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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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My husband told me he wants a divorce (a week ago), and before

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My husband told me he wants a divorce (a week ago), and before we've even begun to discuss this he's taken his income out of our joint account. He is paying in his "percentage" of "household expenses" (based on the percentage of income we each bring to the household) , but he hasn't told me what he's considering in his calculations. He has earned considerably more than me throughout our 32 year marriage. I have medical bills that I don't think he has considered and that were incurred before he told me he wants a divorce, and that I think he needs to contribute to. What are my rights and what should he be expected to pay?
Thank you for your question.

First of all, there is no such thing as a "percentage of household expenses". While you are married, and unless there is a court order in place, both members of the spousal unit pay based on ability, not on percentage of earnings. If he is earning substantially more than you, and you have been married for 32 years, you are able to pursue lifetime alimony or spousal support should you pursue a divorce, due to the length of the marriage. The alimony can range from anywhere of 22% to 37% of the difference income between you. For example if you make $2,000 a month and he makes $7,000 a month, the $5,000 would be the difference from which you could be entitled from 22% to 37% (that is up to negotiation between your attorneys since there is no set amount that is awarded for support).

Second, removal of assets from the joint account if he is filing is not permitted. The court order requires that ALL assets remain essentially where they currently are located so that when the asset split takes place, a proper split of all assets is taken into consideration. Therefore demand that he return the funds or when you pursue the divorce, you can then demand a formal return of the assets via court order.

Good luck.
Dimitry K., Esq. and 2 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Since he hasn't files for divorce, do I have any way to compel him to consider my requests for financial assistance in paying these bills, or returning his assets to our joint account, until he files?
Thank you for your follow-up.

The answer is yes, at least toward payment of bills. You can file for "spousal support" via the courts now, which is very much like alimony, except paid while still married. If he fails to support you and the bills while you are still married, you can get a court order essentially compelling him to do it anyway.

Good luck.
Dimitry K., Esq. and 2 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you