Brooklyn, NY asked in Tax Law, Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for New York

Q: My husband has been hiding income, rationing me for years, and has cut me off financially several times.

He also gaslights me, takes/hides my belongings, tracks my cell phone history (account is under his father’s. I have no access), has told me several times (during/post cancer) he wishes I would die, and is constantly creating financial hardship by spending large amounts of money on various “entrepreneurial ventures” (I’ve discovered only because I’ve had to play detective to understand what is going on) but calls my expenses frivolous and berates me. We’ve received debt notices from the IRS (unreported income), making me a party to tax debt created by activities I was unaware of. He never shows me tax documents prior/post filing (I haven’t signed anything in years). Tries to turn our kids against me. Very controlling. I’m not a psychologist, but he exhibits classic symptoms of personality disorder. I stay in hyper vigilant mode, am very stressed and I’m concerned about my health. We have two minor children. Is this grounds for filing for divorce with fault for abuse?

4 Lawyer Answers
D. Mathew Blackburn
D. Mathew Blackburn
Answered
  • Tax Law Lawyer
  • Englewood, CO

A: There's no such thing as fault divorces anymore. It's the same if you're the best spouse or the worst. You don't need a reason.

Lawrence Allen Weinreich
Lawrence Allen Weinreich
Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Garden City, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Based upon what you have said, you would have grounds on the basis of fault. However, there is no need to go that route anymore. New York enacted "No Fault" divorce several years ago. All that is necessary to be alleged is that there is an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage for 6 months or more. Once that is alleged, the next step is property division. At that time you can get discovery of all of your husbands finances for at least the last 5 years. You should see an attorney immediately to discuss all of this.

1 user found this answer helpful

Linda Simmons Campbell
Linda Simmons Campbell
Answered
  • Tax Law Lawyer
  • Burlington, CT

A: I agree with the other attorneys regarding the divorce issue. I believe that you may need to consult with a tax attorney regarding any potential tax issues. Even if you haven't signed any returns in recent years that does not mean that your husband did not file a joint return electronically. You should make sure that you have a clear picture of any potential tax issues both so that they can be addressed in the divorce and so that you can set up a plan of action in the event that there is a joint debt owed.

You can call the IRS or go online and request your tax transcripts. This will tell let you know if you have any tax liabilities.

1 user found this answer helpful

John Anthony Pappalardo
John Anthony Pappalardo
Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • White Plains, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: You do not need a fault ground to file for divorce in NY. I would suggest that you contact an attorney and an accountant immediately. Best

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