I am 25% disabled, unemployed (seeking work) and diabetic. My husband has written up an agreement of his own and is trying to force me to sign. I cannot make any changes to it and if I dont sign it he will have the utilities shut off. He already turned the cable & internet off. I am on workmans comp and my check is $127.37 a week. Can he turn the electric & water off? Can I press charges? He expects me to pay half the rent as well and all this is documented in his correspondence to me. He left the marital home while I was away. So in essence he abandoned me with almost no way to take care of myself. Medication alone takes up my money.
Do not sign anything you are uncomfortable with, and I would not recommend signing anything without a lawyer reviewing it for you. If the party that makes more money moves out and does not provide for the spouse that makes less money, it could be considered abandonment. Alimony can be addressed at any time you have separated and the payments can begin before you are legally divorced. Abandonment is bringing about the end of cohabitation without the consent of the other party. It can have an effect on spousal support.
Alimony is based on several factors, the first being a finding that there is a dependent spouse who is actually and substantially dependent on the supporting spouse, and a supporting spouse who has the ability to pay. Alimony is intended to allow a dependant spouse to maintain his or her standard of living that was enjoyed during the marriage. Based on your facts, you may have a good claim for alimony.
You should file for an equitable distribution to divide the assets, but in the meantime you should consider filing a claim for post separation support, and temporary child support, if you have kids. You can do this now, since he has abandoned the marital residence. These claims will ensure your husband pays you a monthly amount that will allow you to support yourself. I would recommend meeting with a family law attorney as well to create an appropriate plan of action for your case.