What can i leverage?

We’ve been married officially for 12 years as of September. Last April, I had a double kidney transplant. Six months into recovery, he began an inappropriate relationship with a coworker. I was completely blindsided! The stress of the affair and emotional abuse (neglect, gaslighting, physically damaging our home) caused me to lose weight/hair in December. I have screenshots of the inappropriate conversations from last year and well as screenshots of his location at her home overnight, public parks, etc (when he used to share his location with me). I asked him numerous times to do couples therapy but he was reluctant. He continued the affair behind my back while telling me he was taking time to reflect on his actions. After creating boundaries with both he and the affair partner, i could no longer stand the blatant disrespect. He was asked to relocate from our home this past May. He is the breadwinner. The home is in his name as well as my car. While i was out of town a few weeks ago, he went behind my back to find a realtor and now the home will be up for sale next week. We have not submitted a separation agreement yet officially, although we have discussed via email that I’d be given 60% of the home sale and furniture from the home. I met with him in person last week to discuss our differences. I recorded the conversation. He admitted that he has indeed committed adultery. I am not sure if it was before or after separation…does that matter? Once things are over and done, i will not be able to continue the way of life i once had (covering my expensive medications, Medicare premiums, utilities, etc) on my own income. What are my rights? Since adultery is a now a factor, can i negotiate all proceedings from the home sale rather than asking for spousal support? Also, I’m considering suing the homewrecker as well…would it even be worth it?

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You may be entitled to alimony if you are the dependent spouse and he is the supporting spouse. Especially if you can prove he committed an act of illicit sexual behavior during the marriage prior to the date of separation.

You may be able to negotiate more than your 50% of the house sale in exchange for alimony or in exchange for a lesser amount of alimony, but otherwise these are two separate issues and you may entitled to 50% of the house sale proceeds + alimony.

For detailed information on alimony, check out our article Will You Owe Your Spouse Alimony After a Divorce?, the information of which is equally applicable to your situation.

You can likely sue the paramour for alienation of affection and criminal conversation if you can prove each of the elements of these claims. If the paramour has money and assets, you may be able to collect on a monetary judgment award if such award is made.

See our article Alienation of Affection and Infidelity for detailed information on both alienation of affection and criminal conversation.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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