He walked out, now what?
August 15, 2011 6:25 PM Subscribe
YANML and I'm not looking for legal advice but I'd like to know what rights/entitlements a stay-at-home mom of two in California has when her husband of 13 years walks out on her.
posted by spare sock to law & government (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My my sister-in-law's ("Mary") husband of 13 years ("Tom") walked out on her and their two kids (both under 10) with no warning a couple of weeks ago. He refuses to consider counseling despite the efforts of multiple friends and seems to be treating this a failed business enterprise rather than a family crisis; something that can be settled with a few emails.
Mary hasn't worked in years, having given up her job at Tom's urging to care for the kids.
All their financial accounts are in his name and he has locked her out of them.
Tom is extremely wealthy and all the real assets (two homes and some cars) of their immediate family are owned by his family corporation which consists wholly of members of Tom's extended family.
What rights does Mary have given all this, and what is the bare minimum she is entitled to legally given a decent lawyer? (Is this even an answerable question at this stage?).
There is a trust for the kids so as far as we know they'll be OK financially. He's refused to tell them what's actually going on; his interaction with them so far has consisted of telling them he's going to be gone for a while on work, and taking them out to one dinner and loading them up with gifts and dessert.
She is consulting with a lawyer and is in the process of finding counseling for her and the kids. Her family and community have all rallied and are providing the best support we can.