What will my wife get if we get a divorce? 37 Answers as of August 05, 2011

I'm a marine and Ive only been married for a little over a year. We married at the very end of my service. We also bought a house about four months ago and its in both of our names. The divorce is due to adultry on her part. Now she is threatening to court and take all that I own if I dont pay her off.

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Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
The Court will make a fair and equitable division of your assets/debts. Adultery is not relevant.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/5/2011
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
You might want to "pay her off" just to get rid of her! If the marriage is so short, only those things accumulated during the marriage are on the table. Since it might be a low amount of accumulation, there is little to split. The hardest issue will be the house and that depends on ability to support it and/or if it will need to be sold.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 7/20/2011
Osterman Law LLC
Osterman Law LLC | Mark D. Osterman
Her threat is not valid. I call that smoke and mirrors. Alaska is a divide it up even state no matter who is wrong. "EVEN" is a sliding scale. If she was one year of a 20 year career, then she is entitled to 1/2 of 1 year of pension. A good lawyer will divide up the wedding gifts and what she came into the marriage with and what you gave her. Get to a good divorce lawyer and do not waste any time. The longer you go before filing the worse t gets. Good Luck
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 7/20/2011
Goolsby Law Office
Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
We are divorce lawyers in Augusta, Georgia. Generally, adultery, if it is the cause of the divorce, and if it can be proven, might serve as a bar to alimony and affect other issues, including property division, too. It is important that you retain a divorce attorney in your area ASAP to discuss all your rights and options. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 7/15/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
Your wife would be entitled to little or nothing in a divorce, after a one-year marriage. California has no fault divorce, so your wife's adultery would not be relevant to a divorce. The house that you bought four months ago is likely worth no more, and probably worth less, than what you paid for it. If it has any equity, its equity would likely be eaten up by realtor commissions and costs of sale, if it could even sell. If you put separate property into the down payment, to the extent that you can trace separate payment into the purchase of the house, you would be entitled to reimbursement of that separate payment out of the net sale proceedsbefore the balance, if any, would be divided as community property - and there likely would not be any balance. Whatever you owned before the marriage is your separate property, and your wife isn't entitled to any of your separate property. In terms of Spousal Support, that is based on your income and her income and the marital lifestyle as the major considerations. If you earn significantly more than your wife, you could have a Spousal Support obligation, but that would last only 1/2the duration of the marriage. If your wife earns significantly more than you do, she could have a Spousal Support obligation to you, for 1/2the duration of the marriage.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/15/2011
    Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law
    Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law | Neville J. Bedford
    She will likely want what she is entitled to.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    In California the court does not care if one spouse was unfaithful to the other. This has no bearing on the division of property. The home you bought together after marriage may be community property depending upon what money you used for the down payment. You need to immediately meet in person with an experienced family law lawyer in your city who can answer all of your questions.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Fox Law Firm LLC
    Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
    In IL she in not entitled to "all that you own" because of the short length of time that you have been married. If you do decide to proceed with the divorce, I encourage you to hire an attorney to represent you and protect your rights.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    Less than a one year marriage, she will get very little. Alimony is unlikely unless you made her quit her job, made her move or stay home with a child. Even then, it would be short term alimony. The house is going to be the biggest problem. I suggest you consult a local Family Law attorney to discuss your case in greater detail and learn all of your rights and options.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Apple Law Firm PLLC
    Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
    You should talk with a divorce attorney to determine what is at risk
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    You should be able to retain your pre-marital property. Assets and debts acquired during the marriage will probably be divided equally. If you used premarital savings or investments as a down payment on the home, you should get those funds back. Is there any equity in the home?
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    First, you and I know Marines never quit and we never walk away from a fight. Second, you will be happy to know, she can threaten until she is blue in the face, she gets nothing or almost nothing. The theory goes like this: Everything is community property, unless it is separate property (think, every combatant is enemy until he establishes friendly with the code of the day when crossing your defensive perimeter). Property division works the same way, it is all community (divided 50/50) unless it is proven separate. Separate property is property you owned before marriage (that is a fairly simple system when you have been married for a short period of time); it was received as a gift or inheritance; or - and pay attention to this one - it was purchased during the marriage with funds or property that is separate (earned prior to marriage or received as s gift or inheritance during marriage). What this means for you is simple. The maximum she is entitled on your military benefits is the number of months you were married and serving divided by the number of months you served, result divided by 2. For example, if you retired at 20 years, and services and marriage overlapped by 4 months the maximum she could get by law is 4/240*50% (in this example 1.3 %) and that amount is further reduced across the board for any VA benefits you take in lieu. By way of explanation, assume your retirement is $1500 per month pre-tax but you took a 30% VA disability meaning you get $450 from the VA and the other $1050 from the Marine Corps (DFAS). She would only get 1.3% of the $1050, she get nothing from the VA check, so her maximum interest would be $13.65 per month. Again, I am using some assumptions her for examples and the Court can, based on her conduct, deny her 50% of the community. So, lets look at the house. It was purchased during the marriage, but with what funds? Did you make a down payment, if so, where did that money come from? Assume you paid $0 down and used your VA certificate, the house was purchased for $200K, you have made a few payments but the end result is it is worth what you owe, not a penny more. 50% of $0 equity is still $0. She can ask for the house, which the Court can award to her on the condition that she refinance and remove your name and fee your VA certificate because the Court cannot award her your VA certificate (that is your benefit and not assignable). In this case, she can ask for the house but she has to be able to refinance including and downpayment required. If you put money down, say $10K, and you can show that $10K was in your bank account prior to marriage and used for the downpayment, that is called tracing. By tracing, you show it was your $10K and she gets $0. Now for the true crux, the assumption is 50/50 split of community property, the court cannot award her your separate property (though you have the duty to show what is separate, if you do not show it is separate, it is assumed community). Even though there is an assumption of 50/50, when one party is responsible for the break up of the marriage, the court MAY split community property as it deems fair and equitable considering the length of the marriage, the value of the property, and the fault in the break-up. All of these factors play in your favor. So, call me if you are in the DFW area. Otherwise, let me know where you are living and I will see if I can locate a fellow Devil Dog who practices in your neighborhood. Take the boy out of the Corps, but you can never take the Corps out of the boy, and we never leave a fellow Marine behind which does not change just because you wear civies now.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    ROWE LAW FIRM
    ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
    Your wife may be eligible for some temporary spousal support during the time that you must wait to finalize a divorce. She is entitled to of the property you accumulated during the time you were married, after subtracting liabilities you incurred while married, and any reimbursements due to your separate property being used for marital acquisitions. Property that you earned prior to entering into marriage with your wife is your separate property. If, for example, the downpayment for your new home came from money you had prior to being married, you will be entitled to a reimbursement of those funds from the equity in the home. If your wife is not "free from fault" in the breakup of the marriage-you have alleged adultery-she will not be eligible for support after the divorce is final, provided you have held a hearing to have her fault determined. Without a hearing prior to the divorce, she may be eligible for "temporary" support for up to six months after the divorce. If the fault hearing is held later, her support may be cut off. She will not be entitled to any portion of your military pension because you were not married for ten years.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    In a short term marriage, the Court usually makes a division of the property purchased together and the person who brought any property into the marriage usually ends up taking that property back.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Lewis, Pfanstiel & Williams, PCLO
    Lewis, Pfanstiel & Williams, PCLO | Ryan J. Lewis
    Nebraska is a marital property state. Only the assets and/or debts acquired during the marriage get split equally.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Pontrello Law
    Pontrello Law | William Pontrello
    see a lawyer, she gets very little.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    The Coyle Law Office
    The Coyle Law Office | T. Andrew Coyle
    Generally, spouses are entitled to of any assets acquired during the marriage. So, if the house you purchased has any equity (value greater than the mortgage debt), you may need to pay her off with of the equity amount which I would imagine would be relatively low since you just bought it last year. There are lots of variables that go into figuring out the rights of spouses in divorce you should speak with a local attorney who can go over all of your particulars and tell you what you can expect.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    That is outrageous, and you should not put up with it. No, she does not get to take everything.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    For a marriage of such short duration, most Courts will give each party what they brought into the marriage.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    The only things she is potentially entitled to are one half of anything that was acquired during the marriage. Therefore, if the house has any value, then she may be entitled to half. However, anything that you owned prior to the marriage is most likely non-marital and not subject to distribution. Do not give in to her threats. Consult with an experienced attorney prior to signing anything and/or taking any actions. You need to know your rights and have someone on your side to protect you. My office offers free initial telephone consultations if you would like to discuss this matter in more detail, as well as explore the potential rights and options available.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    in such a short marriage the tendency is to return the parties to their positions before marriage The information contained in this email may be confidential and/or legally privileged. It has been sent for the sole use of the intended recipient(s). If the reader of this message is not an intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any unauthorized review, use, disclosure, dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication, or any of its contents, is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC | Patrick Meriwether
    Only assets accumulated during the course of the marriage are subject to equitable division. If you came into the marriage with certain assets such as a military retirement, the part that you accumulated before the marriage is your separate property.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    The court looks to the reason for the breakdown of the marriage when deciding what is a fair division of the marital estate. However, there is a theory of law, condonation which basically says if you reconcile and shack up again after the affair, then you have condoned the past indiscretion and it will not be considered. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Donaldson Stewart, PC
    Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
    In Arizona, community property and debt must be divided equitably (generally, this means equally). Marital misconduct is not taken into account in the division of property. I recommend you speak with an attorney about the details of your situation and to determine your options and best course of action.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    First and foremost: do not pay her anything until after you retain a domestic relations attorney. Your questions are not simple and are too specific for a reasonable answer. Please consult a domestic relations attorney near you.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Law Offices of John J. Ferry, Jr.
    Law Offices of John J. Ferry, Jr. | John J. Ferry, Jr.
    The adultery will make little or no difference in determining how the marital assets will be divided. You should sit down with a divorce attorney to discuss this. Be prepared to give your attorney a list of your assets, both those obtained during the marriage and outside of the marriage.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Willick Law Group
    Willick Law Group | Marshal S. Willick
    Well, THAT seems unlikely. What you actually could use is a consultation with qualified counsel to go over your rights and obligations. My guess is that it is a much easier road than you are perhaps being led to believe.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Wolverine Law | Stuart Collis
    If she committed adultery, she's highly unlikely "to take it all" in a contested divorce. Fault is never considered for purposes of getting a divorce but it is considered for property division.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    It is impossible to accurately answer your question on such limited information. She clearly cannot get "all that you own" because the law only requires a "fair" division of all marital property. In a one year marriage it would seem unlikely that there is very much marital property to be divided. Since there are no hard & fast rules in divorce, you need to consult an attorney who can evaluate all the relevant facts and explain the various possibilities to you in a face to face discussion.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Law Office of Margaret D. Wilson
    Law Office of Margaret D. Wilson | Margaret Wilson
    While the other party in a divorce may make threats of taking everything they are not legally entitled to everything. In California if there are children the parent making more money and spending less time with t he kids may have to pay child support. If the parties were married for a considerable amount of time then the one making more money may have to pay spousal support. Spousal support is usually only given for the duration of the marriage and in very short term marriages not at all. All property purchased during marriage is community property (houses, cars, etc.) However, if a party contributed separate property to the purchase of a community property asset they may be entitled to reimbursement for what they contributed of their personal property. In addition, if after separation on party pays the loan (for example on a car) then that party would be entitled to certain credits for the payments they made. These credits also hold true for credit card payments made on community property debts after separation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    All your wife will be entitled to is any 1/2 of any property acquired during the marriage with earnings as well as her separate and personal belongings. If you have military retirement earned in this period, there would be some small percentage that could be community property. If there was a down payment on the house made with earnings and the house still has equity, then this too would be divided. If the down payment was from a source gifted, loaned or acquired before marriage, the person that put the money out as a deposit would be entitled to reimbursement. Your marriage was only for a few months, so it sounds like there is very little community property to divide.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Under Washington law, as a general rule, the court will give each party back the property they came into the marriage with and divide the property they acquired together during the marriage. If you bought a house together, the equity would generally be divided, but any separate investments in it may be repaid to the person who paid (for example, if one person made the down payment from assets they had prior to the marriage).
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    First, let me say that in Washington, in general, adultery makes no difference to the division of property and debts. The statute governing the division of property and debts in a marriage says that the court is to make a fair and equitable division of all of the property and debts without regard to marital misconduct. Second, you have what we call a short term marriage. A short term marriage, depending on who you talk to is one that is less than five years (some people say seven years). While there are exceptions to almost anything in the law, the general rule for a short term marriage is that the court is supposed to try, to the extent practicable, to put the two of you back in the financial positions you were in just prior to the marriage. So, what does this mean? First, it means that the court is likely to just give each of you the property and debts you had before the marriage-that is, whatever you had before the marriage you should get and whatever she had before the marriage she should get. That would just leave community property. Without getting to technical about what is and isn't community property, it is likely to be the things you accumulated during your marriage. The only item that you mentioned is the house that you purchased a few months ago. My guess is that you have very little equity in the house, and that would have to be divided. So, the conclusion I reach is that your spouse's threat to take everything is pretty empty, unless there is something unusual in your case that you have not yet mentioned.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Petit & Dommershausen SC
    Petit & Dommershausen SC | Tajara Dommershausen
    Most short term marriages each person takes what they brought in and split any debt they have accumulated.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    On a short term marriage, the only thing that is likely at issue is any debt or assets acquired during the marriage. That would include any equity in a home purchased during the marriage. Infidelity is irrelevant to the outcome.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 7/14/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Number one: get a lawyer. Number two: get a lawyer. Number three: get a lawyer. In Georgia the home will be equitably divided. Many factors, including her conduct and finances, affect division. A case will generally go far better if you get a lawyer than if you do not.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/14/2011
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