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Vicious Circle Syndrome

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  • Vicious Circle Syndrome

    I am so overwhelmed at the moment and fearing my free-spirit is about to be crushed. I have been with my husband for 8 years, 6 of those years CL. He informed me of this divorce while I was out of the country, June, and I did not return to until mid October, thus I have only been really dealing with the issues for only the last 6 weeks. I am on long term disability, he makes a very good wage, and we have no assets but debts, of which I carry because of his bankruptcy from his last marriage. We also have no children or property. In order for me to survive, I will need SS, without it, I am looking at ending up in a woman’s shelter come May.

    Upon going to the courthouse, speaking with the FL council, I was informed legal aid does not handle divorce and that I would need to do the appropriate paperwork myself. It just seems that each time I ask for help I am directed to another avenue only told to go back to legal aid (vicious circle syndrome). I have tried doing all of this alone; however, because of where my head is at I am simply not able to fill them out. I become physically sick and I am in danger of exacerbating my disease from the stresses in my life.

    My husband has retained a lawyer and proceedings, I am informed, will begin shortly to determine a settlement. I have tried to speak to him concerning the settlement and in return I received a letter from his lawyer telling me to ‘have my lawyer call his’. I also emailed him regarding some property he took out of our home that belonged to me, and I was met with a brick wall in which he says all communication must now be done between the lawyers. I have no money to retain counsel.<O

    Here is what I ask y’all:<O
    1. · Should I file the paperwork right away and take my chances with the courts to decide a settlement or should I take a back seat and wait to see what his lawyer does? (I realize our relationship is not long term yet without the support I am left in dire financial distress).
    2. · Should I borrow money from a friend first so I could have a meeting with a lawyer to see what viable options I have? Example, splitting the debt and deciding what dollar value SS should be and for how long a period.<O
    3. · Would I be entitled to a portion of his pension? And should I even broach that subject?<O
    4. · If there is mediation, would the option of asking for a lump sum (a one-time payment) be a good idea?
    Your thoughts on the matter would be greatly appreciated…I have never felt so stupefied before!

  • #2
    The only question I feel qualified to answer is the pension question. His pension counts as an asset in the marriage. This will be used when looking at equalization. Any debts that have piled up during the marriage will be on one side of the equation, and his pension plus any savings will be on the other. If his pension is worth more than your debts, then half the difference would be yours.

    This is how it's been laid out for me, anyhow.

    Much smarter people than I will help you with the rest - worry not.


    • #3
      Although LEGAL AID doesn't cover the actual divorce there are aspects of it that they do. I know that access and custody are covered. I thought that support issues were as well. Maybe if you had a specific motion being addressed the Legal Aid office would be more willing to help.

      Also, it's helpful to take advantage of the free half hour consultations many lawyers offer. Take a list of specific questions and they will answer them.


      • #4
        Support should definately be covered by Legal Aid. My ex is on LA and CS/SS have been pretty much all she's been on about for a year. Custody is also covered, so far as I know.


        • #5
          You could handle the divorce issue of the litigation yourself. The forms are online. Divorce is generally granted with a default 1 year separation.

          I think you would qualify for Legal Aid by default of receiving disability to cover the support issue. I further think that your relationship of 8 years is a significant consideration. In matters of Needs v. Means; Need prevails.

          By the way, welcome to the forum!


          • #6

            Apply for the legal aid again and give the reason as EQUIIZATION OF PROPERTY and based on your income etc you will be provided by a certificate to retain a lawyer.DIVORCE is not covered.


            • #7
              I'm a little confused. Has an action started yet? Have you already been separated?

              Anyway, I'd suggest applying for Legal Aid right away and seeing what they say. Another possibility is to commence the divorce action yourself (if it hasn't been done already), then do an interim application for spousal support. Interim applications (here in BC, anyway) are getting some fast, temporary decisions on important matters. The judge will likely want to see some leveling of the financial playing field when it comes to regular income.


              • #8
                Many Thanks for your replies

                Thank you all so much for replying to me. I will march on down to legal aid and get the SS matter on the front burner! I do believe the actual divorce is something I can handle, as I did my soon-be-ex's some years back. I just want to make sure that the support is done fairly and justly. Once that is in place, I believe that free spirit of mine will soar once again!


                • #9
                  Yes we are separated. I was out of the country for 51/2 months and he told me of the divorce in an email soon after I left! By the time I returned, he was long gone. I will go by the date of that email as my date of separation.


                  • #10
                    Just a note that I have no idea if it will apply in your situation. Legal Aid will now pay for a divorce if there is domestic/family violence involved in the case. This may not apply to your specific case, but is a good piece of info for people that may be in that situation. This is new in the Legal Aid program.


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