In the case of Wily v. Wily, the woman we represented, Beverly, married a man from another country. The parties were married 12 years and had two children, ages 5 and 8. The husband, Asher, received his permanent residency during the marriage. Both parties obtained social worker degrees during the marriage. The degrees were exactly the same and had equal value. However, Beverly worked to support the family. The husband ran a psychotherapist business. The business did not do very well and very little worth was placed on it after a forensic valuation was done by an accountant.
The Husband attempted to claim he had no income at the time of the divorce since his business as a therapist was not doing well. We demonstrated to the Judge the enormous contributions of the wife to the marriage and family. She was the primary caretaker of the children, homemaker and steady wage earner for both parties.
The Wife had a pension from her employer and the parties jointly owned a cooperative apartment.
Beverly also testified that her Husband requested of Beverly that she put her higher degree on hold while he built his practice. However, Asher promised that if Beverly worked to support the family while he built his practice that she could then go back to school later in the marriage. Beverly needed a more advanced degree to advance her career.
The Husband's attorney was seeking joint custody and 50% of the pension and the cooperative apartment. He only wanted to pay child support based on his reduced current income, not his prior earning history and he refused to provide maintenance to the Wife in order for her to advance her education.
The case did not settle and went to a full trial. The Judge recognized the "super woman" role of the Wife to the marriage and family. The Judge awarded the following:
100% of the cooperative apartment and pension to the Wife; sole custody of the children to the Wife; child support based on the husband's prior earnings since the Husband appeared to have voluntarily run his business into the ground; significant contributions (pro rata) in accordance with income/child care, medical and dental expenses and health related expenses, educational expenses including but not limited to extra-curricular activities, camp, and religious training; maintenance and attorney's fees. We hit a homerun for the Super Woman. Every provision we had requested was granted by the Court.