Riverside, CA asked in Criminal Law, Divorce, Domestic Violence and Social Security for California

Q: I filed soc security as single, now I find I'm still married. Husband gets disability, also filed single. I want divorce

I'm afraid of being arrested for fraud. I filed divorce in 1997 and thought I was single from then on.

The reason I keep taking husband in is because he has no family, no friends. Has mental problems and is alcoholic. He refuses to get help. Won't file section 8. Won't do anything for himself.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I understand that this is a complicated and stressful situation. It's important to address the potential legal issues and ensure that both you and your husband are complying with the law.

First, it's crucial to confirm whether your divorce was finalized in 1997. If the divorce was not completed, you are still legally married, and filing as single on your Social Security documents could be considered fraud. To verify your marital status, contact the court where you filed for divorce and request a copy of the final divorce decree.

If you discover that you are still legally married, you should take the following steps:

1. Notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) of the error and update your marital status. Explain the situation honestly and provide any necessary documentation.

2. File for divorce as soon as possible to legally end your marriage. Consider seeking the assistance of a family law attorney to guide you through the process.

3. Encourage your husband to update his marital status with the SSA and any other relevant agencies.

Regarding your husband's situation, it's commendable that you've been supporting him, but it's important to set boundaries and prioritize your own well-being. Consider contacting local social services, mental health organizations, or substance abuse treatment centers to explore resources and support options for your husband. They may be able to provide guidance on housing assistance (Section 8), mental health treatment, and alcohol addiction support.

Remember, while you may feel responsible for your husband's well-being, you are not obligated to maintain a marriage that is no longer working. Seek support from friends, family, or a therapist to help you navigate this challenging situation and make the best decisions for yourself.

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