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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 4829
Experience:  I have assisted many customers and clients with their family law questions and I'm experienced in family law litigation.
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my husband has moved out and is suing for divorce. He is 70

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my husband has moved out and is suing for divorce. He is 70 and collects almost $5000 a month in disability and social security. I am 62 and have a job that pays about $46,000 a year. I have diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and won't be able to work much longer. 36 year marriage. For the first 15 years he was an alcoholic and tried to strangle me once. About 12 years ago he had a "nervous breakdown", later ruled PTSD, and forged my signature to our whole life policies, cashing them in and wasting the money. For the past 3 years he has refused to pay almost all of the household bills. He complained of the mess in the house but didn't work and refused to clean anything, although he hired a housekeeper about 7 times total in two years for a day at a time. I have sole custody of our 30 year old disabled (mentally and behaviorally) daughter and am trying to get her back from the residential care facility where she has been since August. We have a house, cars (mine is old) and about $300,000 in retirement. Can I refuse to divorce him, and if not will the assets be split 50/50?
Hello and thank you for using our service. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help you. I just ask for you to ask any additional questions you may have if you feel the question has not been answered. Also, IF I have bad news for you, please remember I am only the messenger, I will try my best to give you a solution, but sometimes the law does not have a good one.

You can refuse to divorce him but he doesn't need your permission. In the united states anyone who wants a divorce can have one. You can delay him by not agreeing to anything but that will only prolong the inevitable and cause you to spend a lot of money in attorney fees that could be used to support you. Yes, the assets and debt will be split 50/50. I hope this helps clarify.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

With all due respect, I am wondering if this is the complete answer. I know he will eventually get his divorce if he wants one. However, I have looked up the Missouri statutes and marital misconduct is taken into account; it is not a 50/50 automatic state like Illinois (( believe). He has already had the lion's share of our joint earnings for years, including almost all of his for the past 3 years, Throughout our marriage it has been this way. For instance, I never got a new car. He would decide he wanted a new car for himself, and take mine in for a trade without asking me, then I would have to take his old car. This divorce talk started in August when I asked social security about retirement and they told me I would get only $1100 a month, which he proclaimed not enough for him to bother with, as it wouldn't let me pay all household bills. He also has ran all over town contracting services that he negotiated, such as $263 a month in cell phone bills, which I paid for. All of this I did to keep the peace for my daughter to have a home. I believe he wants to force the sale of the only home she has ever known so she will have nowhere to come back to.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
I didn't think this answer addressed my state or my specific situation.
You are correct, the judge does not have to divide up the money 50/50. The judge is bound by law to make an "equitable" distribution of the marital assets. To that end, the legislature as set out a list of factors to help judges make that determination. The judge will look at the following:
(1) The economic circumstances of each spouse at the time the division of property is to become effective, including the desirability of awarding the family home or the right to live therein for reasonable periods to the spouse having custody of any children; (2) The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of the marital property, including the contribution of a spouse as homemaker; (3) The value of the nonmarital property set apart to each spouse; (4) The conduct of the parties during the marriage; and (5) Custodial arrangements for minor children.

So, if your husband has engaged in dishonest or wasteful spending of marital property, that is something the judge could consider. Further, the judge will consider the fact that your husband makes substantially more than you (he's making $60k, to your $46k).

So, based on that, I think that you are in a good position to get more than 50% of the remaining marital assets. However, keep in mind that the decision is up to a judge, so I can't possibly know what he or she is going to do. But, based on what you've said, you are in a strong position.
Chris T., JD, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 4829
Experience: I have assisted many customers and clients with their family law questions and I'm experienced in family law litigation.
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