What are my option if my husband and I separate?

I have been married for more than 17 years; my husband is 16 years older than me. We did not know each other before we got married. Shortly after marriage I found out he has 2 completely different personalities. I started working 13 years ago and a year later we bought a home. Since then I pay all the payments and even the down payments was the one that I saved for a year. 11 years ago we bought a store and he made me pay for it as well; basically I pay all expenses. Now he is verbally abusing me. What would be my rights if I got separated? What would happen to my kids (16 and 8)?

Asked on October 15, 2011 under Family Law, Minnesota

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation.  You need to seek counseling for you and for the children not only on the divorce but also for the emotional abuse.  I can not tell from your question if your husband works as well.   But the general rule is that money that is earned during the marriage is marital money.  So if he is working the money that he earns is just as much yours as yours is his.  Now, that then makes it logical that the money that you have been paying out alone does not make the house or the store your alone.  Those, too, aremarital assets.  As for the kids, they are both yours and you have equal rights.  But the courts look at what their best interests would be when dealing with custody.  So if his household would be an abusive one then you could use this in your favor.  Good luck.


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