How can I protect myself financially if I go through with a divorce? 29 Answers as of July 17, 2013

My husband wants a divorce but I will like to try and work on our marriage. If he is set on having a divorce how can I protect myself and our son financially? He has indicated he wants nothing to do with raising our son. We both are employed however it would be difficult for me to keep our home with just my income.

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Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
You can file a motion for temporary orders while the divorce is pending.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/5/2011
Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C.
Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C. | Fredric Harlan Aaron
It is not clear from your question if your son is still a minor. Assuming he is still under 18, your husband will responsible to pay child support and additional child support (such as health insurance and extracurricular activities) until your son reaches maturity. You husband will also be responsible for paying a portion of your son's college education, in the event he decides to go to college. Also, you may be able to stay in the marital residence until your son reaches maturity, with your husband responsible to pay a portion of the mortgage and taxes. You should consult an experienced matrimonial attorney to assist you with your divorce and address your specific concerns.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 7/31/2011
Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
You need to meet with an experienced family law attorney and he will go over your income and your spouses income and will tell you based upon many different factors what the child support order would be. In addition if you were married for a long period of time you may be entitled to spousal support. In addition you will be entitled to 50% of the net community property assets.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/28/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
There is no "generic" way for me to advise you how to financially protect yourself in your divorce other than recommending that you retain an experienced Family Law Attorney to represent you in your divorce, and that you immediately consult with and interview experienced Family Law Attorneys to enable you to choose a competentattorney who you feel comfortable with to represent you in your divorce. If your husband chooses not to spend time with your son, that would serve to maximize his child support obligation, since child support is based on his income, your income, and his percentage of custodial timeshare. Withoutinformation regardingyour and your husband's incomes, I can't determine whether or not you might qualify to receive spousal support. If you qualify for child support and/or spousal support, you may or may not have sufficient income to afford to pay the house expenses - if the house is awarded to you. Whether or not youcould receive the family home in the divorce would depend at least in part upon whether there are sufficient assets to award to your husband to equalize his community share of the equity in the family home, or whether you can qualify for a loan to pay off his community share of that equity (and pay the payments on that loan as well as your other costs of living). If your husband is willing to stipulate to an order deferring the sale of the house and division of its net proceeds until your son graduates from high school, that may facilitate your staying in the house with your son until that event, if you can afford, with your income and child support and spousal support to live there and pay your costs of living.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/27/2011
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
You most certainly would benefit from having an attorney. You can seek child support and perhaps alimony as well as a share (usually in the 50% range) of any assets that are marital.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 7/26/2011
    Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law
    Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law | Neville J. Bedford
    Separate your finances before the divorce is filed while you are reconciling as a contingency plan. Know that the house two people can afford is oft not affordable for one person alone.Figure out if you will agree to sell and split any proceeds or whether one person will buy out the other. If you have this agreed, it will simplify your case.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Michael Edwards, Attorney at Law
    Michael Edwards, Attorney at Law | Michael Edwards
    You need to consult with an attorney right away, and get advice that is tailored to your specific circumstances. You can apply for child support and alimony. You can also segregate your financial accounts, close credit accounts, etc. These are general suggestions, but you really need the advice of an attorney. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Under Washington law your husband would have a child support obligation even if he is not participating in parenting. There is also the potential for spousal support to you if he has significantly more income than you. If support is not sufficient to allow you to remain in the home, it may be that the home would need to be sold and your share of the proceeds used to obtain a less expensive home.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Osterman Law LLC
    Osterman Law LLC | Mark D. Osterman
    First, I want to start with the disclaimer that no lawyer should and I will not tell you how to hide assets in a divorce. That is unethical and will likely get a lawyer disbarred for a few days. Second, you need to be sharp about spending and getting access to documents. Bank records tell us where he spends with a debit card.Phone bills tell us who he consults.You need to get copies of the taxes and is there any income that is mysteriously forgotten at tax time.Like registered dogs having puppies or other cash sales. Cash always seems to hit the bankseither in lack of spending or in being deposited for other spending. Spread sheet your spending as well as yours and you will save a huge attorney fee bill trying to sort that out. The personality you describe of your husband suggestsa lot of "self-righteousness" where he will justify what he does as a higher goal and what you do as always needing his insights. Use that to your advantage. You offered the house as being out-side your ability. But remind him the court will be ordering he pay child support and could order spousal support while you catch-up with skills to get a higher salary. There are several ways to go: He should assist on the house payment and you will give him the deduction for the son on your taxes. He needs to pay rehabilitative alimony since you cannot survive on your income alone. He needs to send you back to school for more money and day-care while you are in school and at work. Suggest some of these alternatives to him without lawyers and get him realizing there is more than one way to "skin a cat." Your divorce will be EQUAL and not just "fair." Remember what we try to teach our kids: Fair is not always equal and seldom is. Equal is NEVER FAIR.Equal just divides and never asks by what or how much or needs a reason. Divorces are resolved by equality and not by fairness.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    You husband will be required to pay child support. Go to the and under the links you can run an on line support calcuation. Child support will be automatically deducted from his pay check.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
    Consult a lawyer about filing for Child Support and Spousal Support/Alimony "Pendente Lite." If you still cannot keep your home, then you may have to downsize your lifestyle.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Correia-Champa & Mailhot
    Correia-Champa & Mailhot | Susan Correia Champa
    Your Husband will be required to pay child support and maybe alimony depending on the length of the marriage, your Husband's income and your available assets. I would suggest you contact an attorney to do some pre-divorce planning. An attorney will have you fill out a financial statement and ask some very specific questions in order to determine what level of support you could possibly expect.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    You retain counsel to protect you and your son.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/17/2013
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    If he wishes to proceed with a divorce, you cannot stop the process. With regard to financial issues, a court may issue temporary orders that establish what is to be paid and by whom while the divorce is pending. Financial issues are never simple to discern without a full review of all of the facts and the family finances.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    If you awarded custody in the divorce, you will be entitled to child support from the father regardless of whether he wants to be a part of his life. The amount of child support will depend on your incomes, but often parents are evasive in disclosing their true income on their financial statement. At this point, you need to consider hiring an attorney to represent all of your interests in the divorce. Although this will cost more money up front, it can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    The Coyle Law Office
    The Coyle Law Office | T. Andrew Coyle
    You should speak with a local attorney who can deal with the specifics of your situation and with how judges in your county generally handle these matters; however, the marital residence would likely be considered a joint asset and if neither side can afford to live in it on their own and buy out the other side's share, it is usually ruled that it should be sold within a year or two.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/26/2011
    Elmbrook Law Offices
    Elmbrook Law Offices | Gregory Straub
    Wisconsin is a no fault divorce state. If you husband wants to be divorced, the Court will move forward with the divorce. In terms of protecting your son's interests and your financial well being, child support will be based upon the placement schedule and statute. In terms of maintenance, a number of factors will be reviewed including length of marriage, differences in income, standard of life, etc. Thank you.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    As soon as someone starts the divorce, move for temporary orders. Temporary orders will address temporary child support and maintenance. Then seek the correct amount of finalchild support andmaintenance possibly and a fair division of your assets and debts
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    The reality is that you have more "protection" financially once you actually file for divorce than you until then. Filing the initial paperwork prohibits either party from disposing of marital property and fixes a date that any child support and/or spousal maintenance should begin. Everything you now own (no matter whose name is on the title) is presumed to be marital property until it is proven to have been owned before the marriage or acquired by gift or inheritance. Marital property will be divided either as you and your husband agree or as a judge decides to be fair. That division does not have to apply to each separate item - fairness is decided by the overall distribution. There are no fixed rules as to what is "fair". Whether you can afford to keep the home depends on a lot factors and information that you have not provided. If the kids continue to live with you, your husband will be required to pay child support. Child support is computed using the gross income of each parent. If your income plus child support is not enough for you to live on, you may have a claim to spousal maintenance (alimony) for some period of time. The details about what you could reasonable expect need to be discussed with a qualified attorney who can review everything directly with you.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    You need a good divorce attorney. You should talk to a divorce attorney before you do anything at all. This is important, and will affect your life and your son's life for many years.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    If your husband wants a divorce, there is nothing you can do to stop the process. As for protecting yourself financially, I'm not sure what you mean. Child support will have to be paid and will be based on the combined incomes and amount of time each person spends with the child or children. Alimony may be an issue, depending on the length of the marriage and other circumstances, but only if there is a legitimate need and ability to pay. If neither of you can afford the house on your own, then there is a good likelihood that it would be sold and the proceeds or deficit shared between you. I would strongly suggest speaking with an experienced family law attorney to assist you in this matter, and also to educate you on your potential rights and options.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    It is not possible to answer your questions given the limited info in your question. I recommend that you contact a local family law lawyer to discuss the particular facts of your case, including issues such as any spousal support, child support, and dividing assets and debts. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    We recommend that you retain a divorce attorney in your area as soon as possible, to discuss your rights and options, including issues involving child support and an equitable property division. If you are unable to keep the house, even with support, then you can discuss other options with your divorce lawyer, including selling the house. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    A divorce can be financially difficult on both parties. The Court would determine if they believe you have sufficient income to keep the marital property. I suggest that you contact an attorney just is case counseling does not work out.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    You would be entitled to child support and quite possibly spousal support. Determination of the amount and scope of the support is driven by your specific financial and fact pattern. Please consult with an attorney to discuss your legal options.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    You need to consult with an attorney as to details but in general he will have to pay child support in accordance with the Guidelines at the least and may also have pay alimony.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/25/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    Unfortunately this is not a simple question that can be answered via email. You need to have a consultation with a family law attorney regarding the specific facts of your situation and then the lawyer should be able to spot issues and give you an idea of the law that would apply to your case in general. If you have custody of your son, you would get child support, but you need to talk to a lawyer regarding the specifics of child support, property and debt division, and spousal support, among other issues, as they relate to your specific case.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/25/2011
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