My question involves a marriage in the state of: New York
My wife is about to file for divorce. We married in May 2005 and closed on our home in July 2005. Technically it is marital property but all of the funding for the down payment came from my savings. Her contribution was zero. Mortgage, title and all paperwork is in my name only. Bank accounts and credit cards are in my name. This did not happen by design. My wife had poor credit and was already delinquent to the tune of $40k when we met. Segregation of funds protected my assets from her creditors. We have 2 kids (12 and 6) of which only one is mine.
My wife has not worked throughout the marriage but she recently completed her 2 year nursing associates diploma so technically she could look a job now. We settled her old debts with various creditors for around $15k. My current income is $175 base salary plus around $50k in bonus (which is never guaranteed). Because of her free spending, we have zero savings. There are two 401K accounts - one for $20k which predates her and one for around $140k which accumulated after we married.
The two cars are in my name (we owe around $7k on 'my' car and around $18k on 'her' car)
The home has zero equity. Current market value = $370k which is exactly the amount outstanding on the first mortgage. On top of that there is a $33k home equity loan (in my name). Credit card debt is around $25k (in my name but mostly her purchases), and a student loan of about $10k (her name).
Realize I will have to provide child support, and possibly some type of 'alimony' payments. Retaining the house (and furniture) is an emotional issue for me even though there is no equity. So far, she has not battled on this one because she feels it would be very expensive to service the mortgage. I would rather not drag this process out. What type of monthly payment am I looking at? Can I assume that the settlement would somehow include a portion of my income to pay off our debts? In other words, my wife will be at least partially responsible for clearing our existing debts. Last, can anyone recommend a good attorney in Long Island NY with reasonable fees?