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metastatic breast cancer and SURVIVING AN ABUSIVE EX-HUSHAND

Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2009

Dear CSN community, I need your help! A bit of background: I was diagnosed with breast cancer in April of 2005. Had a radical mastectomy, breast reconstruction, was on tamoxifen for years, and then in Feb of 2008 I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. I had chemo (taxol and avastin) for 10 months (3 weeks on, one off), and I am currently on Avastin every 3 weeks. I'm 45; have 2 daughters (10 and 8). My ex-husband left me a couple of months after the second diagnosis. I am on long term disability, able to work half time.

I am in the middle of a horrific contested divorce. And here is what I am facing:
- during the marriage I have been the higher income making; now because of the LTD, my salary has been reduced significantly.
- my ex wants everything: he wants to keep the marital house; he wants for me to pay more than half of the marital debt, he wants to get spousal maintenance; he wants me to pay for all of our daughter's expenses, etc...

- For my ex to keep all that he wants, my ex's lawyer is making the following 2 arguments (we have a court hearing on July 9). He is saying:

a) given my diagnosis, my live expectancy is so short that it makes no sense for me to insist in keeping my assets (which, by the way, are just my retirement account and half of the equity of the marital house)


b) I am not sick enough to be on disability, and need to go back to working full time so that I can continue to support my ex's. (By the way, he is a high school teacher, and works a second job as chef)

I was forced to make all my medical records available to my ex's lawyer. And now, as he continues to a) question my need to be on LTD, or b) hopes to find out how many years I have to life, he is going to get a deposition from my oncologist. he has also requested a deposition from me.

So, here is the help that I hope I can find among you: are you aware of any legal services that I could have access to in order to stop this abuse? Are there any family lawyers who specialize in divorce of cancer patients? Should I be posting this in a different forum? If so, where?

Thanks for listening, and I look forward to hearing from you.


terato's picture
Posts: 383
Joined: Apr 2002

your attorney needs to use your husband's arguments against him.

1.) Your assets are absolutely essential to your survival and your daughter's emotional and financial security. Depriving you of any of your material resources when you need them the most is both cruel and inequitable, given the current situation. Your courage will be an inspiration to your daughter, whereas, your husband's example teaches that, to get ahead in life, you must step on someone else when he/she is down.

2.) You husband is healthy and working and should be able to take care of himself and his expenses.

Here is an article which may provide some guidance:

"Dr. Michael J. Glantz, a noted brain cancer specialist was the first to realize an increase in the number of divorces and separations amongst his patients. Most of his patients, who were diagnosed with brain tumors, were also facing the personal trauma of divorce. This trend of cancer related separations created the need for cancer divorce lawyers.

Research indicates that when a person is detected with cancer, the couple or the entire family has to cope with the emotional stress arising out of the situation. This stress factor related to cancer is considered to be a catalyst for cancer related divorces. Cancer divorce lawyers need to have an immense knowledge about the disease itself.

A specialist divorce attorney handles divorces that take place soon after a cancer diagnosis. In a number of cases, patients prefer being separated to reduce the burden on the healthy partner. Therefore, when this life-threatening disease strikes, it is important to realize that the patient's marriage needs as much attention as the disease itself. People are known to consult cancer divorce lawyers because the healthy partner may not be able to cope with future responsibilities.

Cancer divorce lawyers are almost always associated with cancer related groups and the American Cancer Society. This allows them to understand the psychology of the partner seeking a divorce. Cancer divorce lawyers may try to introduce the affected family with a cancer welfare group in order to allow the couple to cope with the disease. They also try to prevent actual separation by convincing the couples to attend consultation sessions with cancer groups.

In cases where a marriage is already estranged before the diagnosis, it may not be possible to save the marriage. It is then important to obtain the services of a specialized cancer divorce lawyer. In these cases, the legal, emotional and psychological aspects are inter-related. A professional cancer divorce lawyer is required to study and understand these complications and provide a viable settlement option.

Divorce Lawyers provides detailed information on Divorce Lawyers, Cheap Divorce Lawyers, Divorce Without A Lawyer, Free Divorce Lawyers and more. Divorce Lawyers is affiliated with Family Law Courts."

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kent_Pinkerton

Download this free legal guide: http://www.tyla.org/pdfs/01-18-07Cancer%20Guide%2006%20web2.pdf

I hope this helps you, even a small amount?

Love and Courage!


Posts: 118
Joined: Mar 2009

I can't imagine any judge going along with your husbands requests!!! I'm really sorry that you have to be dealing with this on top of your diagnosis and raising your daughters. Going thru a divorce under normal conditions is stressful enough. Getting your husband out of your life is the best thing you could do! I know that alot of people get divorced when one is diagnosed with cancer, but to also put these kind of demands on you is unimaginable. I'm sure he had good qualities when you married him and had children with him, but something happened to him along the way. It's one thing for him to not be able to cope with your diagnosis and want a divorce but to be so heartless to you and HIS children.

I got married young, had my son, and got seperated when my son was 7 months old.Divorce and raising a child at 21 was extremely stressful for me so I can't imagine what it must be like for you.My heart just breaks thinking about you and your daughters.Right now you don't need all this added stress. I hope that things work in your favor and that you beat this lousy disease. Best of luck to you and let me know how things go. I'l be sending good vibes to you and your daughters. :-)

Posts: 5
Joined: Aug 2009

I'm a Cancer patient who took a leave of absence from my job to care for my mom who is a Cancer survivor. I am presently on disabiliy.
Any one whose been ill should know and understand how important your state of mind and comfort, as well as being free and clear from any stress. It's paramount to have a place free from stress and aggrivation. I know you can live a healthy life on disability. Any judge using your illness against you for your ex-husbands financial gain will at some point end up in the same situation you're in. God does not like ugly and any one trying to prosper from your illness shall not prosper.
You just keep telling yourself: NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST ME SHALL PROSPER, EVER. You will come out of this as God wants you to. With lots of peace of mind. I'm praying for you because everything will work out for you and don't forget to pray and forgive your ex-husband for being what he is, I'm too much of a lady to say.

eric38's picture
Posts: 588
Joined: May 2009

Easy for me to say but I think the majority of your assets need to go to the kids. Also, you could live alot longer than you think or anyone else imagines. If your ex was any kind of a man he would be more worried about the kids than himself and he is pretty cold to even consider pursuing anything under the circumstances. I have one word for the ex - ***.


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