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Greta

Amicable divorce with questions

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My husband and I have been amicably separated for about two and a half years, but technically still in the same house.  We have been married over 13 years to date, but the divorce was a long time coming.  The reason for this was we had a flood in the house and were awaiting reconstruction before selling the house and then divorcing but during this time he was diagnosed with cancer so I told him I would not divorce him until he is finished with treatment and back to work.  He is now in remission and tentatively going back to work this Fall.  We listed our house, and he will move into an apartment in our district and I will move in with my boyfriend of one year.  As mentioned, all is amicable and we co-parent our 12-year-old son, everyone is friendly and on the same page, etc.  When we do file, we plan to use some sort of mediator - neither of us plan on "taking" the other for anything.  

 

I make about $90K a year; he makes about $125K a year (give or take) but has been on disability for a year due to cancer diagnosis. 

 

My questions/topics for discussion:

1.  I have no desire for "alimony" but would try to get some sort of child support or at least insurance coverage for our son.  Currently, I cover all of us due to him being off work (dental/medical/vision).  Is this reasonable?

2.  He was in the National Guard for about 26 years but didn't serve active duty.  Am I entitled to any of his benefits from the military (retirement/health care)?  Does this change if I remarry?

3.  He has a LOT more in his retirement account that I do.  Am I entitled to half of his?

4.  I incurred all the credit card debt during the marriage.  This is our one point of contention between us.  We have one household account but also have our separate accounts.  I pay for my car and auto insurance, he pays for his cars/auto insurance.  It's kind of strange and I never felt like we were partners and he never wanted to discuss finances just had me do it all, but it doesn't matter now.  However, I wonder if he will have to be responsible for half of the debt.  I fully accept financial responsibility for any debt I have incurred in my new relationship (for example, I purchased a bedroom set), but I have also incurred debt trying to maintain the household and care of our son while he has been off work.  My husband has used the phrases that "I have literally saved his life" (I told him he looked like he had cancer months before he was diagnosed, and also because I have not divorced him which enabled him to remain in the house and have good health insurance coverage). 

5.  My son was awarded SSI but other than buying my son at bed at my new residence, my husband will not touch it and wants it put in my son's college account.  I have mixed feelings on this.  Part of me thinks that's great but the other part of me feels this is for SUPPORT of my son while my husband is out of work, and we should be able to use that to house/cloth/feed my son NOW.

6.  As mentioned, we have our house on the market now and the plan is when it sells to split the proceeds.  I plan to use my half to pay off some debt but wonder if I should wait until we file for divorce so I don't "waste" my half on debt that technically he would be responsible for.

 

Any comments/suggestions, etc are appreciated!

 

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Remarkable!  You say the divorce will be "amicable" but it doesn't seem as if you and your husband have discussed any of the financial consequences of the divorce.  That is where the rubber meets the road.  Michigan is not a community property state.  The courts there use a process called "equitable distribution" which means fair distribution of the marital assets taking into consideration a number of factors.  Since there are a lotof assets apparently involved here, you should contact a domestic relations attorney who can analyze all of the issues.

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10 minutes ago, RetiredinVA said:

Remarkable!  You say the divorce will be "amicable" but it doesn't seem as if you and your husband have discussed any of the financial consequences of the divorce.  That is where the rubber meets the road.  Michigan is not a community property state.  The courts there use a process called "equitable distribution" which means fair distribution of the marital assets taking into consideration a number of factors.  Since there are a lotof assets apparently involved here, you should contact a domestic relations attorney who can analyze all of the issues.

I'm not sure what is so "remarkable" about it?

 

Regardless, we have discussed the subject somewhat but haven't put pen to paper.  I only posted the above to try to figure out what I'm entitled to and what I'm not.  Neither of us is trying to screw the other person over or take something that isn't rightfully ours, and neither of us know what's fair or dictated by law.  I realize we may need to get an attorney involved but it would be nice if we could figure this out on our own so we aren't shelling money out for two attorneys. 

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1 hour ago, Greta said:

My husband and I have been amicably separated for about two and a half years, but technically still in the same house.

 

So...not separated.

 

You state that the divorce is going to be "amicable," but the questions you raise involve apparently unresolved issues about which a great deal of acrimony could arise -- especially if one of you pushes to get everything you're "entitled to."

 

 

1 hour ago, Greta said:

I have no desire for "alimony" but would try to get some sort of child support or at least insurance coverage for our son.  Currently, I cover all of us due to him being off work (dental/medical/vision).  Is this reasonable?

 

Is it reasonable to expect child support if you're the parent with primary custody?  Of course it is.

 

 

1 hour ago, Greta said:

He was in the National Guard for about 26 years but didn't serve active duty.  Am I entitled to any of his benefits from the military (retirement/health care)?  Does this change if I remarry?

 

Without knowing what benefits he receives, it's impossible to comment (unless someone happens to be fluent in benefits available to spouses/former spouses of National Guard members.

 

 

1 hour ago, Greta said:

He has a LOT more in his retirement account that I do.  Am I entitled to half of his?

 

If all of the money in each of your retirement accounts resulted from employment or other contributions made during the time of your marriage, then each of you is technically "entitled to" half of the other's account.  Unless the disparity is significant, however, the most sensible thing is for each of you to retain ownership of your own account, free and clear of the other's interest.

 

 

1 hour ago, Greta said:

I wonder if he will have to be responsible for half of the debt.

 

As a general matter, marital assets and martial debts are divided in a manner that the court determines to be equitable based on a number of facts (which can be easily googled).  If you're going to resolve these issue by an "amicable" settlement, you are free to agree as you mutually see fit.

 

If I were you, I would at least consult with a local divorce attorney.

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On 10/3/2018 at 10:56 AM, Greta said:

I realize we may need to get an attorney involved but it would be nice if we could figure this out on our own so we aren't shelling money out for two attorneys. 

You should not have "an" attorney.  You should have two attorneys.  Divorce, and the associated distribution of marital assets, debt responsibility, support, custody, visitation, etc., is, by definition, an adversarial process.  For instance, an attorney counselling you to accept or decline a distribution of pension rights is simultaneously acting adverse to the interests of the owner of the rights.  That's just the way it is.  Unless you two can approach the attorney  with a complete determination of the distribution of the marital property, the attorney should not accept the engagement.

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