Have Legal Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
Hi, Welcome to JustAnswer, My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provide you with Excellent service,
I am sorry to hear of your friend's predicament and it is kind of you to want to help. You should tell your friend that if this is what her husband wants, there really is nothing that she can do to prevent the inevitable. The best she can do is to protect her interests and that of her children.
1. She should immediately file a Petition for Spousal Support and Child Support. If she has been a homemaker and has no money, the Court will not penalize her because the Court realizes how important the responsibilities of a mother and homemaker are. Therefore, the Court will award her Spousal Support and Child support;
2. If and when the husband files for a divorce, she can get an attorney to file an Answer to the Complaint in Divorce and file a Counterclaim for Alimony Pendente Lite (Temporary Alimony during the divorce Proceedings) and also for Interim Counsel Fees. The Courts do not like to see an uneven playing field simply because one party has the finances to retain an attorney while the other spouse does not. Therefore, the Court will Order the husband to pay part or all of the wife's counsel fees. The wife's attorney can file a Petition for Interim Counsel Fees periodically as his itemized bill increases and the Court will Order the husband to pay her counsel fees periodically. The Counterclaim should also include a Count for Alimony so that at the end of the proceedings she will be awarded Alimony. It is usually "Rehabilitative" in nature and if the children are of school age, the Court will expect the wife to use the alimony to learn a new skill, or brush up on an old skill and joing the work force and become financially independent as soon as possible;
3. Marital property will be divided according to the laws of the State of her residence. If she lives in a community property State, then all marital property will be divided equally. If she lives in an equitable distribution State, then the Judge will divide the marital property equitably, but equitably does not always mean equally. The Judge will start out at 50-50 division, but after applying several factors, the division might be 55-45, 60-40, and so on with the wife getting much of it if she was a "stay at home mom". Marital property and community property is defined as all property acquired, earned, or purchased during the marriage, regardless of whose name is XXXXX XXXXX title and regardless of who paid for it, except for gifts, bequests, or inheritances which remain the sole, separate property of the recipient spouse.
The important thing for you to keep reminding your friend is that she has a lot going for her and the Court will not leave her destitute and in the street with the children. If she lives in a house with a mortgage on it, her attorney may ask the Judge to consider giving her sole occupancy of the house until the youngest child reaches the age of 18 and to have the husband make the mortgage payments each month. Then when the youngest child reaches 18, the house can be sold and the proceeds divided between the former spouses,
Please be kind enough to rate my service to you as "Excellent Service", If you are given a survey, please be kind enough to leave some Positive Feedback, I would appreciate it greatly,
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you,
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).