If I get a divorce after a long term marriage, what are my rights? 17 Answers as of June 14, 2013

We had 36 years of marriage with 4 beautiful children ages 22-31. One married in 2012. Husband left right after, setting up a new residence near his office. He claims "I don't want to be your caregiver. Plus, we cannot get along, anymore." This refers to arguments like: Where did you find the money to purchase a new Porsche at $110,000? His answer: None of your business. I filed for divorce when he left me, moved out all his office furniture, and went on a three week wine tour of France. He left no money in the checking account. My son needed tuition money and was starting college fall semester. I borrowed the money from my aging mother. He paid it back however, reluctantly. Then, I had bills coming in for the large house we own. I want to know my rights. I was a stay at home mother for 35 years! Am I entitled to 50% of our marital estate and to receive 50% of his salary? I have not worked in a very long time and I have health issues with my knees and back. Please help!

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Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr.
Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr. | John F. Geraghty, Jr.
You should go for the house or an alimony payment.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 6/14/2013
The Law Firm of Jessica M. Cotter, P.L.L.C. | Jessica M. Cotter
It is difficult to advise a client without all of the facts. It is really essential that you at least consult with an experienced family law attorney. Generally speaking you would be entitled to an award of one half of the community property obtained during the marriage. Unfortunately, given the facts as you have presented them, there is every probability that your husband has been hiding assets.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 6/13/2013
Law Offices of Julie A. Ringquist | Julie A. Ringquist
It sounds as if you may need an attorney to help you move forward, because it looks as if you got stuck after you filed initial paperwork. You need to make a request for orders of Spousal Support immediately, it will not be half of his income, but it will be a significant help. Next, you need to begin finding out exactly what the marital assets and debts are, where they are held, if any significant amounts have been removed by your husband since the separation date, and prepare a proposal to divide things approximately 50/50. If you can't work it out, you will need to go to trial and have the Judge divide things, but you need court orders, not just private agreements in order for it to be enforceable.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/12/2013
John Russo | John Russo
You need an attorney, you will not do this yourself. The court will award advancement of fees against equitable distribution.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 6/12/2013
Webster & Associates | Anita Webster
You are entitled to 50% of all assets accumulated during the marriage except inheritance and personal injury awards are considered separate property. Alimony is not set by a formula. You should retain an attorney to assist you and to ensure that you receive what you are entitled to.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 6/12/2013
    Petit & Dommershausen SC
    Petit & Dommershausen SC | Tajara Dommershausen
    Yes you have the right to 50% of your marital assets, 50% of the marital debt and maintenance.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 6/12/2013
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
    Contact an attorney immediately Each divorce is unique but you should be eligible for significant spousal support, etc. but unless you have a knowledgeable attorney to assist you in the process you will loose out on some or all of it.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/12/2013
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    If you are in Florida, you are entitled to half of everything acquired during the marriage and also possibly alimony. You should consult with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/12/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    You need to talk with an attorney, sooner the better. There are way too many factors that need to be discussed in an email.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 6/12/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    You are going to need a very good divorce attorney. You are entitled to, for starters, half of the accumulation of assets during the marriage. Yours is also a very strong case for spousal support, which could approach half of his income. His Porsche and "none of your business" will be assets in your divorce arguments. If you have an attorney, get your answers there, if you do not call for an appointment. You will not get your "fair share" without an attorney in these circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/12/2013
    Glenn Milgraum PC
    Glenn Milgraum PC | Glenn P. Milgraum
    In most states, you would be entitled to an "equitable share" of the assets - not necessarily 50% (some will divide 50/50). Seek counsel with a lawyer. In most states, the attorney can request that your spouse pay all or some of your attorneys' fees.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/12/2013
    Waldman Palmer LLC
    Waldman Palmer LLC | Christopher J. Palmer
    I am sorry to hear of your situation, but you have rights. You should consult with a family law attorney in your area as soon as possible to make sure that your rights remain protected. You are likely to entitled to some portion of your marital estate and, potentially, on going support. You indicated in your question that you filed for divorce; be sure to mention this to the attorney as critical rights may have been lost.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/12/2013
    Theodora Fader | Theodora Fader
    The court will divide all marital property in debt "equitably." The starting point for determining an equitable property division is 50/50. You need to hire counsel immediately to assist you, if you have not already done so.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/12/2013
    Cantin Lawyers PC | John Morris
    In Connecticut, with a long term marriage (anything over 20 years is long term), permanent alimony and a healthy (at least 50% division of assets) is appropriate. If he's abandoning you for health reasons, he might end up paying more. You should consult with a very good lawyer asap so that assets can be frozen and you can get some support orders.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/12/2013
    SHAPIRO LAW GROUP | ERIC L. SHAPIRO
    You have a very serious matter on your hand an need to speak with an attorney as quickly as possible. There is no hard and fast rule for how your income or assets are addressed. First we would need to know exactly what is in play. Does your husband work for someone, own his own business, manage investments, etc. This is not a great forum for answering or evaluating your matter. If we had more information would would be able to give you a more concrete idea of your options.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/12/2013
    Law Office of Cassandra Savoy
    Law Office of Cassandra Savoy | Cassandra Savoy
    You can not dissolve a 36 year marriage with advise over the internet. Consult an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/12/2013
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