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Discussion Starter #1
I recently met with a financial advisor who advised me that if I want to be independent I should leave my home. I have been married for 24 years and have two grown children. My husband has been lying about our finances the whole time, has gotten us into serious debt, has had his family bail him out without my knowledge, and gambles.

So I was making plans to move out into a friend's house, but a couple of my friends have told me not to move out until I speak to a lawyer. They said if I move out it could jeopardize my chances of getting alimony, or half of my husband's 401k, our only asset.

I have an appointment to see an attorney at the beginning of May, I have to wait that long because I need to save up the money, she is $375 an hour and the first meeting can take 1 to 2 hours.

Our house is currently on the market, and we might get an offer before May 9th. (We won't make any money on the house - he used all of the equity in the house.)

I know that no one can give me legal advice, but is it a good idea to wait to speak to an attorney before leaving? Thank you.
 

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I recently met with a financial advisor who advised me that if I want to be independent I should leave my home. I have been married for 24 years and have two grown children. My husband has been lying about our finances the whole time, has gotten us into serious debt, has had his family bail him out without my knowledge, and gambles.

So I was making plans to move out into a friend's house, but a couple of my friends have told me not to move out until I speak to a lawyer. They said if I move out it could jeopardize my chances of getting alimony, or half of my husband's 401k, our only asset.

I have an appointment to see an attorney at the beginning of May, I have to wait that long because I need to save up the money, she is $375 an hour and the first meeting can take 1 to 2 hours.

Our house is currently on the market, and we might get an offer before May 9th. (We won't make any money on the house - he used all of the equity in the house.)

I know that no one can give me legal advice, but is it a good idea to wait to speak to an attorney before leaving? Thank you.
Im no legal expert but i have heard moving out can really mess up chances for getting joint custody of children. if thats not an issue you may be ok, but i would def check with a legal advisor first. Also, shop around, not all lawyers are $375 an hour and can atleast point you in the right direction. If you need a better lawyer when the time comes then get the $375 and hour lawyer.
 

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Im no legal expert but i have heard moving out can really mess up chances for getting joint custody of children. if thats not an issue you may be ok, but i would def check with a legal advisor first. Also, shop around, not all lawyers are $375 an hour and can atleast point you in the right direction. If you need a better lawyer when the time comes then get the $375 and hour lawyer.
Our children are grown, so no custody issues.

The first attorney I tried was $450 an hour. This one is highly recommended, and that is what good lawyers cost in my area. I need someone with really good knowledge of my financial situation, not someone to just give me the basics about our state law.

Thanks, I will wait to talk to her before I leave. My financial advisor told me to call the attorney and have a brief phone conversation with her prior to my consultation on May 9. I'm going to try that.
 

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So I was making plans to move out into a friend's house, but a couple of my friends have told me not to move out until I speak to a lawyer. They said if I move out it could jeopardize my chances of getting alimony, or half of my husband's 401k, our only asset.
I am no means an expert, but moving out of the marital home primarily is only a factor with custody. You children are grown, so this is not an issue.

In many states, one of the requirements for divorce is for the involved persons to live separate and apart for a given period of time prior to the final divorce. Moving out should not play a factor in the division of marital assets. Before you move, I would make copies of all your financials and store them in a safe location. Basically make sure you know what you have between the two of you.

You sound like you are ready to go and have already made plans. Just remember, in addition to getting an equitable (not necessarily equal) share of the marital assets, you will also gain an equitable share of the marital debt. Marriage is joint and so are the assets and liabilities.

I have an appointment to see an attorney at the beginning of May, I have to wait that long because I need to save up the money, she is $375 an hour and the first meeting can take 1 to 2 hours.
Business must be good in your area if lawyers charge full rates just for the initial consult. Most will usually give a free or low cost consult for the first meeting.
 

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Goldfinch,
Why are you trying to get spousal support? You are a grown woman I am assuming so you should be looking to support yourself. Spousal support is theft. Not to mention, it doesn't sound like your husband is very good with money so you may want a back up plan. It doesn't sound like his track record with money is very good to rely upon so collecting may be difficult. If someone does not want to pay support (or can't) they are not going to. It sounds like you need a clean break, not be dependent on an ex-husband. There is that 401K but if you did not contribute to it then you should leave it alone, it is his. Your moving out of the home should not affect division of property, however, if you have a lot of debt and he is the only source of income, his money will be used to pay that debt and won't be able to pay spousal support.
 

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Most atty's will give a free 10 minute or so consultation. It might by via phone or in person. You can ask questions and they will give you answers based on the limited amount of info you can provide in such a short conversation.

My guess is that your situation is pretty clear, and so you could get a definite answer in such a consultation about whether moving out is helpful or hurtful.

If your situation is simple overall, you won't spend much on an attorney. Do your homework and have all your documentation ready when you walk in the door. Avoid phone calls for little stuff because you'll probably be charged 15 minutes or something like that even if it is only a 1 minute call.

If possible do as much negotiating without the lawyers as you can. Your lawyer can inform you on the general lay of the land and what your rights/obligations are in your situation where you live.

Don't sign any papers without the lawyer's approval, but you can agree on things with your stbx like who gets which car, splitting the bank accounts, who pays which debt, etc. A mediator can help you in this process for less cost than a lawyer.

Once you have an agreement in principle, take the documents to your lawyer for final approval before you sign anything.
 

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Goldfinch,
Spousal support is theft.
There is that 401K but if you did not contribute to it then you should leave it alone, it is his.
Really? Those are some huge blanket statements..

Perhaps the spouse was home raising the children for 22 years? Giving up her career, based on a joint decision between she and her spouse..In essence not being able to contribute to a 401K?

All the while, the spouse has been able to enjoy the kids, have his meals made, dry cleaning picked up, house cleaned, appointments made, care when sick, sex on demand, and errands completed...

She's been out of the workforce since 1991..making this up as I go here..and obviously in her mid to late forties not very employable..She takes the only job she can find..I don't know, at a daycare earning minimum wage..While her middle management husband continues the pre-divorce lifestyle?

She wouldn't be entitled to a few years of alimony and half the 401k?

......

Goldfinch,
Sometimes the advice you receive here needs to be taken with a grain of salt..
Good luck girl.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I am no means an expert, but moving out of the marital home primarily is only a factor with custody. You children are grown, so this is not an issue.

In many states, one of the requirements for divorce is for the involved persons to live separate and apart for a given period of time prior to the final divorce. Moving out should not play a factor in the division of marital assets. Before you move, I would make copies of all your financials and store them in a safe location. Basically make sure you know what you have between the two of you.
Our state requires us to be separated for 1 year, and actually live in different houses, not just separated in the same house.

I have no idea about much of our finances, that is the problem. I don't know what my husband has hidden.

You sound like you are ready to go and have already made plans. Just remember, in addition to getting an equitable (not necessarily equal) share of the marital assets, you will also gain an equitable share of the marital debt. Marriage is joint and so are the assets and liabilities.
That isn't necessarily true. My husband opened 7 credit cards that I did not know about, in his name only, that I have never seen or used. I will not be responsible for those. If one spouse opens a credit card for the "community good", like renovating a house, then that debt would be divided between the two spouses when they divorce.



Business must be good in your area if lawyers charge full rates just for the initial consult. Most will usually give a free or low cost consult for the first meeting.
Just a side effect of living in a major metropolitan area.

Thank you for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Most atty's will give a free 10 minute or so consultation. It might by via phone or in person. You can ask questions and they will give you answers based on the limited amount of info you can provide in such a short conversation.
I haven't found that to be the case, but my financial advisor said that the attorney I am going to see will talk to me on the phone for a few minutes regarding this issue.

My guess is that your situation is pretty clear, and so you could get a definite answer in such a consultation about whether moving out is helpful or hurtful.

If your situation is simple overall, you won't spend much on an attorney. Do your homework and have all your documentation ready when you walk in the door. Avoid phone calls for little stuff because you'll probably be charged 15 minutes or something like that even if it is only a 1 minute call.

If possible do as much negotiating without the lawyers as you can. Your lawyer can inform you on the general lay of the land and what your rights/obligations are in your situation where you live.

Don't sign any papers without the lawyer's approval, but you can agree on things with your stbx like who gets which car, splitting the bank accounts, who pays which debt, etc. A mediator can help you in this process for less cost than a lawyer.

Once you have an agreement in principle, take the documents to your lawyer for final approval before you sign anything.
My situation will be complex, depending on how much my husband needs to be subpoenaed. He will not be forthcoming regarding our finances and his gambling debts. We only have one asset - the 401k - and a multitude of debts.

Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Goldfinch,
Why are you trying to get spousal support? You are a grown woman I am assuming so you should be looking to support yourself. Spousal support is theft. Not to mention, it doesn't sound like your husband is very good with money so you may want a back up plan. It doesn't sound like his track record with money is very good to rely upon so collecting may be difficult. If someone does not want to pay support (or can't) they are not going to. It sounds like you need a clean break, not be dependent on an ex-husband. There is that 401K but if you did not contribute to it then you should leave it alone, it is his. Your moving out of the home should not affect division of property, however, if you have a lot of debt and he is the only source of income, his money will be used to pay that debt and won't be able to pay spousal support.
Yes, a 52 year old grown woman and finally taking my life in my own hands after foolishly trusting my husband for almost 25 years. If spousal support is theft, than I suppose I am a thief. I did give up a career, happily and with my husband's agreement, to raise our children. I worked part time once the youngest started 1st grade, and three years ago started working full time. He still makes 10 times what I make - he is an attorney and I am an executive assistant. I don't get benefits. I don't want to be dependent on him, but I need his health insurance because I had cancer last year. I don't agree with you about the 401k, but that's ok, everyone has their own ideas about what is right for them.

He'll be able to pay spousal support if he moves in with his family and doesn't have to pay rent.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Really? Those are some huge blanket statements..

Perhaps the spouse was home raising the children for 22 years? Giving up her career, based on a joint decision between she and her spouse..In essence not being able to contribute to a 401K?

All the while, the spouse has been able to enjoy the kids, have his meals made, dry cleaning picked up, house cleaned, appointments made, care when sick, sex on demand, and errands completed...

She's been out of the workforce since 1991..making this up as I go here..and obviously in her mid to late forties not very employable..She takes the only job she can find..I don't know, at a daycare earning minimum wage..While her middle management husband continues the pre-divorce lifestyle?

She wouldn't be entitled to a few years of alimony and half the 401k?

......

Goldfinch,
Sometimes the advice you receive here needs to be taken with a grain of salt..
Good luck girl.
Thank you Broken, I know how it is on forums sometimes, not everyone is supportive, but it is good to hear other opinions.

I was home raising my kids for 22 years, I am 52, he is an attorney and I am an executive assistant. He didn't want much to do with the house, the kids, their education, their schooling, etc. He wanted to play golf most of the time.

Thank you for your kind words.
 

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Goldfinch,
There is that 401K but if you did not contribute to it then you should leave it alone, it is his.
:scratchhead:

OP was a SAHM , no doubt washing H clothes , fixing his meals cleaning the home and raising THEIR kids. and everything else that entails.

H has went into debt BIG TIME and H kept their finances secret from her or not let her have any input. Now she may be responsible for HIS gambling debt....and you think she is wrong for wanting some of the 401K ?????...........its hers too
 

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If you need to go the bankruptcy route, I think a 401k is protected from it .

Your attorney will know. However that being said your H may cash it in before you can do anything about it......................................I wish you the best
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If you need to go the bankruptcy route, I think a 401k is protected from it .

Your attorney will know. However that being said your H may cash it in before you can do anything about it......................................I wish you the best
Thanks Mel. He can't do bankruptcy due to being a partner in a law firm. He did try to get money out of the 401k, but the rules of the plan won't allow it. Luckily. He does day trade with the money in our 401k however, buying and selling shares of stock with those funds. He needs his gambling fix I guess.
 
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