If my husband has PTSD and drives drunk when his license is already revolked, would it be best if I divorce him to protect my finances?

Would a legal separation protect my finances at all? We own a house together, two cars and a small modular home at a small lake. I don’t want a divorce – but when the issues with PTSD kick in I can’t trust him to not drive. I don’t want him to kill anyone accidentally. He’s already totaled a car and recently was taken to Detox while waiting for a plane flight.

Asked on March 7, 2014 under Personal Injury, Oregon


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Like marriage, divorce in the United States is the province of the state governments, not the federal government. Divorce or "dissolution of marriage" is a legal process in which a judge or other authority dissolves the bonds of matrimony existing between two persons, thus restoring them to the status of being single and permitting them to marry other individuals. The legal process for divorce may also involve issues of spousal support, child custody, child support, distribution of property and division of debt, though these matters are usually only ancillary or consequential to the dissolution of the marriage.

Divorce laws vary from state to state. Although all states allow "no fault" divorce proceedings, in many states a court may still take into account the behavior of the parties when dividing property, debts, evaluating custody, and support. No-fault divorce on grounds such as "irreconcilable differences", "irretrievable breakdown of the marriage", "incompatibility" or a period of living apart is now available in all states, though some states require a period of legal and/or physical separation prior to a formal divorce decree. This legal requirement, along with couples who live in a state of separation simply because neither has sought or completed a divorce for other reasons, has led to the creation of a separate, somewhat ambiguously-perceived category of relationships – "separated".

Prior to the introduction of no fault divorce, a spouse had to prove the 'fault' (e.g. adultery, desertion, cruelty etc.) of the other spouse in order to obtain a divorce; although spouses and their lawyers were usually able to negotiate "uncontested" divorces.[citation needed] The no-fault divorce revolution began in 1969 in California; New York was the latest state to allow non-consensual no-fault divorce, in 2010. Every state's law provides for child support where children are involved, and sometimes for alimony. The median length for a marriage in the US today is 11 years with 90% of all divorces being settled out of court.

Answer: You and your spouse should see a marriage counselor. As to liabilty protection, make sure he has a large insurance policy in place for any car he may drive.

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