Considering divorcing disabled husband to impoverish him

I love my husband dearly.

In case you missed that:

I love my husband dearly.

Keeping that firmly in mind as you read:

We would never normally consider such a drastic move as divorce, but:

I am being made aware more and more often as his condition progresses that my earnings, while sufficient to keep a roof over our heads, feed us, and allow us a few luxuries, are not enough to pay outright for medical equipment or medications that he would be able to get paid for or greatly subsidized if our income were lower. His condition is progressive and will eventually kill him. He is permanently disabled and receiving SSDI.

He’s just been approved for a Medicare program for a drug he needs badly – not to correct a life-threatening condition, but still badly needed – for which we will have to pay out of pocket nearly $4,000 for his first three months of treatment. If our income level were lower, this amount would go down; if we were truly impoverished, it would be nearly completely paid for.

I sometimes feel as though I am standing in the way of his receiving the help he needs. We discuss this between us often.

I have heard stories (friend-of-a-friend who read a news story sort of indirectly) of people getting divorced in order to reduce one partner’s assets and income to a level where they would qualify for equipment and services. We are not, however, willing to proceed with something this drastic based on sixth-hand reports.

Would like to hear from those with more direct experience – warnings, pitfalls, gotchas, advice and the like. I’m especially interested in learning of any resources for guiding us through such an action, should we decide to proceed. My ideal rose-colored outcome would be his qualifying for the help he needs while remaining in our home so I can continue to love and take care of him.

I specifically don’t want this to devolve into a discussion of the ethics/morality of such a decision, and will request that those wishing to discuss such take their discussion elsewhere. We are still wrestling with this possibility, and are well aware of those aspects. Like I said, we have discussed this between ourselves many times, and I’m trying to limit this thread to the practical aspects of such a course of action.

(by the way, before anyone asks, his condition does not affect his mental state, so no worries that he’s being “railroaded” into such discussion or action)

You ask a moral question and then ask that moral judgements not be applied.

You are basically asking: “Will I get caught if I rip off the system, or perhaps can you give me some tips as to how not to get caught?”


I have some familiarity with someone who did just that, in California. Trouble is, she was forced to pay spousal support and medical support. That sucks.
I hope you have better luck. The best to you and your husband.

I think you accidently posted in the wrong forum. You must think this is IMHO, od The Pit, or something.
What, did you learn a new word (UnFuckinBelievable)?

  • bites lip until blood sprays across room *

I think this comes under the Robert Graves rules – if the consequences of telling the truth are made unbearable then it is your moral duty to lie ( or words to that effect). Good luck AuGratin and make sure they don’t get you coming and going.

Sorry, I must agree with the previous poster. You are asking how to rip off the system. That is a moral discussion.

Or at least it is a practical question I am unable to advise you on.

Well, no, it’s not a moral question, it’s a factual question. Specifically, the question is “will this work?” Whether you have a problem with the morality of such an action (or giving instructions for how to commit it) is another matter.

Of course, if this is in fact illegal, the mods will probably take issue with it.

Damn, this is so wrong – that you’re even having to consider this in order for your husband to get the help he needs, I mean. The way our society treats the disabled is a disgrace. :frowning:

No, it’s a moral question.

Were it a factual question, the OP would never have had to ask that moral opinions not be offered.

For example, when I ask a question about C++, the Universe, or splicing wires - it’s pretty rare that I ask that people who offended by the question not respond.

I doubt that getting a divorce is illegal, whatever the reason. Sad? sure, especially in AuGratin’s circumstance, but not criminal.
Isn’t there an advocacy group that can help you and your husband with this?

No, it’s a factual question with an attached moral ambiguity. It’s like asking how to use C++ to write a program that can hack into a bank’s servers and steal money to feed the poor with. It’s still a factual question, even though the action may have ethical issues attached. Just ignore the moral part and answer the factual part if you can; otherwise, she already stated that she does not want this to be about the morality involved…

No, it’s a factual question to which some insist upon attaching moral questions.

Ok, Ok.

It’s a factual question with moral implications.

I would submit the question cannot be answered in honesty without considering the moral implications, in the sme way it could not be asked without those same considerations.

It never occurred to me to explain that I have no intention of breaking any laws or “scamming” anything or anyone, since I had no intention in mind when I started this thread. I see that my omission has lead to some ambiguity.

Let me state that I am trying to deal as best I can, within the bounds of the law, with a situation that seems to have given me three choices:

  1. Bankruptcy

  2. Divorce

  3. Neglect

Again, I am not interested in scamming anything or anyone, or breaking any laws. I am totally unfamiliar with divorce, as is my husband – as a matter of fact, nobody in either of our immediate families has been divorced (weird, huh?).

Honestly, in mentioning the morality/ethics aspect, I was trying to avoid responses like “You should never get a divorce” or “Why would you do that if you still love each other?”, both of which I’ve heard. The implications some are drawing otherwise were nowhere in my mind, so of course I couldn’t frame my question with those considerations.

What I’m trying to do is gather as many facts as I can before we decide on a path, maybe pointers to support groups or advocates who have experience dealing with our type of situation.

One useful piece of information so far: I had never considered the fact that spousal support might be a consequence of divorce, and with our luck he’d be awarded enough to make him ineligible for his SSDI.

Thanks for the assorted well-wishes and factual information. Yes, the situation sucks, but we’re really trying to make the best of it. Without breaking any laws, really!

But if much of the OP’s salary is already going to his medical care, what difference would it make?

The plan is a bit dodgy, but as long as no-one commits perjury, I doubt it could be called illegal. As for immoral… screw what people think.

Question-it would be a divorce in name only, wouldn’t it? I mean, you’d still consider him your husband, would you?

I agree with Abbie here-how sad our society is. Good luck.

AuGratin -

I wish you the very best, for you and your husband. I really do. But it confuses me how you can say on the one hand that you want to divorce your husband, who you love, and continue living with him; while on the other you state you aren’t trying to take advantage of SSI or any other social support structure or deceive anyone.

Perhaps it simply hasn’t occured to you that what you are asking for amounts to fraud; I personally believe this is the case for you as nobody would ever go into a public forum for help in commiting such an act, and I sincerely believe that fraud is not what you are trying to accomplish.

None of your options are good. Bankruptcy, Divore, Neglect. They are all terrible, and none of them are options that one should have to face - in a perfect world.

I don’t know what the answer is to your situation; but I do know that in ALL cases - if the answer involves deception then you will be sorry later. FInd an honest way out of your problems… after all - divorcing someone who you never intended to leave in the first place can hardly be called honest.

I’m bowing out now, I thank you for listening to what I have already posted without going ballistic on me.

The problem would be that on top of the cost and stress of divorce, the action would be of no help. That was my point. Sorry I didn’t make it clear.

Absolutely. I’m only trying to think of everything I can to get him what he needs. It hurts to think that I’m keeping him from that, I wish I earned enough to provide for him, but I don’t. We’re stuck in the middle.