Too broke to seperate


#1

My wife and I agree to seperate. The problem is after losing our business and everything else a few years ago the best job I can find so far pays 22K a year. A family of 4 has a hard time on this. The question is how do we split when we cant even afford to live under one roof? I am having a tough time figuring this one out. What have other families in this condition done? She refuses to go to her parents and wont work. She insists on having the kids but I dont know how she expects to take care of them with no money. Even if I gave her everything I make and live under a bridge she wont make it. Im stuck.


#2

It seems as though your wife will continue to refuse to cooperate, and if she doesn’t work she will likely not be the first to move out. If you have tried to negotiate a separation agreement with her to no avail your next step will be to file an action for Equitable Distribution of marital property.
In order to file the action you must be living separate and apart at the time the action is filed. While I know staying with friends or family is not the best scenario it may be your only option if you cannot afford to maintain the mortgage payments and rent an apartment. Since your wife does not work at this point you will need to continue to pay the mortgage if there is one to protect your credit and to preserve this asset until the court makes a determination with respect to the house.


#3

[quote=“crystalruss”]It seems as though your wife will continue to refuse to cooperate, and if she doesn’t work she will likely not be the first to move out. If you have tried to negotiate a separation agreement with her to no avail your next step will be to file an action for Equitable Distribution of marital property.
In order to file the action you must be living separate and apart at the time the action is filed. While I know staying with friends or family is not the best scenario it may be your only option if you cannot afford to maintain the mortgage payments and rent an apartment. Since your wife does not work at this point you will need to continue to pay the mortgage if there is one to protect your credit and to preserve this asset until the court makes a determination with respect to the house.[/quote]

Thanks for the reply. There is no house. We lost it and all our other property when the business failed so there are no assets of any significance for a judge to decide about. I dont want to see her or the kids on the street but it appears we are all headed that way. She is expecting child support and alimony despite the fact I have all of 22k per year to divide. She dosent seem to realize the spot were in. Can I take the kids and go? Will the court order the kids with her? How much money is a court likey to award? I have informed our landord we will be leaving in 2 months since we can not afford the rent any longer.


#4

Alimony will be based on the income/expenses of each party. You will not have to pay something that is grossly excessive in relation to your income. As far as if you can take the kids, absolutely you can. You currently have no custody order or separation agreement in place, so you have just as much rights to the custody of your children as your wife does. Either one of you can move out and take the children. If you do take the children, you may still owe her alimony, if a judge finds you have the ability to pay and she was the dependent spouse. However, by moving with the children, you will also have a claim against her for child support. She will have to get a job to pay it, or she will have to get the money from someone. If she is able to work but chooses not to in bad faith (to suppress or avoid paying child support), the court can impute income to her and give you an award off of this imputed income.