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Question #206

In 1995 my parents split and my mom filed for a legal separation. She was not in love with my dad any longer and told him. She served him papers for a divorce but he never signed them. He was still in love. He works for Verizon and for years gave her 300 dollars a week, i am 1 of 3 children. He also split his stocks with her, but for at least 7 years he was giving her 1200 a month. Heres the Million dollar question.: 1- My father has worked hard all these years and at 66 is going to retire has to sign the divorce papers now. Techincally he is still married to her. Is she still entitled to 1/2 of what he has? I kinda think it is unfair. I love them both, but there is a house worth atleast 800k which he does not mind splitting, but there is a pension also. 2. My mom is being a bit greedy and mean, saying she is gonna get what she is entitled to. Now, I know that since she wanted a divorce she has had a boyfreind and she might have had one before, I do not know. But what I do know is she has one and definately has had one since the separation. Can having a boyfriend when separated lean better towards my father not giving her as much. Like I said, I love them both, but during these years, my mom has torn this family and try to blame it on my dad. I appreciate any knowledge you can give me in helping me make my mom not as greedy.

You say that your mother filed for a legal separation. Was that separation ever completed? Did you parents enter into a Separation Agreement which both of them executed? Or, was there an order of the court confirming the Separation?
If in fact there was a legal separation, the separation most likely addressed the issue of future income of the parties, in which case the incomes of each of the individuals would be considered separate and not marital property, starting from the date the summons and complaint was filed or the date the separation was approved by the court.

If in fact, however, there was no actual legal separation, but the parties simply physically separated, then they are still considered under the law as continuing to be married , and your mother has a claim to 50 percent of all of your father’s assets and income during the course of the marriage.

The issue of having a boyfriend or not, it is not really relevant to the question regarding the division of the marital assets.

If your father is living in the New York City metropolitan area and a legal separation did take place, please have him call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter at greater length.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions