What next?


#1

Divorce is almost always a sad thing and after so many years together it’s not uncommon to be scared of what will happen.

Your attorney is correct. This is too early to have an agreement drawn up because a lot can change in the next few months.
These few details were not in your post but you do not have to sell the home. Since he is the one that wants the separation, why is it not suggested that he be the one to leave? I’ve never quite understood that…if one spouse wants to leave the marriage then to me it only makes sense that they actually leave…
As long as your spouse makes more, you are entitled to alimony. The only thing that would affect that is marital misconduct on your part. Alimony could help you with staying in the home or the beach condo…

I agree that you would need to have the business evaluated to see what it is worth and that should be done at the time of separation. Basically, what he would be doing is buying your part of the business. It does not have to necessarily be in one lump sum if his company does not have the funds for that, it can be in installments. But this way you have a whole dollar figure that you are entitled to and know what that amount is…
This will be put into the agreement as would the division of his retirement. I do not think that you can actually get his retirement until he retires but that would be a question for the attorney.

I would say that post separation support should be included in the separation agreement. This would be a monthly amount like alimony that he would agree to pay to you. Or keep paying the mortgage if there is one, car payment whatever necessary until the assets can be divided or until you can find employment. If you stay in the home and he moves out this could be less stressful to you, but you may not want the home and that would be understandable too…
I believe that Equitable Distribution can last quite a while. If things are not agreed on, it could take a long time. You do not have to have equitable distribution finalized prior to getting divorced.
I have a cousin who received her absolute divorce over 6 years prior to her equitable distribution of the marital assets, meaning that it was a total of over 7 years after the date that they separated.

I also commend you on getting legal advice about this right away and your willingness to find employment to take care of yourself eventually. After 5 years without income, that’s difficult to do…
If your situation changes in the next couple of months, consult that attorney immediately. If/when he does get an attorney, do not sign anything that you do not agree to.
I’ll keep you in my thoughts. Good luck.


#2

I met with an attorney last week since my husband has decided he wants a legal separation. He has refused counseling, etc. and after deciding on the process we have agreed (at this time) to stay living in the same house until our daughter leaves for college in August.

The attorney I consulted with last week, said in that case it is too soon for a legal separation to be drawn up and I believe she said to contact her about two weeks before the date that one of us (probably me) will be moving out. My husband iniated all of this but as far as I know he has not hired a lawyer but when he started telling me how everything was going to work, I sought out my own legal advice to see if he what he said was legal…especially since the separation ws his idea. I needed to know how I would receive 50% of his retirement benefits since we have been married for 27 years and also part of the business he owns. He said he would only finance my part and I now know that would not be fair and equitable since he could file bankruptcy down the line and all payments to me would cease. The attorney says we need to have the business evaluated in order to determine what my share would be and I receive a lump sum instead of him financing it.

My question now is what should I be doing (if anything) to make sure I receive my part of the retirement as soon as possible when we separate and when he has the business evaluated, how long does it take for me to receive my part? I have been a stay at home for about 5 years so my attorney said I am also entitled to alimony. We have agreed to not list our home for sale until Aug. when out last child leaves for college and our beach condo will go on the market in June. Since he makes a very good living and I am still looking for employment I am nervous about leaving in August without knowing ahead of time about how long it takes to get things set in motion for the division of the assets such as his retirement, business, 401K, and IRA
and how close to our filing for legal separation will these things be aactually divided and I receive payment(s).