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Question #241

My husband I live in New York State, Rochester area, we got married on 2003. He left me and moved in with someone else in 2007. We had talked about reconciliation since about 2 months after he left. Our sexual relationship has never stopped and I’m not sure if that changes anything? We have not been legally separated and claimed joint taxes for 2007 and separate for 2008, we have not decided how to file for this year yet. I love him and don’t want to divorce but he says now that reconciliation is not possible, and I want him to be happy so I have no choice for the divorce, Do I??. He recently told me that he filed for divorce citing cruel treatment (or something like that). My question is how do I have the reason for divorce changed? He was having an affair and abandoned me and then he files that I was cruel!!! He said that was the best choice out of what they gave him. I am currently unemployed and have no money too file my own papers. I have tried to find the free forms he says that he used, but he says he doesn’t know where he got them from. The girl he left me for is a paralegal and I think she is the one helping him, though he says they hardly talk any more. He got his own apartment last year and is working full time. He helps me when I need it and I help him with what I can. He says that he will always be there for me if I need anything but how do I protect myself? We have no children and no property. We do have life insurance for him in which I am the beneficiary for and I pay the monthly bill for it, he has told me to keep it. He does help me pay bills on occasion if I tell him I haven’t been able to pay something. I’m not sure what to do and what the filing terms he used means for me in the future. Should I ask for alimony in the event he’s not planning to continue to help me like he says? How do I do this so that we can continue to be friends like we want? We both say that we love each other and will always be there, but if he gets back together with the girl I know that she’ll make him stop helping me and talking to me, that’s why the broke up because of his continued contact with me, at least that’s what he says. I am not sure what to believe any more and don’t want to end up worse than I am now. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

In order for your husband to get a divorce in the State of New York he is going to have to have grounds. The grounds he chose was apparently cruel and inhuman treatment. He will have to provide some form of testimony or evidence to support his contention that in fact there was cruel and inhuman treatment. This will generally require some kind of physical threat and fear for his life.
You can deny the grounds and testify to such effect in the event that he insists on trying this matter.
With regard to the financial help that he is providing, you should not rely on his goodwill, better must enter into a formal Separation Agreement prepared by an attorney with experience in matrimonial matters who can assist you in securing your financial position in the event of a divorce and help to protect your interests.
I strongly suggest you seek out an Attorney.-mediator experienced in matrimonial matters in your jurisdiction who can assist you. If you cannot afford to pay for his services the Court will force your husband to pay for them.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq. /Divorce Solutions