The Moneyist: ‘Am I the world’s biggest fool?’ I married my husband after being together for 25 years. Now he wants a divorce. I’ll be left with nothing. What can I do?

Dear Quentin,

My husband and I have been together for 28-plus years, and married for three. We have lived in Florida for seven years. He now wants a divorce. I stayed home with our kids for six years, and the other years I held positions in retail while our kids were in school. We never lived near family so this was our agreement to make life work. I made around $30,000 a year during that time.

We got married three years ago when my husband was having health issues. He was concerned I may have problems accessing his pension, 401(k), Social Security, etc. Well, he is going to be fine. He’s feeling so fine that he now wants a divorce. He says I’m not entitled to any of his retirement, alimony, properties or assets because we have only been married for three years. 

“‘Do not agree to anything. Do not sign anything. Do not even engage with your husband on issues pertaining to your finances and/or divorce.’”

“The word ‘guidance’ is used because courts and judges in Florida have incredible discretion to do what they believe is fair,” Ayo & Iken writes. In addition to assets that were commingled during your marriage, marital property includes: “Assets acquired during the marriage, enhancement in value and appreciation of non-marital assets, inter-spousal gifts during the marriage, real and personal property held as tenants by the entireties, and certain retirement benefits.”

As for Social Security benefits. There are strict eligibility requirements to collect Social Security benefits as a divorced spouse, as my colleague Alessandra Malito points out, as long as you have not remarried. Among those eligibility rules: You must have been married for 10 years, he has to be at least 62 years old, and if he hasn’t yet claimed his benefits, you must be divorced for at least two years. 

Your husband played you. He married you when he believed it was in his best interest to do so. He may or may not have tricked you or bullied you into signing over your interest in your $1.5 million rental property. He is using a menacing combination of truth, falsity and pressure to get what he wants now. It’s time to upend his bag of tricks. Gather up as much paperwork as you can now. Your attorney will be able to advise you how best to proceed. 

Check out the Moneyist private Facebook group, where we look for answers to life’s thorniest money issues. Readers write in to me with all sorts of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or weigh in on the latest Moneyist columns.

The Moneyist regrets he cannot reply to questions individually.

By emailing your questions, you agree to having them published anonymously on MarketWatch. By submitting your story to Dow Jones & Co., the publisher of MarketWatch, you understand and agree that we may use your story, or versions of it, in all media and platforms, including via third parties.

Also read:

‘This has gone on too long’: The bank paid itself $18,000 in fees. My late father’s trust has not been distributed. What recourse do I have?

‘He implied he was financially secure’: My husband was always hesitant about his finances. Now I know why.

‘When we dated for 5 years, he implied he was financially secure’: My husband was always hesitant about his finances. Now I know why.

‘Am I being ripped off?’ I moved into my husband’s home. I pay for groceries. The rental income from my apartment goes into our joint savings

MarketWatch First Take: What would Meta layoffs mean for Zuckerberg’s bold metaverse plan?

Previous article

: Redfin stock falls as much as 15% after analyst says sell

Next article

You may also like


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in News