married 16 years, no kids, rocky relationship, jointly owned house. I was invited to visit a friend for a week. Then my spouse called and told my friend he does not wish me to return to our house. Then he changed his mind and said he wanted me stay with a friend for another month (he also wrote it in email, so I have a written proof ) and will pay for accommodation. Changed his mind again and said he will not provide me with any money. My friend suggested she will drive me to our house to at least pick up some more clothing. Spouse responded no need for it, he will mail me some clothes. Never did. As far as I know spouse does not have a court order in place to prevent me to enter the residence. Spouse however wants me to conduct some business for him down here. But right now, I am penniless, with no car. My friend works and cannot drive me all over the town every day. My friend and I seek a free legal help and were advised to file a legal separation . That way I can receive an indefinite spousal support. (I am disabled). Also if I somehow get to obtain a car and own place to live before filing a legal separation, I can keep both even after divorce is final. Is this correct ?
It depends on where "here" is - if outside CA, then you'll have to get advise from attorneys in that state.
a) I know of no law that differentiates between divorce and legal separation, when it comes to the duration of spousal support. The outcomes are the same, the *only* difference is that your marital status is terminated in a divorce, but isn't in a legal separation. If you need his insurance coverage, what with your disability, then you may want to opt for legal separation.
b) You should file *something* ASAP, so that you can get spousal support, regardless.
c) You still have the right to return to your own home.
d) Regarding buying a car, at this point, who it belongs to depends upon whose name is on the contract and who pays for it.
e) Regarding renting a place to live, if you are the one on the lease, then he has no stake in it.
f) He is gaslighting you, big time. I recommend that you do not count on him for anything. If you do get a support order, get a wage assignment, as well, as he has shown you how dependable he is.
g) Hire an attorney, for your own sake. If it's a matter of money, know that your husband could be ordered to pay for much of your legal expense, and that many lawyers will take a case on with the anticipation of getting paid in this manner.
Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.
Whether you file for legal separation or divorce will not influence how much or for how long you are awarded spousal support. You need to hire a family law attorney.
Sign up to receive a 10-part series of useful information and legal advice about the divorce process.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline