When your husband is in jail, or heading to jail…like Ruth Madoff and Michelle Schrenker

Ruth Madoff and Michelle Schrenker are two lovely women whose husbands have done not so lovely things. As a result, both men are facing federal prison. Bernie Madoff, husband of Ruth Madoff is facing prison for pulling off the biggest Ponzi heist in Wall Street history. Marcus Schrenker is facing prison for leaving his private plane unmanned and calling in a fake distress signal after defrauding his clients of millions.
Most women’s husbands who are facing jail or already in jail, probably haven’t done anything quite as exciting as these two particular husbands. But the concerns are the same. What now? Where does she go from there?
Well, all I can say is that in New York, if your husband is going to be incarcerated for more than 3 consecutive years, you can get a divorce on that basis and he does not have to agree to the divorce. So long as he is incarcerated for 3 consecutive years, the Domestic Relations Laws and the Penal Code gives you the right to a divorce.
Of course, Michelle Schrenker lives in Indianapolis Indiana. She is not subject to New York law and I am not privy to what Indiana law is on this. However, she had already filed for divorce on the basis of adultery so she is fine. She will get her divorce.
Ruth Madoff is the only one in this particular scenario who has an issue. And if she wanted, she could get a divorce from Bernie after 3 years of incarceration – assuming Bernie is in fact incarcerated. So far, Bernie has been slick and slippery and the government’s push to get him jailed on account of “violating his bail” by sending millions of dollars worth of jewelry to family and friends,¬†was rejected by the Court. So he is still under house arrest in his fancy schmancy Upper East Side pent house. So who knows if he will do jail time?¬† He may not do jail time! In which case, Ruth has nothing to worry about!
But for those women whose husbands are facing jail or whose husbands are already in jail, the rule is you have to wait till he is imprisoned for three consecutive years before you can get a divorce on the grounds of “imprisonment.”
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