Non-working sick spouse


#1

One other thing: since we’re separated now (based on my leaving for this deployment with the intent of divorcing her), would a re-enlistment bonus earned after the date of separation count as marital assets or mine alone? Like I said before, we have not done a separation agreement yet, but we are separated. Thanks!


#2

Dear leecruz:

Greetings. Sorry to hear about your situation. Did you already tell her, in writing, of your intention to be separated so that the one year clock will begin to run?

  1. Is her name on the deed? If not, you may still need her to sign a free trader agreement so that the person buying it will be assured of free title.

  2. Possibly. You are clearly the supporting spouse, but you have some interesting facts that makes me think your wife’s alimony claim is not that strong. Alimony may be much larger than the army minimum.

  3. Yes, you are required to pay for the car - it is in your name, remember? Yes, you could sell it, if her name is not on the title. Yes, have her use the car her parent’s have.

  4. Yes, but that will be much more difficult. That involves eviction and/or possibly calling the police to report the drug use.

  5. No, I doubt it.

  6. The judge normally grants post separation support and alimony prior to the actual one year separation. The judge would not get involved unless she sued you.

Make sure you cut off any credit cards (or remove her name) to ensure new debt is not created that you will be responsible for.

By the way, make sure that you have informed her in writing of the fact that you don’t want to be married. Thank you.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax

ROSEN.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


#3

Janet,

Thanks for your helpful reply. I didn’t inform her of my intentions to divorce in writing, but I told her face to face before I left for Afghanistan. I also have a few e-mails I can pull I up that show us discussing our divorce. Just a few more questions:

  1. You stated that my wife’s claim for alimony may not be that strong. What do you base this on?

  2. Based on your experience and the large number of cases I’m sure you’ve been involved in, would a judge order me to pay very much alimony since I’ll be assuming all of the debt and giving her most of the marital property (I’m only keeping a few “guy things” like tools and stuff like that)? I was also going to give her all of the equity when we sell the house and give her our entire tax refund for 2005, unless you think it’s a bad idea. I know assets as well as debt are supposed to be equally distributed and was wondering if my taking on more than 50% of debt and giving her more than 50% of assets would be of any value. She had horrible credit before we were married and cannot get approved for any loans or have anything financial in her name.

  3. When our divorce is finalized, she’ll be eligible for disability and health benefits (we’ve applied and she already qualifies but they won’t pay her while she’s married; the Social Security Administration says I make too much money and can support both of us). Would a judge consider this if she sues me for alimony?

  4. If I’m ordered to pay a bunch to support her, will I also be required to put utilities and apartment leases in my name? Like I said, her credit blows and nobody will lend her a dime.

  5. My wife tends not to take much action when confronted. If served with divorce papers and she ignores them but was properly served, what happens? She kind of allows people to walk all over her.

Once again, thanks for all of your help and the terrific forum.


#4

Dear leecruz:

Greetings.

  1. She is smoking marijuana in your house, clearly disregarding your career and wasting marital assets. I am assuming also that she can get a job, but just has not.

  2. I would have to sit down with you (or on the telephone) to really go over your estate, her earning potential, etc. to determine what a judge would do. Go for paying all the debt ONLY if you don’t pay any alimony.

  3. Absolutely the judge would consider this.

  4. No, never.

  5. She would lose her claims for alimony and equitable distribution. The thing to remember though is that you would also lose your claim for equitable distribution.

Thank you.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax

ROSEN.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


#5

Back again after a year of trying to make it work. Wife fabricated a domestic violence claim on me last week and I was jailed for 48 hours. She has dropped the charges since it wouldn’t benefit her for her money-maker to be locked up and kicked out of the military. Anyways, we’re now separated and trying to figure stuff out. Here’s my situation: the house we have already has a second mortgage on it and we owe WAY more than it is worth; she hasn’t worked during our marriage (will be seven years this December)and has enough medical problems to be considered physically disabled; we owe a lot in loan payments; her car is now paid for; I’m still paying for my truck and motorcycle (both of which I’m upside down in); she has contributed nothing to the marriage at all (lousy housekeeper, spends all the money, kept me from promotion in the military because of her drug use, non-supportive of me during combat deployments, too much to list here); I’ve helped her til my wits end. Would a judge let me keep the house since it’s pretty much unsellableand it seems I’d have to pay for all of our debts? Of course I will pay whatever I should for post-separation support and give her whatever “stuff” she wants; I just want to keep the house. Given this little bit of info, what do you think a judge would order and what do you think I should do? She wants all kind of support from me but doesn’t want to hear it when I tell her that she gets half of the debt as well as half the assets. Sorry for such a long post.


#6

Check out the page on alimony and the 16 factors a judge will take into consideration when calculating alimony. It looks to me like you have a very strong case to avoid alimony altogether. If I were you, I would follow Janets original suggestions. I’m sure you could keep the house and cars etc, that you want to keep. If she has jeopardised your career, that should be reason enough for the judge to rule against her in an alimony hearing. You sound like a really nice guy, who does not deserve this heartache!

And thank you for defending this great country!


#7

Dear leecruz:

Greetings. First, I would stop worrying about a judge and try to come to terms with your wife. Suggest that you keep the house and the debt or sell the house and split the debt (which is what the court would do). I think that your wife will see the wisdom in you keeping the house and refinancing in a year or two after steady mortgage payments and when the house has some more equity so that you can get a loan. Good luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

301 McCullough Drive Suite 510
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax

ROSEN.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


#8

I’m a soldier in the U.S. Army currently serving a tour in Afghanistan. My wife and I are getting divorced. This decision was reached by me after many horrible telephone calls home and years of being used and unhappy. Here are some statistics:

-We’ve been married almost 6 years.
-We have no children together (she has 2 from a previous marriage, but they live with her ex).
-She has never worked during our marriage except for as a stripper (just a few months), but contributed nothing to our finances or debt elimination efforts.
-She has some medical issues (Type I Insulin dependent diabetes with some complications and is bi-polar(diagnosed, not just my opinion)).
-I knew about her diabetes when we got married.
-I’m a Special Forces Medical Sergeant and am quite capable in advising her on health issues and giving recommendations. Despite my best efforts, she has continued a downward spiral healthwise due to drinking, non-compliance with the recommended diabetic diet, refusal to become educated on her disease and refusal to follow doctor’s recommendations.
-I pay for and have paid for everything since being married. We have a mortgage, 2 car payments, a debt consolidation loan and all manner of monthly bills. I pay all of these.
-She is a terrible homemaker. She does not cook, clean or do anything productive. She is non-supportive of me while serving in a dangerous combat zone and wreaks havoc on my emotions on a day to day basis. She is a “drama-queen.”
-She has a 17 year old sister living with her to help around the house. I just found out from a friend:when his wife dropped something off at the house,they were smoking marijuana in our house.
-She is too sick to work, but has admitted going to clubs and partying and even invited the aforementioned friend’s wife to go clubbing with her and the underage girl she is contributing to the delinquency of.
-She brought no assetts to the marriage.
-There was no infidelity on either side.

Questions based on this information:

  1. Can I sell the house or do I need her permission? I want us to sever all ties and go our separate ways.
  2. We have not done a separation agreement yet. She told me friend’s wife she is “going to take me to the cleaners.” According to the Army regulation (AR 608-99), I’m required to support her during separation in the amount of $750.60 per month. This is the amount of BAH-II according to the current military allowances chart. Does the state of NC require me to do anything in addition to this?
  3. Her car is in my name and I owe 4 more years on it. The payment is $560.00 per month. Am I required to continue to pay for this car? We have a paid-for car that her parents now use. Can I sell her car (there will be no profit, it has negative equity) and have her use the other car her parents have (also in my name)?
  4. Can I kick her sister out of my house? I don’t want to support this now and future drug user.
  5. Can I have her screened for drug use? Her military health records (maintained on Fort Bragg) display a urinalysis that is positive for marijuana way back in 2002. Perhaps this info will help my case.
  6. Do you think, after our one-year separation, that a judge will give her much alimony? She spends all of our money frivolously each payday, buys drugs with it and has been a horrible homemaker. I know that I took her from the trailer-park and gave her a good life, but should I be financially punished for this? I have many family members and friends that will testify that she has caused me heartache and misery these 6 years and that I have helped her with every aspect of her life and gotten nothing in return. Please help!