What does a woman with 2 young girls do if she is financially abandoned and her husband is having an affair?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What does a woman with 2 young girls do if she is financially abandoned and her husband is having an affair?

I am a 49 year old woman, and I have been out of work for a long time dependent on my husband for 18 years. the past few years or so he has been having an affair with my ex-best friend. He brings her in and out of the house on holidays and flaunts his relationship in my face. He has also verbally and physically abused me for many years. For the last few years he has let the bills go, and doesn’t provide much assistance. He comes and goes when he want in our house and gives my 2 girls 20 dollars to order here and there. I am currently stuck in the house, in deep debt and not sure if I can afford my lawyer. I also currently collect social security due to my mental disability. My girls who have also been subjected to the affair, and they are struggle with this. My husband and the woman he’s having an affair with are both addicted to drugs, and I worry that they are high, laying drugs around or selling with them around. I am not sure where to go from here and I really am desperate for advice on how to handle this situation best.

Asked on December 25, 2016 under Family Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

File for divorce. In the divorce, besides extricating yourself and your children from a bad situation, you can get a court order for child support and spousal support; get a share of the assets; get legal custody; and possibly get a court order that the other woman stay away from your children. You will likely have to hire an attorney since this will presumably be a contested divorce (that is, he will likely not agree to the divorce, support, etc.), but it will be well worth the investment to do that.

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