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Is divorce worth it?

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  • Is divorce worth it?

    my parents have been married well over 10 years in California. My dad supported my mom the entire marriage and she stopped her job when I was a baby to be a stay at home mom. In high school my mom was in and out of the hospital a few times for alcoholism and drug abuse. This year we finally got her to rehab and my dad is currently paying for a sober living house for her a few hours away. She now doesnít want to come back home so theyíre contemplating divorce. Me and my brother are adults not so they wonít have to worry about us but weíre afraid sheíll try to drain all of my dads money. Is she entitled to half even though she didnít contribute anything? We also own a business, her name is not anywhere on it though so Iím assuming she couldnít touch that. Just on opinions on this.

  • #2
    Your best bet is to consult a lawyer and not rely on advice from strangers on the internet. But my best guess is that if they're married, everything they own jointly or separately is considered 'marital property' and belonging to both, unless they had a pre-nup.
    "What lips my lips have kissed and where and why I have forgotten." ~Edna St. Vincent Millay

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    • #3
      I'm sorry to hear about your mum and dad. Most courts will take into account those years she didn't work to raise the family and come to a decision on spousal support accordingly if warranted. She is your mother after all. If your brother and you are concerned, I'd say speak to a lawyer in your state. Your dad should really be the one clearing this up. Is he able (ie healthwise/mentally speaking) to see a lawyer?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by daisywheelbarrow View Post
        my parents have been married well over 10 years in California. My dad supported my mom the entire marriage and she stopped her job when I was a baby to be a stay at home mom. In high school my mom was in and out of the hospital a few times for alcoholism and drug abuse. This year we finally got her to rehab and my dad is currently paying for a sober living house for her a few hours away. She now doesnít want to come back home so theyíre contemplating divorce. Me and my brother are adults not so they wonít have to worry about us but weíre afraid sheíll try to drain all of my dads money. Is she entitled to half even though she didnít contribute anything? We also own a business, her name is not anywhere on it though so Iím assuming she couldnít touch that. Just on opinions on this.
        She did actually contribute by being a stay at home mom , school drop offs, not having to pay child care fees , taking care of the house , chores, dinner etc. Iím assuming she did all that at least while you were in primary school.
        You only mention while you were in high school that there were incidents where she was hospitalised.
        So when did she turn to alcohol and drugs? And do you know the reason why?
        What is your relationship like with your mother? Back then and now?

        Its great that she went to rehab and Iím guessing she doesnít want to return out of fear of slipping back into old habits.

        Divorce isnít simply a tactic to take half of someone elseís money. Itís about fairly dividing whatís theirs , not his.
        Just because she wasnít earning , doesnít mean she wasnít contributing. Your dad always had the option of divorce from the day he married your mum.

        But divorce isnít just his choice. If she wants to divorce him and he wonít sign the papers , she can take him to court and still get a divorce.
        Why should she walk away with nothing after the contributions she made that he agreed on . (He didnít divorce her back then, so he canít now claim she didnít contribute whether directly or indirectly)

        What do you mean by ďweĒ have a business that her name is not anywhere on?

        You and your dad? And your brother?
        Whose name is on it?
        If this was his business while married to her she will be entitled to half of what he owns now.
        If he was to sign it over to you and he become an employee , then maybe not?

        Agree with the the others that you need to consult a lawyer.

        Just one more question? Do you believe your mother is entitled to nothing?
        What is your interest? For your dad? For you?

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        • #5
          Basically, whatever they built or bought (investments, property, businesses, home equity, etc) while they were married is jointly owned and earned regardless of who was doing the building and buying and creating the wealth to do it, UNLESS there was some legal agreement. One major exception is an inheritance that was receive during the marriage. Things they brought into the marriage MAY be considered separate property.

          So a business or property or investments that were owned separately before the marriage MAY be separate property for divorce purposes if anyone can show that they were really separate. However, the increase in equity of those items is likely a joint asset. So a home worth $100K that was brought into the marriage which increases to a value of $1,000,000 might be considered as the first $100K belongs to the original owner and the remaining $900,000 gets split evenly.

          If what you mean by the "we" in "we own a business, then your father's portion of it is likely considered a joint asset with your mother while your portion would belong to just you.

          As the others have suggested, you'd need legal advice to work it out.

          As for your question about whether divorce would be "worth it" that's a matter between them. Financially it might be better for your father to just keep supporting her rather than going through the cost of divorce and dividing the assets. However, that can certainly complicate any future relationships. Only they can really decide what fits their particular plans.
          Last edited by Pollon; November 9th, 2018, 08:54 PM.

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          • #6
            Divorce is always difficult no matter the age of the parties. I'm sorry to hear that after so much time and hard work in a marriage your parents are contemplating divorce. The questions you ask really are legal ones and the best source of accurate advice would be an attorney from your local area. Typically though in most states whether a spouses name is on something as partners what they build together would typically be split equally unless there was a written agreement on the front end. My advice, worry doesn't solve anything. Best thing you can do is love and support both your parents during this difficult time and try to extend grace and forgiveness in the process.

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            • #7
              Story has changed a bit since Iíve posted this. We got a call from her and her therapist last night and she admitted to sleeping with another guy she met at a sober living house. After this, she insisted that she still needed more time there because our hometown doesnít have as large of a support system for AA. My dad is refusing to pay for her to stay there longer. Unsure if he wants to go through with divorce though. Weíre going to talk with lawyers before a decisions is made

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              • #8
                Originally posted by daisywheelbarrow View Post
                Story has changed a bit since Iíve posted this. We got a call from her and her therapist last night and she admitted to sleeping with another guy she met at a sober living house. After this, she insisted that she still needed more time there because our hometown doesnít have as large of a support system for AA. My dad is refusing to pay for her to stay there longer. Unsure if he wants to go through with divorce though. Weíre going to talk with lawyers before a decisions is made
                It doesnít really change the story much. Separation happened beforehand and divorce was already discussed.
                But since he has stopped paying for her to stay at the sober house , this will be a bigger incentive to proceed with divorce since she no longer has an income of sorts.

                Its irrelevant if your dad doesnít want to go through with the divorce. She can take him to court and get the divorce.
                Its not actually his choice or decision. The court will order it.

                He should have consulted lawyers BEFORE stopping the payments.
                IMO that is not going to look good when she files for divorce.
                All he has done is removed her rights to whatís hers and essentially trying to make her homeless in the meantime.
                Why? Because she slept with a man when her marriage was already over (just not legally) ?
                Last edited by Maggiemay4791; November 18th, 2018, 03:28 AM.

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