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If I leave my husband am I still entitled to half of everything we accumulated over the marriage?

Santa Rosa, CA |

I am leaving my husband of 26 years. He has worked only 7 months out of the last three years. He drinks and was verbally abusive through out our whole marriage. We own our own home. I will have to be the one to move out, he said he is not going anywhere, and he said he will not give me a divorce. I want to know what steps I should take. Thank you for your time.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Best answer

    Your first step should be to have a face to face consultation with an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible. There are a lot of issues for you to educate yourself about and you need to go into this fully informed of what you are about to do.

    Michael Schwerin, San Jose, California phone: 408-295-4232 email: schwerin@ix.netcom.com. Consultation fees, rates and retainers vary based on need and ability to pay.


  2. You should meet with a knowledgeable family law attorney to discuss your options. This answer is general and will not replace a personal consult, but I want to give you a little peace of mind. Community property laws say that all the assets, income and debts acquired by married people during the marriage are shared jointly. This means that you own one half of the assets and are responsible for one half of the debts acquired during marriage, whether you were working or not.

    Divorce in California is “no fault” and you do not need your spouse’s permission to get a divorce. You are also not necessarily required to move out. Speak with an attorney about your options in this circumstance.

    Finally, make sure you find an attorney that you are comfortable with, that you can communicate with and who you trust. This is a very stressful time and your choice of representation is one thing that you have absolute control over – even if everything else seems out of your hands.

    Best of luck to you.

    Attorney Rebekah Ryan Main

    If you found this answer helpful, let me know by clicking the "Mark as Helpful" button at the bottom of this answer or select it as Best Answer. It’s easy and appreciated.

    This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, does not create an attorney/client relationship and does not create a right to continuing email exchanges. We can be visited on the web at www.Main-Law.com or call 909-891-0906.

    This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, does not create an attorney/client relationship and does not create a right to continuing email exchanges.


  3. He has no choice to not give you a divorce. If you file for divorce as Petitioner, whether he participates or not, you will be granted a divorce. You should speak to a family law attorney in your area. I hope though that your husband gets into a good impatient program and is able to defeat the disease of addiction. Not to put additional burden on you, but I suggest clients of mine in your situation to go to Alanon meetings to better prepare for the process of dealing with an alcoholic.

    Attorney Williams practices FAMILY LAW throughout the State of California and may be reached at (831) 233-3558 and offers free consultations. The response provided in this forum is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information offered in this response is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon without further consultation with a legal professional after all relevant facts are disclosed and considered. DANIEL S. WILLIAMS, ESQ. LAW OFFICES OF DANIEL S. WILLIAMS 500 LIGHTHOUSE AVENUE, STE. A MONTEREY, CA 93940 (831) 233-3558 -- OFFICE (831) 233-3560 -- FAX


  4. I would echo everything that has been said by the other attorneys. In addition, you can go to the Sonoma County Family Court web page, and read the various items of information about filing for divorce, as well as related issues. Here's the link: http://sonoma.courts.ca.gov/divisions/family

    Also, please note that there is more than one way to go through the divorce process. In other words, you can try mediation or collaborative law, rather than litigation. Of course, your husband would have to agree to such other methods. However, once he realizes that he can't stop the divorce, perhaps he will decide to act in his own best interests, and avoid litigation, because if he doesn't, he may be exposed to pay your attorney fees.


  5. The good news is you are entitled to half of the community property. The tough thing is going to be how is he going to pay for your spousal support if he is no working more than two months per year. Maybe you should sell the house and get half of the proceeds from the equity of the house and get yourself an apartment. I suggest you get yourself an attorney. Best of luck.

    This answer is provided by Manuel A. Juarez, Esq., aka 'El Abogado Hispano de California: 510-206-4492. It is of a general context and is not intended to form an attorney client relationship. I am licensed only in California. This information is good only in California and it is not to be taken as legal advice on divorce, family matters, bankruptcy or in any other type of situation. Esta respuesta es del Abogado Hispano Manuel A. Juárez, 510-206-4492. Abogado Hispano de Divorcios, Abogado Latino Accidentes, y Abogado de Bancarrotas de Oakland, Hayward, San Francisco, y California. Estas respuesta son solo para información general y no consisten en consejo legal sobre divorcios, mantención de esposas, mantención de hijos o bancarrotas. Las respuestas son comentarios legales que no forman una relación de abogado y cliente. Manuel Juarez, Esq esta licenciado solo en el Estado de California.

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