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Husband and I are separating. What is my best route?

Bronx, NY |

My husband and I are separating after 29 years of being married. We have two children, 22M and 23F. We've lived in the Bronx since the beginning of our marriage and we have a private house that is under his name although my name was under it as well but due to bad credit I was taken off. I am unemployed and my checks have stopped coming in. He owns a grocery store with his business partner being his brother and he is also a landlord to a separate building. Due to differences that we have and cannot work out we have decided to separate and go for divorce. As a woman in my position, I'm 56 years old, what is my best approach to take? An uncontested divorce seems possible due to the fact that the reasons for our separation are not severe and we can amicably work them out. What else?

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Attorney answers 6


Uncontested doesn't mean just agreeing on the grounds -it means all issues, including economics, are agreed upon.

You should consult a local attorney and discuss your options - unless on your own you can resolve how the building and the business will be divided...

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The issue is making sure that you receive what you are entitled to after the dissolution of the marriage. It sounds like there is equitable distribution and there may be a claim for spousal support. You cannot know what you are entitled to until you know what your husband has. It might be worthwhile consulting with a matrimonial attorney to go over your rights. Good luck.

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Having the case remain "uncontested" is a possibility. Uncontested generally means you & your spouse are able to successfuly negotiate an out-of-court settlement agreement. You would need to decide how the house is divided (or if it will be sold) as well as the value of his business. Depending on his income, you may also qualify for maintenance (i.e., alimony). In any event, I encourage you to schedule a follow-up consultation with a Bronx Co. Divorce attorney.

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Consult with an experienced divorce lawyer to represent you. You are entitled to a share of the marital assets that were acquired while you were married. The assets would be the house and business and the investment building. It does not matter whose name the assets were under. You may be entitled to spousal maintenance based upon a disparity of income between you and your husband. His income would include his reported taxable income as well as any income that could be imputed, since the grocery store is a cash business. You may also be entitled to your husband paying your legal fees if there is a substantial difference in income.

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A no fault divorce is an option. However, an uncontested divorce would require that you and your husband are able to work out all of your financial issues. Those issues include spousal maintenance and the division of all property. If you have an agreement on all of those issues, you can use my uncontested divorce website at However, if you are not sure of your rights or if you are concerned about the financial division or spousal maintenence, I would strongly suggest that you consult with a local attorney before going any further in this process.


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