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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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I am a 63 year old male; my wife is 62 and still working as

Customer Question

I am a 63 year old male; my wife is 62 and still working as an OR nurse. I retired on Feb 26, 2011 from the Commonwealth of PA - Public Utility Commission as a CPA. I was diagnosed with Non Hodgkins lymphoma in late 2008 and have gone thru chemo since that time. Finacially, we are worth approximately $600,000. On August 16, 2011 I filed for self divorce withouy going thru any lawyers. We generally ( my opinion) that we can settle the divorce amicably and move on. The only way I will be cured is with a stem cell transplant at Johns Hopkins which will keep me in the hospital in patient and outpatient for 60 days within the next month and in 24/7 coverage for at least 4 more months. I will need constant 24/7 care doing that period. Since I live in Montgomery County, I live too far from Baltimore (Johns Hopkins) even for outpatient treatment. With 2 adult children who can help with the 24/7 coverage and my wife knowing that the chance of survival is 50/50, I am in a very stressful situation brought on by myself. Is there any divorce rule in the Pa divorce laws that can order a divorce decree to be deferred based upon the out come of a catastrophic illness and one's ability to subsequently return to normal and then continue the proceedings. I would probably be better off IF I had a girl friend who could help with 24/7 care but that is non existent. Please advise>
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I am a Pennsylvania licensed expert.

I am not sure I completely understand. You wish to have your divorce decree be made contingent on whether or not you will get better from the treatment?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes, if the decree goes thru now, that might hinder the 24/7 coverage I will need at Johns Hopkins from my family for several months (ie they may not be there for me). The cost for a nurse 24/7 at Johns Hopkins homes (like Ronald McDonald ) are quite high.Since the tranplant success rate is only 50/50, am I better off holding back on any decree until my success is known which the oncologists had confirmed would be known after 30 days of the stem cell transplant. The question is: from divorce law perspective , am I and my family better off getting divorced now knowing the survivial rate is 50/50 and I might succumb, or play the odds that I might survive the transplant?
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your patience.

I am sorry but there is not such case law in Pennsylvania. A divorce cannot be made contingent on other factors not directly related to the divorce itself. You can either withhold filing, or intentionally fail to sign off on papers, but you cannot base the court's response on your medical health and medical outcome. While I cannot answer or advise you specifically on what is best, XXXXX XXXXX personally do not have good health insurance but your spouse does, it may be wiser to remain married so as to ensure coverage continues. Plus, unless you do not trust your current spouse, should anything befall you, she would have an automatic right to make decisions on your behalf, something that you may not have if you are single and without a power of attorney medical/financial/or business designated agent.

Good luck.

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