My wife and I are getting divorced and we have a multi-family property. My wife filed for disability about 3 months after we got married. We struggled financially for our entire marriage, and a month after she was awarded SSDI ($1100 a month) benefits, she told me she wanted a divorce.
We're both trying to come up with a divorce settlement that is fair, but my wife keeps asserting that the judge will be overly favorable to her because she is legally disabled. My wife lives in one of the apartments of our house for free, and her monthly expenses are low (she has over $600 left at the end of each month). I'm a recent grad student and a first-year teacher. My monthly income is $2600 (after taxes), and my monthly expenses (student loans, health insurance, rent, etc.) amount to over $2800.
My wife and I disagree on how to divide the net rental income from the property. She believes that she deserves more money because she is legally disabled. I disagree. We lose $800 a month because she stays in one of the apartments for free, and she only has roughly $350 of expenses each month. Will the judge award her more simply because she is legally disabled?
You have asked a question that could not and should not be answered without a thorough review of your situation by a qualified and experienced family court attorney. There are many factors that must be considered, including whether or not it makes sense for the two of you to continue to be joint owners of the rental property.
I think it is in your benefit to contact one of us directly to discuss your situation, and since real estate is involved, it is probably wise for you to hire an attorney to represent you rather than trying to figure out how to do this on your own.
Please feel free to contact me, or any one of the other Rhode Island Family Court attorneys here on Avvo, to discuss your situation in a confidential setting.
Rhode Island is a very small jurisdiction so it's important that you consider the possibility that people who you know may see your question or that the facts discussed here may be subject to discovery requests if you become involved in litigation. Please remember that it is not possible to give proper legal advice without a thorough consultation and this answer is meant only to provide you with some guidance. Contact an experienced attorney at your earliest convenience to discuss your case thoroughly. The above was provided purely for informational purposes and does not create an attorney-client relationship between the questioner and the attorney.
Because there are no children the issue will be determined by the length of the marriage. If it is a short marriage I would argue that you both keep your own income. You either sell the house or one of you purchase the other's share. Until the house is sold you share equally any monies after the upkeep expenses are paid. You should get a credit of half of the fair rental income if she lives there for free. I would contact a divorce lawyer to discuss your options further.
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