention in this matter. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          It is apparent from your question that you have encountered part of the basic problem of the adversarial system. Unfortunately, you have not had much success with selecting a proper attorney to represent your interest in court. It is essential that you receive experienced, professional legal counsel. If you do not know of such person, ask a friend who has on through a matrimonial trial to recommend a good attorney. If you have no such contact, get in touch with your local bar association an ^have them recommend an experience, attorney who specializes in matrimonial matters.
          Good luck!
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #18: I am considering a legal separation. I have two young children and do not want to return to work full-time. I would like the process to be fair to me since I have I will be raising these children and supporting the house. I also do not want to endure courtroom battles. My husband will be cooperative. Will using a mediator provide me with the financial support to go it alone? Would I benefit financially from using my own lawyer? How do I know that I am getting the best I can for myself using a mediator? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          I cannot over emphasize the benefit of using an attorney-mediator experienced in the field of mediation instead of entering into the abyss of the adversarial system. Through mediation you and your spouse will be able to arrive at a reasonable understanding which will provide you with the financial support you need in order to carry on with your life. Introducing a lawyer to represent your interests will force your spouse to do the same which will create an adversarial atmosphere and interfere with your ability to resolve the matters by your selves. An experienced mediator who is familiar with the legal requirements will provide you and your spouse with the necessary information you need to proceed. After the settlement has been agreed upon, then you should have an attorney review it to make sure that you understand its meaning and that it was prepared properly, but the attorney should not be asked to introduce additional substantive issues unless you request that as well.
          Please understand that mediation does not provide you with the most money you may be able to receive in an adversarial setting; mediation strives to satisfy the needs of both parties rather than the “wants” of the parties. If the “best I can” means money, then mediation can not guarantee that you will get the most. If it means getting on with your life, being able to relate to your spouse long after the divorce papers are filed, reducing the trauma and strain on you and your children, then mediation will certainly provide you with “the best you can” get.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./ Divorce Solutions

      • Question #17: My wife and I are presently stationed in Sasebo Japan, would we still be able to utilize your service. We have discussed a parting agreement, and the service you offer appears to best suit our wishes. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          We can assist you in mediating your divorce wherever you are presently located. The real question is which state in the United States has jurisdiction over your case. In order to answer that question I must know where you were married, where you lived during the course of the marriage, if you have any minor children and where do they presently reside, where your spouse resides, and lastly, where are your marital assets located.
          Once I have the answers to that question I will be in a better position to assist you.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #16: My husband and I were married 5 years ago in Florida and still reside here. We have a 3 year old daughter. I asked for a divorce and my husband refuses to cooperate. He claims he can make me happy and blames all of our relational problems on me. He says he will fight for custody of our daughter and the fact that I admitted to kissing another man is enough to take her away from me if I pursue a divorce. He also wants me to leave the house without her and he refuses to leave. Also, he recently talked me into a consolidation loan against our home to pay off our credit cards and lease a very expensive vehicle which we both signed on. Without his income I wouldn’t be able to live alone in the house or keep the car. If I filed bankruptcy would I still be liable for the house and car if I moved out? Is kissing someone else considered adultery and cause me to lose my daughter? I’m a wonderful mother to her, my work history is far better then his, I earn more money then he does and I take care of most of her needs. Would a mediator be helpful in my case? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          I believe that consultation with an experienced family counselor could assist you and your spouse in resolving some of your marital problems. Every effort should be made to keep the marriage in tact for the sake of your daughter. If however the marriage is untenable, you should seek out an experienced attorney mediator specially trained in divorce mediation.
          Bankruptcy may provide you relief from the creditors which you have, but I am not convinced that your financial situation will be improved by declaring bankruptcy.
          If kissing a member of the opposite sex was deemed adultery by the laws of your state, the jails would be overflowing with offenders. It may or may not be proper conduct for a married woman to engage in, depending on the society she lives in, but it is not considered adultery in any state that I am aware of.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #15: MY Husband and I have been separated for over five years. I’m now seeking a divorce so I can get on with my life. We went through a divorce process already but he declined to sign the divorce paper. He wants a 100 mile radius clause, but I don’t want to be restricted to where I can live. Let along 100 miles near him. I have been the sole provider for my child from birth. He is also a dead bet dad. What should I do. I live in New York City. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          I strongly suggest that you try mediation rather than try to force a settlement in court under the pressure of the adversarial system. I am sure that a resolution of this matter can be achieved if the parties are interested in resolving the matter rather than finding another matter to argue about. Please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter at greater length and to arrange for the three of us to meet.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #14: I have been a stay at home mom for 7 years and have 3 kids (8,3,and 1) and my husband wants to divorce without a lawyer and I don’t know if I will be losing any thing by settling out of court. We had a boat he recently sold and he said I was entitled to half by he has not given me anything yet. I am also not able to access any money in his account because he had taken me off of his account 5 years ago. I feel like a hostage and we only have 1vehicle that we have to use. He had taken my daughter (when she was little) to his parents house 2 hours away and had me give up our other daughter for adoption when she was born before he would let me have my oldest home and he will have the two older ones at his parents house again this weekend and I fear that he will try to take them from me by keeping them up there away from me. I am at a loss for any thing and I desperately need some input. I am in Collin County in Texas. I need an attorney by have no money available to me. Can an attorney tap into his account to pay the attorney fee? Being married to him should make it legal shouldn’t it? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You should discuss the possibility of mediating your divorce with your husband. If he refuses, you must seek legal assistance to help you resolve your marriage situation. If you are unable to afford an attorney, the court will make your husband pay for your attorney’s fees; the attorney will know how to apply for a preliminary award of attorney’s fees. if you cannot locate an attorney who is experienced in divorce matters in your jurisdiction, you can contact your local bar association which will refer an experienced attorney for you.
          Good luck!
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #13: Divorce mediation is mandated by Family Law court in Santa Clara County, California. It does not work. The vast majority of parties opt to go to court. Why not a divorce arbitration service rather than a mediation service? Your answer may be, mediation gets both parties to agree and work out solutions, thus accept outcomes. Again, at least in Santa Clara County, mediation is not being used extensively. One or both parties think they may “win” in the court setting. Their lawyers may have a hand in creating this thinking. Court, after all is arbitration – decision by means of a judgment handed down by someone, in this case a judge. Arbitration by non-legal personnel (i.e., no lawyers or judges) would be cheaper for the parties and probably achieve the same outcome. I would appreciate and welcome your comments. I am interested in establishing an arbitration service for divorcing couples in the Bay area. In advance, thank you for the benefit of your thoughts. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Mediation does work, but it is not for everybody. Thereare only two things that the parties must agree upon.
          1. that they do not want to give all of their hard earned money which they accumulated during the course of their marriage to their attorneys.
          2. That they do not require a “pound of flesh” in order to reach a settlement of the issues.
          All other matters are open for discussion. At Divorce Solutions the parties are guided by an experienced attorney-mediator through the process in which the parties themselves decide the optimum way to meet the needs of each one of the parties rather than create an adversarial situation in which one side must win and the other must lose. By satisfying the “needs” (not necessarily be “wants”) of each of the parties, they are more receptive to complying with the terms of the agreement as opposed to having such agreement forced upon them or imposed upon them by an judge or arbitrator. In the event a matter cannot be resolved by the parties by mediation, we do provide the op arbitrating the particular matter which could not be resolved in mediation.
          In summary, there are a number of alternative ways to resolve divorce matters. Some are better than others. Not all of them are appropriate in every situation. One should start with the least intrusive, least costly, both emotionally and financially, if it has any potential to be successful. This method is mediation. If mediation is not workable, arbitration may be the next best solution, if it is conducted in a responsible and professional manner, with express rules and regulations, including rules of evidence, right to discovery, etc. The adversarial system, namely the court system, should be the court of last resort.
          Your reference to mediation not working in Santa Clara may be a reflection on the quality of mediation being offered to the parties. Are these experienced mediators trained specifically in divorce mediation and are they attorneys qualified and experienced in divorce law?
          Mediation does work!
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #12: My wife is seeking a divorce. We are in NY. We have 2 kids and live on LI. We do pretty well financially. We both have no reason why either one of us can’t have custody of the children. We are both good parents. The big difference though, I make sure I’m home every night to make the kids dinner, bath them, and take care of them. she used to work and get home no earlier than 7 PM. Since we have been talking last Sept. and throwing the idea of divorce around, she basically broke down to her boss and cried about how much she works. She gets home now mostly 6.30. We share equally in the taking care of the kids. She buys them stuff, I play games and sports with them. A lot of the weekends I spend time doing the guy thing and taking care of and maintaining the home. Although this takes away from spending it with the kids, I do try my best to be with them on the weekend. I just can’t all the time. So her interpretation is that since I don’t spend every bleeding moment with them, I’m not entitled to custody. Well, the house isn’t a hotel, someone has to maintain it. Basically, I do it all. I have raised these kids since birth. I’m the one they go to when sick and hurt. She backed off and always said she wasn’t maternal, I was. How can I guarantee custody. She left in Jan. and went to her moms; she wasn’t sure if she wanted out of her marriage so she tried separation. She left the kids with me because at the time, felt they were better off. She slept with some guy she met last Oct. while we were together. We started spending more and more weekends together and instead of going home Sun. night, she started to stay over with me. A day here and there; she has been back in for the last 2 months, although a lot of her items (clothing) are still at her mothers. Now she refuses to leave and says she wants it all. Where can I go with this? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Before you go any where with this, you should try to resolve your marital problems with a marriage counselor.You have two children, and from what you indicate it seems that they are young and need their parents.
          If after trying marriage counseling, you are convinced that divorce is the only solution, I suggest that you give me a call at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss mediating the divorce, which will among other things deal with the custody question.
          If this question of custody were to go before a judge, he would make his determination based on the best interest of the children.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #11: I live in Rochester New York. You are so far away; can you help? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          I am located in New York City and service the metropolitan area. Rochester is too far for me to be of practical service to you ,but I strongly recommend that you contact the local bar association and request that they put you in touch with an experienced, attorney-mediator who has practiced divorce mediation and is familiar with the court which would hear your case.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #10: Two people, one mediator? Or, should we each get a mediator of our own? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Unlike the adversarial system where each party hires his/her attorney to represent each party’s interest, in mediation the attorney-mediator remains neutral, not representing either party but facilitating the process and controlling the procedure in which the parties themselves determine all of the resolutions necessary to preparing a Separation Agreement and ultimately file the divorce papers.
          Therefore, only one mediator is necessary in most cases, unless there are some special circumstances which may require both an attorney-mediator, and a psychologist-mediator.
          The mediator must maintain his neutrality throughout the entire process. The mediator’s goal is to reach a settlement based on the consensus of the parties which does not require his approval or disapproval. The mediator’s role is to guide the parties through the process and should not offer a suggested resolution of problem unless an impasse is reached.
          So, yes, two parties, one mediator.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #8: I am a 27 yr old man, who has been separated from my wife for 5 months now. My 7 yr old son spends every weekend with me. My wife and I are surely getting divorced, but I have no clue regarding how to start the divorce process. We were married in Florida, but our permanent residence is in NY. I am looking for advice on how I should begin our divorce process. How long will my divorce take to be final? My divorce is uncontested, so are lawyers and courts necessary? Is a child custody battle necessary? I would greatly appreciate any advice or information you can offer! I am desperate for info! Thank you in advance! Answer
         
        • Ans :

          It appears from what you have stated that New York State would have jurisdiction over this divorce proceeding. I strongly urge you to contact me at 212-370-1660 to discuss this matter in greater length. From the information you provide, it sounds like you both would benefit from mediating the divorce instead of litigating. The length of time it takes depends on the time it takes to resolve all of the issues such as child support, child custody, spousal maintenance, division of marital assets, etc. But there is no question that the amount of time it takes will be less in mediation than in an adversarial situation such as in court. The emotional, financial and psychological cost is much less in mediation, and the entire matter remains private, and conducted in a civilized and mature passion in the privacy of the attorney-mediator’s office.
          The matters are complex and require legal expertise. I would not recommend that anyone try to file a divorce without proper legal counsel. If you go the mediation route, you will be able to minimize the legal costs, and will not generally be required to make any court appearance.
          With regard to child custody, the answer to your question depends on you and your spouse. It you are able to com to an understanding regarding child custody, you will be able to avoid a battle. It is part of the mediation process to discuss just such an issue and to resolve it and all of the other such issues in a fashion that best meets the needs of both parties avoiding the “battle” that you refer to an which generally results from having two adversarial attorneys attempting to outdo the other.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #2: My husband and I have agreed to separate, but I am the one that will move out of our house, leaving behind all of our assets. I don’t even know where to begin to make sure that I am protected, and my belongings are protected and everything is done fairly. I live in Virginia and I don’t even know what my rights are. I’m nervous and frightened. Can you offer any advice? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          I cannot overemphasize the need to consult with an experienced, divorce attorney-mediator in your area who can assist you in making all the necessary decisions to equitably divide your marital assets and provide support for you as you begin to live apart. You to not mention any children, but if there are minor children involved, you must provide for their custody and support. You mention that you will be the one meeting the marital home; how was this decision arrived at and are you being compensated in some way for giving up your share of the home?
          Consult with a divorce, attorney-mediator who is Knowledgeable about the divorce and separation laws in the court having jurisdiction over your separation. It will surely be worth the cost to know that you have done what you can to fairly protect your marital interests.
          Good luck!
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #173: I went through a New York divorce a few years ago, and the unnecessary stress and financial burden incurred was ridiculous. The so-called “adversarial” lawyers dragged out the proceedings, but it was clear, in court, that they and the judge were all buddies. My ex and I paid out a combined $20,000 and wasted two years of our lives in a contested divorce (I filed using grounds of cruel and inhuman treatment; the divorce was granted, however, using “abandonment” as grounds.) The whole game was so painful, I felt as though I should have sued the State of New York for cruel and inhuman treatment. Now one of my children is contemplating divorce. Please, New York State, don’t torture her the way you tortured her father and me! Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Have them consider mediation. It’s a whole lot
          better and cheaper and much more civilized!

          Leonard Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      MEDIATION COSTS
      THE DIVORCE PROCESS
      • Question #69: what is the usual time frame from filing to finalization for a non contested divorce? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Once all of the papers have been reviewed by the parties and agreed-upon and executed, the filing can take as little as one week or ten days to up to six months, depending on the jurisdiction and the backlog of uncontested cases in such jurisdiction.

          If you’re contemplating divorce and live in the New York City metropolitan area, please contact me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter at greater length.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #68: I live in NYC. My husband and I have agreed to a Legal Separation. Is this something we can do, or do we have to hire an attorney? Is there a general form to use for a legal separation? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          A legal separation is the first step in the divorce process and it is essential that you get legal counsel to advise you on how to properly legally separate and to prepare a written Separation Agreement. The Separation Agreement deals with many issues that are unique to the married couple such as child custody, child support, the division of marital assets, spousal support, and many other issues that cannot be dealt with in a simple form. It must be drafted for the particular couple and their particular issues.

          I cannot overemphasize the benefit of mediating your separation and divorce and strongly suggest that you call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss the matter together.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #55: How long is the process of divorce in ny city? What are the costs? Can divorce been done without a lawyer? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          The process can take anywhere from a few months to years depending on the cooperation of the parties, the compexity of the outstanding issues to be resolved between them, and the experience of the attorneys involved. I strongly recommend you consider mediating your divorce, which will be quicker, cheaper, and less emotionally straining than a litigated divorce. The costs will be a function of how long it takes us to resolve all of the outstanding issues such as child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, division of marital assets, etc. Many of the issues are quite complex and you should not think of getting a divorce and entering into a Separation Agreement without experienced legal counsel. Please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter in greater length.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #4: Once served with divorce papers, how long until the divorce is final? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Being served with divorce papers is the beginning of the legal process of divorce. If the divorce is uncontested, and the parties have agreed on all the matters necessary to be settled (Child custody, Child support, spousal support, division of marital assets, etc), then be balance of the divorce papers are executed and submitted to be appropriate court, and the time it takes to formally receive a signed divorce order depends largely on the court’s backlog. In some jurisdictions this could be up to 6 months or more, while in other jurisdictions it may be a matter of few weeks.
          if the parties have not reached and agreement on the outstanding issues, the litigation just begins and there will be discovery and requests for production of documents, usually financial records, tax returns, etc. this process may take months and even years, depending on the nature of the dispute between the parties.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq. \ Divorce Solutions

      • Question #3: How much is a session; what if my spouse doesn’t want to come? do i need a lawyer? how does the divorce get into the court? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          You need a lawyer to file the proper papers to commence the lawsuit, especially if your spouse is opposed to be divorce.
          If you are located in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter at greater length.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      THE MEDIATION PROCESS
      • Question #73: My husband and I are seeking a divorce and I would like to know how it works if we would come to you as a mediator. Do we see you together or separately, what are the fees and do you provide a free consultation? I did my research about the divorce itself and our situation is like this: I guess the best grounds that are not severe for us would be constructive abandonment. The custody will be full physical with the mother and shared decision making with flexible visitation rights. My husband has a pension plan from his job, he makes around 52-57k I am now unemployed but will resume working in a month for $18/hour (about 35K). We need to somehow split our 30k dept from which almost 9ooo is for a car that my husband will take. I want him to be responsible for that ammount and share the rest 2/3 to 1/3 due to my lower income. II will need a child support and possibly a spousal support at least for the start. Can the child support be increased in a future if he will be promoted? I will also need to determine how to split the cost of education, summer camps, medical etc for my son. Also I would like to keep my son on his medical insurance and change my last name. I dont know what else to look into, so can you pleaselet me know if youy have a free consultation to discuss this matter further? Thank you for your time. Answer
         
        • Ans :

          The mediation process requires that both parties participate together and begin interacting with each other if no longer as husband-and-wife then , as parents of the same children , whom they both love and wish to protect. The meetings would be held in the privacy and comfort of my office, instead of the courtroom corridors, and all the time would be spent on actually dealing with resolving issues in order to get on with your lives instead of sitting around for hours waiting for your 10 minutes before the judge in the cold courtroom.
          My fee is $375 per hour and the total fee will be a function of how many hours it takes us to go through all the issues involved , including child custody, child support, spousal support ,division of marital assets, paying off any existing liabilities, and any other issues that are important to you.
          I see you have put in much thought into some of the issues that are involved , and to the extent that you and your husband can resolve these issues before the mediation meetings the faster the process will go and the less-expensive it will be. There are however, additional matters you failed to mention that must be discussed , which will be presented during the course of the mediation process.

          If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, I strongly suggest that you call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting for all of us to discuss the matter at greater length. If you and your husband both attend, there is no charge for the initial meeting if you decide not to continue.

          Looking forward to hearing from you,

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./DivorceSolutions

      • Question #64: I would like to end my 7-year marriage to my husband. We have no children and have mutually agreed on the property split (so there’s nothing to mediate). We have both worked full-time jobs throughout our marriage so there’s no need for alimony. We live together for economic reasons. What would be the quickest and most affordable way to divorce him in NYC? Do we need to be legally separated for a specified amount of time. We don’t have a lot of money, and like I said earlier, not much property to split. Should one of us move out? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Although you state that you have nothing to mediate, in fact it is important to make sure that you have discussed all of the relevant issues involved in separating, and ultimately divorcing and therefore a mediator is still necessary. In addition you will have to enter into a Separation Agreement which will spell out in writing all of the terms of upon which you have agreed to divide your property and the decisions you have made regarding spousal support and other issues. The quickest way to divorce in New York City is to do it through mediation. Please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter. Neither should move out before a settlement is reached unless there is a problem with physical abuse.

          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      • Question #52: In a divorce, should my attorney attend mediation? What if my wife insists that her attorney attend mediation, am I at a disadvantage not having my attorney with me? Answer
         
        • Ans :

          Generally, it is better if neither attorney is present so that the parties can begin the process of relating and problem solving under the new conditions of separation. The attorneys will only complicate that process. The attorneys may be consulted by each party before making final decisions but should preferably not participate in the discussions between the parties during the mediation sessions. If one side, however, feels insecure without his/her attorney present and insists on having the attorney there, the other side should also be represented by separate counsel to balance the discussions.
          Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

      TRY MARRIAGE COUNSELLING FIRST