Is there any way I can protect my child any legal rights do I have my boyfriend's spousal support cannot help support our child?

My boyfriend filed divorce from his wife last year, they will be separated 2 years by Oct 2013. They've been married 17 years and have no children together. Our child was born last Oct and he has been paying spousal support since Dec 2011. She denied his petition for divorce that the marriage is not broken. Ever since our baby has been born we have been surviving the best we can to get by. I had to apply for public assistance and have been trying to get a second job to support our baby. He does not bring home enough to support our child. His wife ran up a credit card and left him to pay for it, plus he has to pay for his vehicle that he co owns with her. That loan payment costs a whole paycheck of his. It's not right my child can only get financial support from one parent. What can I do?

Reading, PA -

Attorney Answers (3)

Daniel Davis Hargreaves

Daniel Davis Hargreaves

Family Law Attorney - Sewickley, PA
Answered

I agree with the advice given by attorneys Schimmel and Silverman. Your boyfriend will have to wait until October 2013 to force a finalization of the divorce process, assuming that all other matters related to the divorce are resolved (such as distribution of the marital assets and liabilities). Please note that once your boyfriend and his wife separated back in October 2011, the marital estate closed, meaning that just about any assets or liabilities that either one obtained individually thereafter would not be considered marital. The caveat here, though, is that while the courts may not consider it marital, the creditors on a liability will only be concerned with the name on the debt. For example, if your boyfriend's wife ran up a credit card with his name on it AFTER they separated, the courts would likely recognize your boyfriend as not being responsible for the debt, but the creditor that issued the credit card would still hold him responsible for the debt. It is very important for your boyfriend to determine whether any of the complained of debt was after he separated from his wife. As the other attorneys mentioned, the courts can attempt to rectify the situation by distributing the assets and liabilities in a way that even things out. The fact that she will have collected spousal support for two years can also factor into the alimony argument. Your boyfriend should consult with a local attorney to best navigate finalizing his divorce properly.

Randi Joy Silverman

Randi Joy Silverman

Family Law Attorney - Johnstown, PA
Answered

There isn't anything that you can do. Once your boyfriend is separated for two years, he can file for a Master and conclude his divorce. He will néed to hire an attorney to make sure that the documents are properly prepared.

My response is based solely on the limited information contained in the question. It is not meant to substitute... more
Diana Corinne Schimmel

Diana Corinne Schimmel

Child Support Lawyer - Philadelphia, PA
Answered

Unfortunately, your boyfriend will have to wait until October 2013 to move the divorce forward without his ex's consent. However, there can be ways once the divorce process has moved forward to compensate for the way she is behaving now. This could mean requesting a denial of alimony after the divorce is finalized. Or, dividing the assets in a way that compensates your boyfriend. These arguments will be tricky and you should consult a skilled family lawyer to help you negotiate.

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