1. Free Legal Help, Legal Forms and Lawyers. TheLaw.com has been providing free legal assistance online since 1995. Our most popular destinations for legal help are below. It only takes a minute to join our legal community!

    Dismiss Notice

20 year Separation

Discussion in 'Alimony & Spousal Support' started by Pete Smith, Jul 14, 2021.

  1. Pete Smith

    Pete Smith Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Jurisdiction:
    Maryland
    My significant has been separated from her husband for over 20 yrs. He has now, due to a relationship , contacted her about a divorce.
    Im of the opinion that having never received any support that she is entitled to something.
    He has also liquidated a 401k plan he had during the marriage as well selling vehicles that her name was on the titles to without securing her signature.
    After this amount of time, 20+yrs, should she seek a financial settlement ?
     
  2. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    1,012
    Trophy Points:
    113

    It would be much more effective for your girlfriend to join, under her own user name, for advice. It is always better for the actual legal party to post for themselves rather than having a third party, who is unlikely to have the needed facts, post for them.
     
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

    Messages:
    9,195
    Likes Received:
    2,963
    Trophy Points:
    113

    She needs to understand that he doesn't need her help, consent, or signature to get a divorce. She has no leverage to squeeze anything out of him. And after 20 years I doubt that any court will give her a nickel.

    She should have gotten the divorce 20 years ago while he still had those assets. She doesn't get to do the "poor little me" act now.
     
    Red Kayak, shadowbunny and army judge like this.
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

    Messages:
    33,795
    Likes Received:
    5,476
    Trophy Points:
    113

    If I were sitting in your seat, I'd immediately begin to uncouple, untangle, and uninvolve myself from any relationship with a person comfortable with a 20 year "separation" / "abandonment".

    The Sea of Love is full of fish, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. What you're posting about portends to become quite messy and contentious. Unless you enjoy chaos, free yourself ASAP.
     
  5. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,977
    Likes Received:
    1,153
    Trophy Points:
    113

    She should see a divorce attorney. The first question the attorney will want to get answered is what marital assets do each of them have? It is only marital assets that are subject to division in Maryland. Martial assets are generally any assets acquired during the marriage, with some exceptions. For example, gifts and inheritances received by one spouse during the marriage are generally not marital property. The duration of the marriage ends at divorce, not separation. "The cut-off time for the determination of whether property was acquired during the marriage is the date of the divorce, not the date of separation." Campolattaro v. Campolattaro, 66 Md. App. 68, 502 A.2d 1068 (1986). So any assets either of them acquired during the last 20 years and still have might now be subject to division as marital assets.

    Note that assets that the husband had but sold off or liquidated during the separation do not matter since you cannot divide assets that no longer exist.

    Bear in mind that assets she has may also be subject to division, so she may want to be careful in pursuing this. It may be that simply agreeing to a simple divorce and each party just keeping what he/she has already is the best thing for both of them. Get the divorce done and move on with their lives.

    The issue of support is distinct from equitable division of assets. She can seek support in the divorce and ask for it to apply retroactively. However, if she has been self-supporting for the last 20 years I don't see a court ordering support for her now.
     
  6. Pete Smith

    Pete Smith Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Thanks to everyone for your replies.
     
  7. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,786
    Likes Received:
    1,319
    Trophy Points:
    113

    I assume you have no actual legal basis for this opinion, but I'm curious why you don't think he is entitled to something from her. Also, does your girlfriend share your opinion?

    Is selling or has sold? If the latter, when did these sales occur? How many vehicles are at issue here, and how much are they worth (or how much were they worth at the time of sale)? Given that these vehicles are likely over two decades old, I wouldn't expect they'd be worth very much.

    Financial settlement of what? In terms of alimony, she's proven for the past two decades that she's capable of supporting herself without any assistance, so she obviously has no need for that. If she wanted alimony, she should have sought it LONG ago. In terms of marital property, what pre-separation property still exists in either of their possession? What is the value of her current assets? What is the value of his current assets?

    Given the lack of relevant facts, I disagree with this statement.
     
  8. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,977
    Likes Received:
    1,153
    Trophy Points:
    113

    As I pointed out earlier, under Maryland law marital property still accumulates after separation, too. So the date of separation does not act as a divider of what is marital property and what is not.

    I agree. We lack sufficient facts for the conclusion that Jack made.
     
    Red Kayak likes this.
  9. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,786
    Likes Received:
    1,319
    Trophy Points:
    113

    I'm aware (hence my use of "pre-separation property" rather than "marital property"). While it's not a legal dividing line, I believe that knowing whether either spouse still has anything in his/her possession from prior to the separation might provide some useful factual context.
     
  10. leslie82

    leslie82 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,872
    Likes Received:
    271
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Why is she entitled to anything after being with someone else for the last 20 years? Here's what I think she's entitled to: 0

    Plus she needs to be asking these questions. Not you. She should have divorced him 20 years ago.
     
  11. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,594
    Likes Received:
    1,910
    Trophy Points:
    113

    And/or he her.

    (That sounds like gibberish, but it's a correct statement!)
     
    justblue likes this.
  12. leslie82

    leslie82 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,872
    Likes Received:
    271
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Yes that's true. Either one should have filed for divorce.
     

Share This Page