I am writing this for my mom, because she has almost given up. My dad left 4 years ago, to live with another women, when he left I was still in college, and we had a horse farm. He signed the farm over to my mom and I (after some arguing), he said he did it to help us, but it only put us in a worse situation. I was in college and my mom was working at a retail counter. I had to feed and care for 8-10 horses, one of which was his. He did not and has not offered to help. Before he left he had a job as a gunsmith and made about $400 a week (which helped more then you think). He comes from a very well to do family and was collecting trusts. Nothing was ever signed stating a legal separation, so one of my questions is he still legally obligated to help support the family? He is putting all of his money into his girlfriends account (we believe to hide assets) and I am not allowed to see him because she doesn’t approve. There is a very large trust that is suppose to settle in a few years and we would like to know if we have any legal rights to it. As of right now my mom has no retirement and my dad had always promised my mom “would never have to worry about money”. As of right now all we worry about it how to pay our bills.
If your mother and father never legally divorced she has a claim for equitable distribution of property, and may also have an alimony claim, and a claim for attorney’s fees.
With respect to the trust, it is likely separate property, though I can’t say for sure as my knowledge of the facts is limited. I would suggest you have your mother meet with a lawyer in the immediate future to get a better understanding of what she may be entitled to.