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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    5

    Default Splitting a College Degree?

    Hello. My 26 year long marriage is heading for divorce. I was a stay-at-home mom until a couple of years ago when I started a bachelor's degree program to become a teacher. My husband is verbally abusive and wants to stay "married" until I've graduated and gotten a teaching job. He says then he'll be able to get half of my education cost and half of my income for the rest of my life, because he'll own half the degree.

    Should I begin the divorce now, before I graduate? I'm scared of facing life on my own. I've been very submissive in our marriage, and I am not allowed to see any bills and I don't even know how much my husband earns.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    5

    Default

    I'm in Michigan if that is important.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    758

    Default

    Dear Samantha,

    The traditional rule in Michigan is that an associate's or bachelor's degree is not a marital asset, but a professional degree (e.g., a Masters, Ph.D., etc.) earned during the marriage is a marital asset. Since you are talking about earning a bachelor's degree, that would not ordinarily be considered a marital asset. (Even if it were, your husband would not be automatically entitled to half of the cost of the degree, and certainly not to half of all of your future wages.)

    I would suggest exploring the possibility of seeking counseling through your University, with the caveat that the counseling might be predisposed toward preserving marriage, such that you are more comfortable with such issues as facing life on your own. You should also consider consulting with an attorney about the specifics of your situation.

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