What are my rights if my spouse wants divorce?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What are my rights if my spouse wants divorce?

My husband advised the other day that he wants a divorce; he is expecting me to move out of the home we currently rent within a week. We have an 18 month old daughter that would be moving with me. During our marriage, I was injured in a home gas explosion and received an insurance settlement earlier this year. About 5 months ago, we opened a joint account and invested the majority of that money. My husband wants to do a dissolution of marriage. When he gets upset he threatens to take me to court and take half of everything if I don’t do what he wants. What are my rights here?

Asked on October 5, 2018 under Family Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) He can get a divorce--anyone can; you can't keep someone married against their will.
2) You do NOT have to move out of the marital home until and unless the family law court tells you to (such as at the end of the divorce, if it is determined he keeps the home). He can move out and live elsewhere if he wants; he can't force you to leave.
3) The spouse who made more money during marriage and has more earning potential will likely have to pay support (alimony) to the other.
4) Whomever has taken more care of your child and does not have any reason he/she is an unfit parent (e.g. not a substance abuser) will probably get primary custody.
5) Whomever does not get child custody will pay child support to the other.
6) All money acquired during marriage will be divided; all debts incurred during marriage will be divided, too.
Consult with a family or matrimonial law attorney to better understand what you are likely entitled to under the specific facts of your marriage.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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