Legal Question in Family Law in Maryland

Dear Attorneys,

my question is about marriage issues.

I'm from Europe, we married 2 years ago, and within marriage I had to move to US to live with my husband. Process of getting all nessesary papers for me to start working took a while, and all these time i couldnt start working. Only for the last 6 months i'm desperately looking for job (but with this tough job market it goes hard). All these time i did not have any money, my husband did not let me have money (my savings i spent for surgery that i had to make recently), what made me absolutely neurotic about this subject that i started to feel scared even to ask about toothbrush, he reproached me that i eat too much and we have to buy food more often than when he lived alone. All these situation makes me very stressed (all this time i have a depression, insomnia, neurosis). I love my husband but this humiliated position of somebody rightless here is torturing me! He had been married before, and his wife was not faithful and disrespected him as a man, and i suspect that this way to treat woman is his "preventive reaction" to make woman be quiet.

But i know that i have my rights.

My question to you is to clarify, please, which rights exactly do i have in financial aspect?

May i demand to own half of his paycheck to have it for my needs (before i'll find my own job to support myself) and to decide together with him how WE pay mortgage and other expences?

Asked on 1/14/14, 6:17 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Thomas Brown Law Office of Thomas K. Brown, LLC

I'm sorry to hear you're in such a difficult situation. As both a family law attorney and immigration attorney I see this pattern of abuse all too often. On the immigration side of things, if your husband filed papers for you, meaning he petitioned for you to obtain a green card, then he must have filed an I-864 Affidavit of Support. The affidavit is a legally enforceable promise to support you, at least to the extent of the federal poverty guidelines applicable for your household size. He cannot financially, or socially, isolate you, and this kind of behavior is considered abuse under immigration law.

On the family law side of things, all income earned, regardless of who earned it, is marital property. He might be keeping it all secret or forbidding your access to it, but it's marital property nonetheless. If he's unwilling to share with you, however, there's not a lot you can do without some kind of court action.

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Answered on 1/14/14, 6:28 am

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