My husband of almost 30 yrs is divorcing me because "I want to be single". I'm scared I will be left penniless. He charged me with "mental cruelty", just the opposite is true. I then went to see a lawyer with help of my daughter. I'm afraid to drive far.
I have money in a TSP acct. a checking acct., a couple of small savings accts. & a small IRA.
I've no idea how much money he has been hiding all these years. While he was up north I was opening all the mail & found an acct. I had no idea existed.

I have serious medical issues including heart failure, bad spinal arthritis & a bad memory problem most of my life. I was treated for the memory issue for the 25yrs I worked but the FDA took the med off the market so had to leave my career.
My doctors are not nearby. My daughter works full time, lives & works a good distance away has been making & taking me to appts. She has been purchasing groceries for me. I pay her for these plus a little for gas.

I need home care such as light housekeeping but with the utilities and taxes and those unexpected repairs I know I can't afford it. My daughter also brings me some meals. I can't stand for more than a few minutes without severe pain & walking a short distance I become out of breath. I've also gotten dizzy & fallen so very afraid to walk alone even to the mailbox.

I looked into Medicare & they won't pay for something like housekeeping unless I need home nursing care. I take quite a few meds & get confused as to what I need to order & sometimes have forgotten to take them although I have a large med container.
I really don't know what to do and even though I know I need help I don't know how to get it. I have difficulty understanding (memory problem).

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imamess , I'm so sorry about your situation. As the others have suggested, you need to find a family law or related type of attorney. You will need this advocate to make certain that you have resources when this whole mess is over.

It may seem frightening to be alone, but staying with a man who doesn't want to be there is more frightening. You daughter sounds like a gem. She's behind you and can likely help you find the right resources in your community. See if some counseling is available for you through family services to help you get through this terrible time. Once you are on the other side, you may find that your life has improved. It's getting there that is so hard.

Please keep us updated on how your are doing.
Helpful Answer (1)

Mental cruelty and other frightening allegations are not unusual in a divorce. The initial Complaint for Divorce generally makes the spouse seem like a Frankenstein monster. That's not unusual.

Your attorney (and use ONLY a matrimonial, family law or divorce attorney, NEVER a general practitioner) should initiate the process of data gathering which would require your husband to enumerate his assets. This is done through pleadings, and as I recall he has to certify when he responds that his answers are accurate. If he withholds information, he's misleading the court and attempting to shield his assets. That will not be viewed benevolently by a judge.

Also ask your attorney if your state has no-fault divorces. That can avoid a lot of mud-slinging accusations and emotional trauma. Instead of listing what each party has done, the parties just state that they no longer have an amicable relationship, something that simple.

You don't mention working beyond apparently having to abandon a career. If you have no viable work skills, job or career, ask for alimony. Your attorney will know how to request this in counter pleadings.

Don't do anything with any of your financial accounts w/o your attorney's advice. But also raise with him/her the issue of freezing your husband's assets so he doesn't hide them in offshore accounts or something like that.

In the meantime, check into getting Meals on Wheels to minimize the driving for your daughter. You'll get a meal daily, and depending on your particular area may also be able to order to order meals for the weekends.

Have your daughter review the frozen meals to choose the most healthy; there's one brand that doesn't have preservatives and actually tastes like real food; that might be an option. Your daughter seems to have a life of her own so anything you can do to relieve the chores for her would help both of you.
Helpful Answer (21)

My heart goes out to you. Yes, use only a matrimonial/family/divorce or lawyer, for sure. Make sure the lawyer has a relationship with a forensic accountant. If hubby is using a shell company to hide assets and/or real estate, it'll take more than a freeze to determine his full net worth. Also -- because you have memory issues, have your daughter or a trusted friend with you at every lawyer visit -- and all other consultations related to your divorce. At every appointment, ask permission to record the audio of your session. Whether you are allowed to record or not, take good notes and insist that your sidekick do the same. Ask the lawyer/whomever if he/she can give you printouts that are relevant to what you are discussing. In short, do anything and everything to compensate for your memory issues. You already know that your husband is hiding money and making false accusations. It's safe to assume that he will try to get the upper hand by exploiting your memory issues, too. For you, the best defense is a good offense. Don't cut corners, no matter how daunting your legal bills are. The outcome of these proceedings will determine how you live the rest of your life. You only have one shot at getting this right, so arm yourself with every advantage.
Helpful Answer (19)

I wouldn't delay on the legal front. If your husband has extra accounts, you might want to freeze them by court order so he can't hide them further or waste them.
Helpful Answer (13)

It sounds like your daughter is supporting you, and that's good. Be up front about all your physical and memory problems with your lawyer, you may be able to use that in the divorce settlement. Once the divorce is settled you will need to take stock of what you can do with the money you have available. It may be wise to move into more affordable housing at that time.

While you are at the lawyers you should look into setting up your POAs, perhaps naming your daughter if she is willing? Are there other kids?

As for the meds, your stress may be adding to your confusion. There are pill containers available that can remind you to take your meds at the proper time, hope somebody here can provide a link about that.
BTW, your soon to be ex sounds like a real a**. Give your lawyer every document you can find about his hidden accounts.
Helpful Answer (12)

First, you need an attorney who will fight for YOU! Thirty years of marriage entitles you to at least half of the assets, you can get HIS social security earnings (if they are higher than yours), and if you have such a memory problem you have a "medical necessity" reason to have people come in and take care of bills, housekeeping, etc. BUT, you need to find a doctor who treats all your ailments, or refer you to doctors who can as soon as possible. Maybe your husband is having memory problems too. At any rate do not be distressed as you are entitled to a lot. If he was military, the payments to you can be deducted from his pension BEFORE it gets to him. Get a sharp attorney!
Helpful Answer (11)

iamamess, I am so sorry for the situation you find yourself in. Unfortunately in many men's lives there comes a time when they think it will be fun to play the field again and maybe find a newer model if he hasn't already. The spouse is usually the last to find out what is going on.
That being said do not take on yourself any guilt for this break up. your illness is not your fault. hubby would never have been an ongoing support for you in any case with this attitude. the length of time you have been married has little bearing on the time a divorce takes place.
As others have said find a lawyer you feel comfortable with a build a support team from there. Your daughters help remains essential but it should not all fall on her shoulders.
You do not mention your age but there are subsidized apartments available in many areas for the over 55s or disabled and the rent is based on income. Maybe look into somethig like this closer to your daughter. meals on wheels is an excellent idea or have your daughter pick up some decent frozen meals for you or maybe freeze something she has made. With your memory loss make sure you have a notebook and pen with you at all times. Note any mail that hubby receives. I would not open it but note the return address on all envelopes and if after he has opened it you are able to write down any account numbers etc do it, don't delay.
Depending on your State laws you may be eligible for half the value of your combined estates. This is a terrible shock for you and nothing you can recover from overnight but begin to chart your own course and make sure you are not left penniless. Blessings
Helpful Answer (8)

In all my experience as an attorney, the courts in a divorce case will protect a spouse's financial needs. Make sure your physical and mental conditions are presented to the court. The court will make provisions for your husband to pay for the care you need.
Helpful Answer (7)

So sorry for what some may perceive as your loss, Imamess.
Another way to view it is a chance to get unbelievably better once you are divorced, because of what you have shared.
Try not to be consumed with sadness or anger.
Bless you with a future and a hope.
Helpful Answer (6)

Anoel, I don't wish to start a religious argument, but if you've ever been through a divorce, or supported family members through one, and you're aware of the vicious accusations that are made, forgiveness is not even on their radar.

Can you imagine if someone reported you to Child Protective Serivces as being an alcoholic and you were investigated by it, with the possibility of losing your children, even if you weren't an alcoholic? Can you imagine if someone claimed to CPS that you abused your children, even when the abuser was your husband? Can you even conceive of the anxiety a mother feels when she's still mandated by court order to allow her husband visitation rights, worrying about whether he's going to retaliate physically against your children?

Can you imagine someone posting these kinds of negative and false accusations on some idiotic social media site? Can you imagine what it feels like to have CPS investigate you? Can you imagine what it's like to struggle and ask for public assistance b/c the husband won't pay child support but spends money frivolously on himself?

It's idealistic to consider forgiveness, but in the down and dirty world that sometimes accompanies divorce, forgiveness is just not realistic.

I'm curious: how many times have you been divorced?
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