Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Irma

Divorce and Spousal Support in VA

Recommended Posts

I am 67, husband is 75, we own a house I’m living in now.  He went to RI for a job and then proceeded to harass me about a divorce (I was caring for my dying Mom).  I’ve taken many workshops about divorce, consulted with a financial advisor about how the split would affect me and assets. (I left my career 22 years ago for his career move and then we adopted a girl, who had many issues, so I did not work outside the home). We went to mediation a year ago with no results. He manipulated the mediator. He has backed out of divorcing, because of the money (I would loose supplemental insurance - yes, I will - it is Tricare for Life). He continues to date, I know he’s had sexual “encounters” because I’ve snooped in his emails (I’ve since stopped), yet he will not proceed even with a marital settlement and not a full divorce. This will only get worse and I’m done.  Lawyers tell me I will not get alimony because his money from a VA Disability and his navy retirement cannot be touched and because of his age, even though he is still working. I don’t think I need a lawyer to file, but I believe it would be best. Can I file now (we’ve been separated 6 months), take money out for me to live on and freeze the bank accounts (I believe he has money elsewhere), and see what happens with him? I know I’ll disturb the monster...and I need to find a lawyer....How hard do you think this will hit me, in terms of spousal support?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Rozie2005 said:

we own a house I’m living in now.

 

Located in what state?

 

 

1 hour ago, Rozie2005 said:

He went to RI for a job and then proceeded to harass me about a divorce (I was caring for my dying Mom).  I’ve taken many workshops about divorce,

 

Has either of you actually filed for divorce?  If so, was that done in RI or in your state of residence?

 

 

1 hour ago, Rozie2005 said:

He has backed out of divorcing, because of the money

 

If either of you wants a divorce, the other cannot prevent it.

 

 

1 hour ago, Rozie2005 said:

Can I file now

 

You can file anytime you like.  Keep in mind that, since you didn't identify your state, we cannot comment on filing requirements in that state.

 

 

1 hour ago, Rozie2005 said:

Can I . . . take money out for me to live on

 

If it's a joint account or other account to which you legally have access, you can.

 

 

1 hour ago, Rozie2005 said:

Can I . . . freeze the bank accounts

 

Not really sure what you mean by this.

 

 

1 hour ago, Rozie2005 said:

How hard do you think this will hit me, in terms of spousal support?

 

Not sure what this question means either but, while you didn't identify your state, I have a hard time believing you would not be entitled to permanent alimony/spousal support under the laws of every state.  Of course, nothing in your post provides any information that could be used to speculate about how much a court might award.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I apologize for not putting that in. I meant to say I’m living in the house we own in Virginia.

i appreciate your getting back to me and being willing to help, if you can.

 

No, neither of us has filed. He has threatened...not sure why he didn’t ever follow through, but I was told by another lawyer that VA has “long arm statutes”...that mean he has no jurisdiction over me, since we have a home in Virginia...again, I don’t really know what that would mean for filing...except that I have time, I guess.

 

We have joint checking and savings and all (or what I know of) the accounts- his credit card, his checking (his salary goes in there), and a savings account he started for himself should be accessible to me. The IRA’s are in his name only. Mistake on my part to have trusted him about those.

He has taken money out of the IRA to pay off outer child’s student loan, which I never agreed to.

His Navy Retirement, his VA Disability, and SS are direct deposited into savings. I live off of the money in savings. He lives off his salary.

The mandatory draw from the IRA’s was going to the joint savings account, until he redirected it to be deposited in his savings account.

I’m concerned that he is going to take more money out of the IRA’s and change the deposit of his Navy Retirement or VA Disability, so I will have less money to live on. (I’ve been real sick -Lyme- and I’m gradually getting better...and I am looking for work that I can handle)

I was thinking I would take as much out of his savings and our savings as I could and then file. I was told (once again) that I could request temporary spousal support and a freeze or restraining order (?) on our accounts and the IRA’s until the settlement and the divorce  were finalized.

 

He currently works 4 days a week and has “threatened” to retire in the fall and come back to live in the house with me in Virginia. 

His original plan was to scale back to working 3 days a week next year...and so on...

 

My understanding is that we would have until the date of divorce to work out the settlement, so I would need a lawyer for that, most likely, since he’s being stubborn. We have an agreement that is almost complete. Can I use this for the start of our settlement? If I’m on my own about this, I’m not sure what the next steps would be. 

 

This is what I’ve heard from 5 lawyers - 

1) He told me to forget divorcing. I will not get anything.

2) She would write up the start of the settlement we did, but she was farther away and wanted to file in my county rather than the one she was in (both in Virginia)/and her costs to go to my courthouse were too much for me

3) He would draw up the agreement for me to give to him, but he has never gotten the retainer agreement to me for payment, so of course I have nothing from him. It’s strange because he answered my phone calls and told me he would have it to me “in a couple of days” and he hasn’t answered my emails.

4) She computed all the income I knew about and told me I was better off letting it all ride. He was in RI and I was here, so why did we have to get divorced?

5) She met with me, told me what would happen in my county’s court, and finished by saying she really preferred to see marriages stay together, if there was no abuse, particularly being older. She didn’t see any problem with his going after “another skirt” when the opportunity came up. She also said the laws had changed as of July 2018 and I would only be entitled to alimony for half the time of the marriage.

 

If I don’t end this, it will drag on. He is a liar, manipulative, and keeps secrets. This is insanity. (Did I say I kicked him out of the house 5 years ago after seeing a text from a woman on his phone? He kept saying he would change...)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Rozie2005 said:

This is what I’ve heard from 5 lawyers - 

1) He told me to forget divorcing. I will not get anything.

 

There's nothing you've posted that makes me think this is correct.

 

Virginia has both no-fault and fault based grounds for divorce.  For a no-fault divorce you need to be separated for a year or more (unless you have entered into a property settlement or separation agreement).  You can get a divorce based on adultery, but it will be more costly and difficult.

 

Not sure if there's more to tell you beyond what I've already written, but one of the regulars here ( @RetiredinVA ) is or was a Virginia lawyer, so perhaps he/she will have something to add.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have consulted five lawyers who have given you five different answers.  It would be pointless for anyone to give you a sixth opinion.  It doesn't sound as if you have actually retained any lawyer but have gone from one to another seking "the truth."  At some point you need to put cash on the table and hire an attorney.  Shopping for better answers is a waste of time.

 

Yes, you can be awarded spousal support.  Yes, it can be difficult to collect it if the bulk of your husband's income is from sources that cannot be garnished.  However, if support is awarded and your husband fails to pay, he can be incarcerated until he wises up. 

 

A settlement agreement can be negotiated until the moment the judge rules or one or the other parties dies.  Judges will regularly order the parties to go out in the hall and settle this during the trial unti further negotiation is futile,   Judges hate to rule in divorce cases.

 

In my experience, and based on the rulings of the Virginia courts, I need to advise you that a divorce is seen as a division of dollars, present and future .  The number of skirts a party chases or catches is irrelevant , absent extreme waste of marital assets during the chase.

 

If there is a sizeable local bar association, find out who is the chairman of the domestic relations committee.  Hire him or her and listen to him or her. Stop listening to your friends and neighbors who claim to know exactly what will happen in your case because something happened in their cousin's case in Missouri in1997.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You may well be entitled to a portion of his military retirement in the divorce and you may be entitled to be paid monthly directly through DFAS. .  It depends upon how long you were married during the time he was active duty.  You mentioned his social security but you haven't mentioned yours.  It sounds like you were married longer than 10 years and you are of retirement age so you can collect on his SS number which I'm guessing will be higher than if you went under your number. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@pg1067-thank you for your response. 

@RetiredinVA - actually, I have met with these lawyers, paid consulting fees, was willing to put money down on a retainer, yet there was always some hesitation with the lawyer.  One finally said he would email the retainer to me. That was 3 months ago! I have given up on him and met with a local lawyer in my county. After she took all my information, she said she did not think I would get much spousal support, if any,  and, as I said, she preferred to see marriages stay together.

I don’t have any family to weigh in on this...and I don’t talk to my friends about it. I’m sharing what I’ve learned from lawyers.

 I want to find a lawyer who will work for me, help me, support what I want. If I will not be getting “much” in spousal support, I would like to know what the worst case scenario is. 

The first lawyer I met with (several years ago) told me we did not have enough money to divorce and dismissed me. Looking back, with what I know now, it could be because he didn’t stand to make much from the divorce (we don’t have large sums of money in retirement accounts and nothing in savings now).

I looked up Local Bar Association and entered my information, so I will wait to see what that produces.  I wasn’t sure if I needed to request a lawyer with 6-15 years or one with over 15 years. I decided to go with the middle and see what happens.

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer. 

I appreciate your help.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@LegalwriterOne

Thank you for your response.

We’ve been married 25 years, none of that in his active service. I do not qualify as I do not meet the 20-20-20 criteria. This means I am also not eligible for his Tricare for Life to supplement my Medicare.

I recognize this will be a financial hit for me. But he is now moving money around and making it harder for me to access it. This will continue and I’m concerned there may not be much, anyway.

I am taking half his Social Security and I’m told I would still be eligible for his full SS when he dies (if he dies before me...). My Social Security when I am 70 is more than the half of his I have now, and I’m also told I can take mine (drop his) at that time. (I had a career I stopped when we moved for his career advancement. When we adopted a baby, I stayed at home with her, but was never able to work full time, due to her health and developmental challenges. She is 21 now.)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...